Tree Fell on Car, Now A/C Problems!!


Old 03-31-05, 08:46 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Southern NJ
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Question Tree Fell on Car, Now A/C Problems!!

Hi everyone, I know know this is a weird scenario but as an avid DIYer, I just can't chalk it up to coincidence...

About 1 1/2 ago, a tree fell on my Acura 2.2CL. It fell across the hood and broke the windshield in 1000 peices. After being in the shop for 1 month and $4000 in repairs, I get the car back and the A/C does not work. I call the insurance company and let them know and they said, "I have to prove it was a result of the tree falling on the car." As you can imagine, this wasn't easy and proved impossible. The repair shop did take a look and found there was virtually no charge in the system. Ironic.. air worked perfect before the tree and after it had no refridgerant??

So, I take the car to Acura for a diagnosis. I call for an update and they said, "we charged it and had it running for 3 hours and can not find a leak." I called back 3 hours later and they said, "You need a new condensor." I had a feeling they were making this up because they couldn't fine a leak. The job was +$500 which I did not want to spend at the time so I took the car back. Low and behold, the air now worked. I took notice to a small spot of foam that developed on the passenger floor, but like I said, the air worked.

2 months later, the air stopped working well. So, I bought a charge kit and found it had lost charge once again. I recharged and was back in business. I then noticed that the foam on the passenger floor developed again.

At this point, my DIY charges have lasted longer and longer (I've done 3 total in the last 1 1/2 years. But the other day, my car broke down because the compressor locked up and snapped the belt. At this point I am really annoyed. Now I need to replace the compressor, which I can do myself but I don't want it to break again!

Now, the theory my bodyshop and I came up with. When the windshield broke, pieces of it ended up in all of the air ducts. Hours were spent sucking all the bits and pieces out. We think that when the heat/cooling fan ran for the first time, it might have thrown a piece of glass through some kind of air conditioning hose, thus why foam develops on the passenger floor when the system is charged. Acura probably didn't find this leak because its inside the dash so they blamed it on the condensor.

Sorry for the long winded post but I really wanted to see what other people think. Now that I have to replace the compressor, I don't want to have another breakdown in a year because of the same problem. I need to fix what is wrong so the compressor does not lose oil and break again! Does anyone know if there is something under the dash that could have sprung a hole? If so, what is it called?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 03-31-05, 08:53 AM
comp's Avatar
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don't spend any money till you open the air box and inspect things
Old 04-01-05, 02:44 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Kansas City, Missouri.
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The foam on the floor indicates an evaporator leak (or nearby component, fittings etc). The evaporator is mounted under the dash.

The evaporator could have (probably was) damaged by the tree. You may be able to prove this to your insurance company with photos of the damages (i.e. bent, distorted, injuried part).

Your compressor locked up. This means you definately need a new compressor. Probably from being overcharged with you DIY charge kit. It happens.

You mentioned 'condensor' but I think you meant to say compressor.

What you need is a new compressor, and a new evaporator(or whatever part was leaking).

Generally when replacing a compressor, a few other parts are also replaced, (i.e. dryer, accumulator). Then evacuated and charged by a professional so as to not overcharge again.

You have a good case for the insurance company to pay in my opinion. You need the photo proof before and after the damaged part is removed. You will see bent kinked ac lines or worst.

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