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Old 07-21-2011, 08:50 PM
GrassGuerilla GrassGuerilla is offline
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: St. Louis Missouri
Posts: 1,437
A/C repair nightmare...what do you think?

So my father in law has an older chevy blazer (97 I think). He's poured a small fortune into it over the last few years, new engine, rebuilt tranny, among other significant repairs. Last summer his a/c went out. Some went to his regular mechanic#1 (who did all other work to this point). Mechanic says it the compressor, replaces it and charges $800. Bob (father in law) is the nicest guy, wouldn't complain about anything. So a couple weeks ago I borrowed his truck. Going up any hill the compressor kicks off (like it should at wot) except it does it way too often, with even very slight grades. So Bob took it back to his regular mechanic... They say it's working correctly, and the compressor checks out OK.

Since it's about to run out of warranty (1 year) I told him to take it to another local mechanic to have it checked out. Mechanic #2 ends up keeping it for days, apparently having a difficult time pinpointing the cause. After 4 days he says it's the ECM. approx $500 installed. At any rate, when we picked it up mechanic #2 says compressor is bad again. And vehicle still acts the same, a/c kicks off on any hill. Take it back to mechanic #1, he checks it and replaces it under warranty (and provides a loaner car meanwhile). And you guessed it, a/c still kicks off on any hill.
So back to mechanic #2. this time around he finds a vacuum line, says he will fix it no charge. However he claims the ECM was bad.

I know this is a bad situation for mechanic#2, but it seems pretty obvious to me he misdiagnosed the ECM, and doesn't want to admit it. I'm thinking Bob shouldn't be responsible for a misdiagnosis, and should be compensated. Honestly, when we pick up his truck, I intend to inquire about the mysterious ECM. I'm not sure who should eat it, but it doesn't seem right... Opinions? Suggestions?

Thanks in advance, always gotten good advice here.
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:53 PM
ecurbthims ecurbthims is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: sudbury ontario
Posts: 459
I think your correct,the ecm probably was not bad ,but I seriously doubt the mechanic who replaced it will ever admit to that .What told him it was bad ? and why did two guys miss the vacuum leak ? thats basic auto mechanics , and it sounds like you need to find a better mechanic .
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Old 07-23-2011, 04:29 PM
sealcutter sealcutter is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: PA.
Posts: 256
AC is more complicated then you think. I did work on some cars back in the day, but I can tell you this every system should have a low and high pressure safety swithces. They will cuase the unit to short cycle and this could mean you are over or under charged. Most of the time a compressor fails is due to a reed valve or mechanical failure due to slugging the compressor with liquid refrigerant.
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:31 PM
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South Florida Lawns South Florida Lawns is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: usa
Posts: 4,788
I hate car mechanics. this just proves it that they are criminals.
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