We took Jenny's CRX into Midas to have them replace the o2 sensor. We chose a muffler shop at the recommendation of the guy at Pepboys. The old o2 sensor was so stuck that he was afraid he was going to ruin the o2 bung by putting too much stress on it. At Midas we could at least have them weld a new one in if it was ruined.
While the car was there Jenny wanted them to run a diagnostic on the A/C system to figure out what was wrong with it. The diagnostic cost $40.
The diagnostic determined that the entire A/C system needed replacing. They said it would cost $1000.
FOr a car that cost her $700 to buy, $1000 was a bit too much to spend on an A/C system that she'll use 4 weeks a year.
So while I was gapping the spark plugs today I noticed something that I never noticed before on this car. There is no A/C belt. Odds are the A/C system will be fixed with a new belt, which will probably cost around $30.
Now we're trying to figure out if we want to demand a refund or not for the "diagnostic."
The moral of this story is to not trust the "Midas Touch," because they'll often times touch you in bad places...
Matt: I can totally relate and understand the heat issue's. When you get a chance to work on it, if the belt doesn't fix the problem, let me know, I might be able to steer you a little bit. I got the A/C installed in the 87 hatchback and I finally got it working. I put it in, and it was a real pain, but oh boy did that cold air feel good. My daughter drove it to a girl scout camp she is working at, outside of Temecula and she didn't call to say it broke down, so I'm presuming it continued to work. Anyway, they are really nice when they work, but putting one in from scratch, on an 87 Honda is a bugger. Now I've just got the one to put into my 89 wagon, to do.
Make sure that the compressor turns freely before you put a belt on it I.E. With the clutch activated assuming you have a clutch. A lot of AC systems have a watch glass in the line so you can see the lubricant moving in the lines so you may want to check for that also.
If you want to fix the AC and the belt doesn't work, I can help walk you through it. I've been troubleshooting mine and think I have gone through every inch of tubing and electrical wire for the AC system.
I'm waiting until after graduation before I fix it...I'm SO busy now.
I took my VX in a year ago to get the A/C tested, it had a belt, and didn't work, the guy at the shop poped the hood, poked the valve that you use for filling it, told me that it was compleatly empty of refridgerent, and that it would cost $150 to find the leak, and buck loads of money to fix it, they didn't bother hooking any test equipment up, they didn't need to to tell that it was empty.
on another vehicle that we have, that has the newer r13 or whatever, I was able to go to another state and get cans of refridgerent/lube/stop leak and refill/fix for a summer the a/c, it cost me about $100 in cans and hoses and adaptors, but I picked up enough of the cans to charge 2 cars.
All: If you have an older car with R12, your not locked out by not being able to buy the R12. First, although they tell you that you "can't", you can convert your R12 system over to 134, if you want to, without evacuating the system of R12. It does require a oil addition for the 134 and then putting 134 in, instead of R12.
Their are several brands of refrigerant which are similar to R12, in terms of their characteristics, but they aren't manufactured by DuPont. You can buy a product called RedTek, over the internet and they will ship the can's to you. It uses the same fittings and adapters as R134, but it takes less refrigerant, it will run on the oil in R12 systems and it doesn't require a license. I've done both the R134 and the RedTek and the RedTek does seem to be more efficient.
Anyway, the point is that their are alternatives avialable, but they aren't as widely known as R134, but they seem to work fine.