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Air Cond retrofit....


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I just had my 90 reatta cpe at the dealer and was told I have to retro fit my a/c due to a leaking condensor and evaporator...actually he said I needed 4 things except the thing inside the dash boy my mind is a blank...gave me a price of 1300.00 is this correct or off base..<P>While I am at it he said I have a oil pan leak along with a upper intake leak to repair at 430.00<P>And 1200.00 to replace the timing chain water pump and harmonic balancer which some said should be done around 100,000 miles I have 86 thousand<P>Are these real prices.....<P>Thanks<BR>Mike frown.gif" border="0frown.gif" border="0

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  • 2 weeks later...

My AC light was on intermittantly in October. The dealer quoted me $963 (installed) for a possible leaking evaporator. I opted NOT to do it at the time, regretfully so. Now it's getting warmer and the light is on ALL the time. When I put on the AC, the "econ" option is the only thing that works (and not so well). I'll be taking it back to the dealer, which changed hands 3 weeks after I spent $1500 to do various other things in Oct. It should be interesting to see what they say this time.

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Mike... lets start at the bottom.. you have a 86K vehicle. Don't worry about the timing chain, harmonic balancer or waterpump until there are sign of trouble. You may be 100k away from neading any of them.<P>Unless the intake and pan leak are causing the engine to smoke or leave a puddle on the driveway, I would pass on those also. <P>On the air, take it to another shop. Like medical treatment, a second opinion will not hurt. Both leaks could be very small and you might get a year or two out of a recharge.<P>Some shops read the law to say if there is a leak in R-12 systems, they must be fixed before more can be added. Other shops routinly recharge. Your problem could be as simple as a leaking fitting.

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Some items fail with mileage, others fail with age (particularly if not used much). A/C systems seem to fall in the second category, particularly the seals.<P>Keep in mind that the high pressure side experiences both pressures up to 300 psi and high temperatures, particularly in hot weather.<P>Personally think the General's attitude toward not turning cooling fans on until well above boiling exacerbates the problem.<P>Also suspect the Reatta, particularly the '88, was not as well thought out as it might have been (only one fan on half speed at LO with a/c, 625 rpm hot idle) which leads to sharply reduced inside cooling at a stoplight on a hot day (probably should look into reprogramming to turn fans on HI at 0 mph).<P>Now as seen, I like an engine to run just over 180F and not over 190F in any condition. Last summer even with a 180F thermostat I saw excursions in heavy traffic over 210F. That I do not like so did some minor twiddling which so far has been "enough". <P>Expect this to improve longetivity of things like seals, battery, hoses, and underhood plastics as well.<P>Point is that a 11-14 year old car is going to have problems that are age related even if it never left the showroomIn my experience, a/c systems are one of these.<P>BTW "possible" leaking evaporator ? A good a/c shop will have mechanisms to determine if a component is leaking or not. U$1300 sounds like an evaporator, condensor, drier, compressor (new not rebuilt HR-6), flush, and recharge with R-134A. In other words, a complete rebuild of the a/c.<P>In counterpoint, the shop I use is not cheap but good. For U$850 they replaced the compressor (new - seals were leaking) & drier and performed the flush and 134A recharge with a one year garentee.<P>As mentioned, if it was working marginally the year before and slowly got worse, a simple recharge could be all you need - think the last time I looked, 16 oz of R-12 was around $50.<P>Personally think they have gotten the bugs out of R-134A and if I had to break a system today would retrofit. Changeover (flush, evavcuate, leak test, fill, oil, R-134A) should run around U$100 if everything is good, another buck if the drier is replaced.<P>Currently both our Bonneville and Reatta have had the change and work just fine. If I ever get around to the Fiero, same-same.<p>[ 05-27-2002: Message edited by: padgett ]

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Thanks for the tip Barney had to get the A/C replaced..it was a mess...all covered with oil..and grime...I didnt mention that I have been recharging this a/c for the last three years...so it was time...as for the oil leaks they are minor very minor according to the dealer...so that is on hold...DID you know that some states require the shop to drain the a/c of freon if you have a leak that you dont repair.<BR>Mike

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Be aware that evaporators of this era on GM cars fail at an ALARMING rate. Don't know why. They're not easy to change out. Buick wants $350 for one, IN YOUR HAND. Easy to check; pull the blower control module, and look in the hole where the module just was, and look for an oily evap.

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