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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
98 Amigo - My A/C has been making some noise for about 2 weeks but still cooling fairly decent. I figured it was at least time for a freon check. I took it to one shop the other day & the guy said he didn't think the compressor was going bad "yet" and it "should" be OK for a little while. But I swear it started sounding worse after I left there. He didn't do anything except kinda manually 'rev' it up so he could hear the noise.

I went back there today to get the machine hooked up to check the freon, etc but he didn't have anybody there & I didn't want to wait 2 hrs. Also he wanted about $90 just to do that.

I went to another shop I'd been to before & that guy checked it right away. He added 1/2lb freon & also told me the compressor shouldn't go out just yet. He charged me $50 & I got him to give me prices on compressor install just in case. I can get parts from NAPA because my daughter is outside sales, but he said it would be an all-day job & labor would be about $400. Not good news.

I go on my merry way thinking I have dodged a bullet at least for a little while. The A/C has never been real cold & it's 95 here today, so I didn't really expect to get a lot cooler. I made one stop for about an hour and then drove to a c-store to get some gas....and that's when the sh&T hit the fan.

When I started up & turned on the A/C, the compressor started making a horrible noise so I turned it off. I flipped it off & on a few brief times, hoping it would go away, but of course it didn't. So I had to drive back home 30min away w/ the windows down while I thought I would die of a heatstroke.

I called the guy who had just tested it, but he said they didn't do anything that would've made it go out faster. He actually told me if I could get right back up there w/ the parts, they'd stay all night fixing it. (This was about 3:00pm). OK sure buddy, I just happen to have $800 in my pocket & I bet NAPA just happens to have exactly what I need just sitting right there on the shelf.

It just seems too much of a nasty coincidence to me. Two people in one week both tell me it should be ok & then it goes out within an hour of adding freon.

So now I'm scrambling to find the cheapest parts possible & trying to figure out how the heck I'll pay for it, hopefully in the next few days. I can't even stand 30min in that thing w/o the A/C.

So far, vacation sucks. :( :( :(
 

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I've only had a 3 or 4 AC compressors go bad and at least for me none gave much of a warning. None of them were on Isuzus but rather Honda and Toyota and they went from working to shelled in a few seconds.

I know it stinks but my question would be why an AC tech would want to say how long they thought a compressor would last. All I'd say is that it seems to be working at the moment.

That said I'd wonder if the guy putting the freon in may have overcharged it which certainly could speed its demise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah I've been calling friends & family for the past 2 hours. I really want to blame somebody, but I keep hearing "if it was making noise....it was gonna go anyway." I also heard it may have been overcharged. Someone suggested maybe I just need to replace the compressor & orifice tube only. NAPA can't get a compressor kit - either new or reman. Advance can get a reman tomorrow for $362. But I'm SOL on who's gonna install it because of the holiday weekend.
 

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From the prospective of a mechanics shop, any business is money and they would not refuse any business of course though the sale of a new compressor to you would of been more lucrative for them. Judging from your detailed story, I'm sure they sensed from your persuasive argument that they would only eek out a AC charge since you would not do the expensive AC compressor replacement. I believe the person with the best informaton to make the assessment for a new compressor is you. You had noticed the noise coming from the unit for weeks and that should of been a severe 'red flag' for ya. So I believe blame should not have gone directly at the compressors lifetime judgments of the mechanics.

Personally, I would never have risked and attempted a vacation knowing the compressor was noisy and possibly on the brink. Cheap and honest auto service on the road could be off the charts $$$, not to mention exposing your family to the elements. I hope you understand that since I am from Phoenix, and a top running AC system is priority #1 and critical, as any AC failure on the road for my wife and the kids could turnout to be dangerous for them. Sorry and I hope you get your Isuzu going shortly during this tough vacation.
 

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Ours dont have an orifice, they have a thermal expansion valve which is much better but requires pulling the evaporator out to replace it. Its a PITA job.

My compressor sounds horrible when its low on charge. Finally got all my leaks sealed up last summer so hasnt been an issue for a while but it did it for about 5 years and its still going. Could be that yours is ok and just the charge is wrong.

Btw, you cant go by the sight glass on the receiver/dryer. I weighed in my charge when I did it last so it was exactly right and it still has bubbles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Personally, I would never have risked and attempted a vacation knowing the compressor was noisy and possibly on the brink.
I never said I was GOING anywhere on vacation, just that it starts today. I can hardly afford to go to Walmart.

could be just the charge is wrong
So should I just go to another shop & ask them to check the charge? As soon as they turn it on, you know they're gonna tell me I need a new compressor.

Anyway, I don't have a whole lot of options until probably Tuesday. I certainly want to get things running again but by spending as little as possible, because I just don't have it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Got the A/C fixed, thanks to my daughter's NAPA Know How and her Auto Care connections. I'll be having tater chips & Mt Dew for lunch for awhile till I get it all paid off, but at least now I can sit in the truck while I eat. :roll:
 
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