Plymouth Van A/C

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

We have an 89 Plymouth Van that the A/C has been getting less and less cool for about a month. Finally last week it quit blowing cool air completely. My husband handles all our maintenance but cannot purchase freon so we were forced to take it to a shop. They say EVERYTHING is out on the A/C and will cost $1100 to fix. They put in new freon to see what was leaking. My husband went up this morning and (without their knowing) started the van and the air is working fine. How do we know what is really wrong with the air and what really needs replacing or is it just a slow leak that we can live with?
Sandy S.

Well, to put it mildly, a freon leak is a bad thing. Not very harmful directly to you or family, but to the environment! In order to be a auto a/c mechanic, you have to be fully certified! Since the bill is a bit high, I would imagine that they are going to do a retro fit to the new freon, r-134a. If they are NOT, then tell them to do it! it sounds like they are going to replace just about everything. Again, if that is the case, then yours is a good opportunity for a retro fit. The compressor needs to be changed, as well as the receiver and some fittings and 'o' rings. Soon, this new replacement will be banned as well until they can find an environmentally friendly solution. Now, the reason that the a/c worked the next day is because the technician probably charged the system to find the leak. The freon that is left is probably what your husband discovered. It probably won't last long.
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

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