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Old 12-08-2012, 09:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default AC system open to atmosphere

Found a gotcha on my recent purchase 2001 Sable.
PO told me the AC compressor went bad, he evacuated the system, installed a delete pulley and plugged the lines.
Turns out the plugs fell out and the system has been open to atmosphere for a while.
I have another compressor lined up.

Should I mention any special precautions to my certified mechanic before he fixes everything?

Am I a candidate for any long term issues?
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Tell him everything you just said.

At the bare minimum he should replace the receiver/dryer and do an extended pump-down on the system to get the moisture out.

If the holes were wide open and exposed to things like dust, sand, and bugs, then he probably need to do a flush or clean out. Obviously having bits of sand floating around in there will damage the compressor.

You could also have corrosion inside the lines. Not much you can do about that other than replacing the lines.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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One thing to think about - the compressor usually costs more than all the other components and lines combined, so it may be time- and money-saving just to replace everything and be done with it. If it was me, I'd hate to have cold air for a few days only to find something else had pinhole leaks or worse and have to tear it all down again. You can pressure-test the evaporator at the firewall fittings; if it holds pressure, you don't have to worry about removing the dash and HVAC box to change it out.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Good responses.
I will be talking to my mechanic in the next week or so, I will make sure he has all this information.
Thanks from the Old Fat Guy
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I would suggest not bothering with fixing the AC. Unless you replace everything, it will not be right and you will constantly be chasing leaks.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If it was important not to fix the AC, the issue never would have been brought up, and such input was certainly not needed. The OP is asking this question because he intends to have working AC.

Chances are it will be a pretty involved rebuild, most of the components need to be flushed, some need to be replaced, and it will likely be costly.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crackhead View Post
I would suggest not bothering with fixing the AC. Unless you replace everything, it will not be right and you will constantly be chasing leaks.
Not about chasing leaks, leaks can be found and repaired relatively easily.

It's about having the insides of the system being 100% pristine so as not to destroy the new compressor. Because not only will you be out of a new compressor but also the labor costs in the installing of.

Then if the OP really wants the A/C to work it's starting all over at square one. And really the most expensive cost in an A/C system is the labor.

Better to get it all replaced from the get-go and get it all done right the first time.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Riptides View Post

Then if the OP really wants the A/C to work it's starting all over at square one. And really the most expensive cost in an A/C system is the labor.

Better to get it all replaced from the get-go and get it all done right the first time.
That's what I did, and judicious shopping got me all the components (heater core too) for about $530; did the work myself over a few weekends last March and saved at least a grand on labor. It doesn't have to be super-expensive if you don't want it to be.
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