another 96 caravan air conditioner failure

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  #1  
Old 07-19-06, 05:46 PM
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another 96 caravan air conditioner failure

I was informed by my mechanic that the evaporator in my Grand would cost me a GRAND to replace. Well I ain't got it! Boy was he disappointed! I am pretty handy when it comes to car repair. Where can I find a publication that deals with removal of the dash of a 96 3.3 to get to the evaporator?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-19-06, 07:48 PM
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chiltons or probably hayens to will cover that. Its a grand for a reason. You will find out why when you see the procedure. Imagine taking the whole dash out to the firewall.
 
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Old 07-20-06, 04:28 AM
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As snucker points out, it will certainly be a bear of a job. Having said that, it may be worth your while to get a couple of other estimates, but don't expect a major savings. Certainly nobody will do it for $100. Among other things the price will include removing the old refrigerant and reservicing it after the work is done, neither of which is DIY.
 
  #4  
Old 07-20-06, 12:55 PM
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Bigger Ax

I don't think the make a big enough ax to do what you recomended. But I will keep up a look out for those manuals.
Thanks mucho
 
  #5  
Old 07-20-06, 01:20 PM
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it is mostly labor and takes a long time to change I also think you can get it done for less than 1 grand if you call around and get more estimates.
 
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Old 07-20-06, 05:45 PM
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i am just curious, what led the mechanic to believe it was the
evap coil?

barry
 
  #7  
Old 07-20-06, 07:11 PM
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Specifically, it's 8.6 hours by Alldata. The retail cost of the evaporator is around $240. That labor time doesn't include the labor necessary to evacuate and recharge the HVAC system...and don't forget the refrigerant and compressor oil. So, $1000 is pretty close.

I've done two at my shop and I keep swearing I'll never do another because they are a major pain. You literally have to take the ENTIRE dash out all the way down to the firewall. With air bags, wiring, and all the other stuff that can go wrong...I definitely don't think this is a DIY project. Unless of course, you are a serious glutton for punishment!



Originally Posted by bejay
it is mostly labor and takes a long time to change I also think you can get it done for less than 1 grand if you call around and get more estimates.
 
  #8  
Old 07-21-06, 02:08 PM
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Thanks all....

thanks to you all but I have not given in to the repair yet. Mostly I have given the unit a BIG shot of coolant and sealant. It sorta works.... Just has to last to summers end then I have some time before the wrenches fly. What all-knowing engineer thought to put this thing under all that stuff. Boy, I hope he sleeps at night....(Damned *******)
 
  #9  
Old 07-22-06, 12:16 AM
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Please I need help:

I have a 2000 Caravan with the same problem, it has only 70,000 miles, how can I apply this sealant?

any one knows if this "sealant" applied to the A/C evaporator from the outside or from the inside, & whats the best sealant?

I have the evacuator pump and hose, DO YOU EVACUATE THE AIRE FROM THE HIGH SIDE OR THE LOW SIDE? and for how long?

Thanks in advance
 
  #10  
Old 07-22-06, 02:24 AM
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Originally Posted by bram
Please I need help:
I have a 2000 Caravan with the same problem, it has only 70,000 miles, how can I apply this sealant?
any one knows if this "sealant" applied to the A/C evaporator from the outside or from the inside, & whats the best sealant?
I have the evacuator pump and hose, DO YOU EVACUATE THE AIRE FROM THE HIGH SIDE OR THE LOW SIDE? and for how long?
Thanks in advance
bram,
Sealants don't work very well and the worst part is they will eventually clog up your A/C system. Down the road, you'll wish you never put that can of sealant in you air conditioner!

As for external sealants, never heard of any but even if there was an external sealant for the evaporator; the same labor is involved to access the leak as it is to remove the evap, why not just install a new one?

Lastly, if you have to ask which side and how long, you should probably not mess around with your A/C at this time! You're gonna' end up screwing things up, or worse, hurting yourself.
Phil
 
  #11  
Old 07-22-06, 10:12 AM
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How bad of a leak??

How bad is the leak??? The reason I ask is that I have a 95 Voyager (great vehicle!) That I have to top up once a year or 2.
I think it leaks some in cold weather. As opposed to a large repair bill I bought a low side pressure gauge,recharge kit. As part of my spring time ritual I check the refrigerant pressure, if its low I top it up with some Enviro-safe. This is my 3rd summer and total spent is less than $30. The first can I put in it did have some leak/ seal conditioner. Try it.
 
  #12  
Old 07-22-06, 06:13 PM
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to whom it may concern

we all know that this is a do it yourself forum, and as far as i know we will give all of the advice that we can give to help to anyone to solve their problems, leaking manifolds, leaks from heck,power issues,etc., but for us that are certified in the epa field, we are obligated by law, for not, if anything to protect the
people that may have a bit of knowledge, from hurting themselves or worse.most of us are old enough to remember that when the old 1970 ford estate wagon a/c was'nt cooling well, we would go to the western auto store and for less than a buck a can shoot it up with r-12. things ain't that simple now,
the controls on a modern are far more complex, the pressures are higher, the additives are different,the oils have been changed, the laws have been changed. we can try and diagnose
the condition and recommend ways to solve the problem, but we cannot tell you in any shape, form or fashion how to add, vac, recover,anything that has to do with any type of freon.
yes we all know that 134-r is sold over the counter, and i know that a friend of mine about blew is hand off trying to do a retro-fit. i'm sorry to long post, but, somethings are better left to pros.

barry
 
  #13  
Old 07-23-06, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Raleighnc
How bad is the leak??? The reason I ask is that I have a 95 Voyager (great vehicle!) That I have to top up once a year or 2.
I think it leaks some in cold weather. As opposed to a large repair bill I bought a low side pressure gauge,recharge kit. As part of my spring time ritual I check the refrigerant pressure, if its low I top it up with some Enviro-safe. This is my 3rd summer and total spent is less than $30. The first can I put in it did have some leak/ seal conditioner. Try it.
Raleighnc,
I'm gonna' jump in here and strongly suggest the people "Don't Try It"
You might be getting lucky right now but if you keep topping off with ES-12, eventually your compressor is going to be starved of oil and it will fail.

Obviously you didnít read the charging instructions for Enviro-Safe. You can't top it off......it's a Hydrocarbon blend. When it leaks, the blend is changed and yes, while topping off might correct the amount of refrigerant in your system; it cannot fix a blend that has been fractionated due to the leak. Like I said, keep topping off and eventually the ES-12 will not carry enough oil back to the compressor and you know what happens with no oil at the compressor, right?

Also, ES-12 is mostly propane blended with another refrigerant that is in the blend to help carry oil back to the compressor. Are you sure you want Propane leaking into your engine bay while you're driving your car. No thanks, I'll pass on that one!

Trust me, keep using Envirosafe in the manner that you are, (topping off) and I promise the elusive repair bill youíve been avoiding will eventually find you and when it does, itís gonnaí smack you real hard.

Go back and fully re-read the ES charging instructions.....They don't even want you to correct a slight overcharge, let alone top off. Right on their website it says if you accidentally overcharge with ES-12, the only way to correct it is to evacuate the whole charge, and then re-charge into an empty system. Furthermore, they stress this: "Do Not Use Recovery Equipment." So you can't even run ES-12 through a recovery machine and then put it back in your car. From an A/C shops perspective, all you can do with old ES-12 is either pay to have it disposed of, or send it out to be reclaimed.

Iím always amazed at what people will do and put into their auto A/C systems.
Good luck,
Phil
 
  #14  
Old 07-23-06, 07:38 AM
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News Flash-nothing bad has happened!!!

When I first considered repairing my A/C my self I heard all sorts of 'the sky is falling' stuff. I have had 3 summers of trouble free use from my A/C. I will admit I talked to other people who had done the same thing.
The compressor is as quiet as ever, the air from the vents is as cold or colder as when the vehicle was new. Yes I am sure that the compressor will eventually fail, don't they all? But with almost 200,000 miles on the van and 12 years of driving I really can't complain.How much real world positive experience is needed??
How about 4 summers? 5?
Can't do it? I did and my bank account is very happy.
 
  #15  
Old 07-23-06, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Raleighnc
When I first considered repairing my A/C my self I heard all sorts of 'the sky is falling' stuff. I have had 3 summers of trouble free use from my A/C. I will admit I talked to other people who had done the same thing.
The compressor is as quiet as ever, the air from the vents is as cold or colder as when the vehicle was new. Yes I am sure that the compressor will eventually fail, don't they all? But with almost 200,000 miles on the van and 12 years of driving I really can't complain.How much real world positive experience is needed??
How about 4 summers? 5?
Can't do it? I did and my bank account is very happy.
Raleighnc,
I'll say this....You are very lucky! In fact, I know for a fact that stories like yours are an exception to the rule. I don't know why some people can abuse their A/C systems and never have a failure but really, it's kind of like gambling.

To suggest that anyone who does what you did will have 200,000 miles of trouble free A/C is foolish at best. Most people who do it will screw things up with-in the first or second cooling season.

Have you considered going to the casino and betting everything you've got. With your luck (200,000 miles of it) you can't lose!
Phil
 
  #16  
Old 07-25-06, 08:08 PM
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Will recommend what many others have - let the professionals do it. Had a 93 Grand Caravan with a leaking evaporator. Thought I could DI myself. You've no idea how many parts are between you & the evaporator! Biggest pain was dash-connecting bolt near the steering shaft. Glad to have an understanding wife who didn't mind being without a car for over a week. Pros can do it in less time with less worry than you can. I know you pay for this expertise. Believe me, sometimes letting the pros do it beats out DIY'ing.
 
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