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A/C not cold, big $$$ - ok to negotiate?

 
Old 02-11-2019, 09:31 AM
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KingCorvette93
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Default A/C not cold, big $$$ - ok to negotiate?

I got my car for a pretty stellar deal... because the A/C does not blow cold!

I took it to a very professional Corvette shop for diagnosis; they identified the compressor (edit - I originally wrote evaporator) and condenser as the culprits, but that the condenser might turn out to be in good order once the compressor is replaced. The bill is roughly $2,400, about $1,000 of which is labor. I need to have done by the shop, as this repair is outside my wheelhouse of knowledge and resources.

To clarify: the blower works, the heat works, and all the controls work... but no cold air.

My question:
Is it acceptable to negotiate on the labor a bit? I am a good customer, and intend to remain as such. Or, is the price the price, and that's it? I want to look out for myself financially, but also don't want to be cheap and unprofessional.

This being said, I bought a sports car, and am ready and able to pay the cost of ownership.

Thoughts?


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Old 02-11-2019, 09:45 AM
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Landru
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Originally Posted by KingCorvette93 View Post
My question: Is it acceptable to negotiate on the labor a bit? I am a good customer, and intend to remain as such. Or, is the price the price, and that's it? I want to look out for myself financially, but also don't want to be cheap and unprofessional.
IMO most important aspect of owning a HP sportscar off warranty?
Finding the RIGHT shop.
One who's knowledgeable/familiar w/ 'a' marque, do repair correctly the first time.
There's the 'savings' when having HCI, chassis and/or bodywork performed.

IF this shop's trusted and meets above criteria, then whatever's charged is worth the money spent.
For my Z06 when it comes to proper maintenance/mods, is no time to be penny-wise and dollar foolish.

JMHO, YMMV.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:07 AM
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KingCorvette93
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Originally Posted by Landru View Post
IMO most important aspect of owning a HP sportscar off warranty?
Finding the RIGHT shop.
One who's knowledgeable/familiar w/ 'a' marque, do repair correctly the first time.
There's the 'savings' when having HCI, chassis and/or bodywork performed.

IF this shop's trusted and meets above criteria, then whatever's charged is worth the money spent.
For my Z06 when it comes to proper maintenance/mods, is no time to be penny-wise and dollar foolish.

JMHO, YMMV.
Thanks a lot!

Yes, the shop is very good. Quite small, but very organized and clean. They had one corvette of EVERY generation being worked on when I was there last, the most beautiful of which was an immaculate C1. Wow!!

They even let me come into the work area while my car was on the lift to go through everything with me!
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:31 AM
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What did they say was wrong with the evaporator and condenser? Get a second opinion for sure. Was the car in an accident?
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:34 AM
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KingCorvette93
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Originally Posted by Cooter Tech View Post
What did they say was wrong with the evaporator and condenser? Get a second opinion for sure. Was the car in an accident?
Nope, no accidents.

From what I remember, the compressor is seized up (it has a spinning component). As for the condenser, it appears clogged, but it might be cleanable!

The fan blows and the heat works... it's just the "cooling" part of the system does not.

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Old 02-11-2019, 11:40 AM
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They will likely not budge. AC work requires specially trained techs, and they dont come cheap. If you try to haggle, you become a problem customer, likely not worth dealing with. They're now worried you're going to bring it back for (potentially unrelated) issues and cause them headaches. You would probably find they're booked up a lot more often.

Sports cars arent a cheap game, and you have to pay to play. I would pay them with a smile and not even ask about a discount.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by KingCorvette93 View Post
Nope, no accidents.

From what I remember, the evaporator is seized up (it has a spinning component). As for the condenser, it appears clogged, but it might be cleanable!

The fan blows and the heat works... it's just the "cooling" part of the system does not.
I think you should at the very least watch some YT videos on how the A/C system works in an automobile so they don't try to con you, which it sounds like they are.

It's really not as complex a system as it seems and pretty easy to work on. Maybe your evaporator is leaking or clogged with debris but it is not "seized" up.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:21 PM
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What makes a Corvette ac any higher than other autos. That sounds very high. I would check with an ac shop and be disappointed if it went over 500.00 for the item you mentioned installed.
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Dub Mc View Post
What makes a Corvette ac any higher than other autos. That sounds very high. I would check with an ac shop and be disappointed if it went over 500.00 for the item you mentioned installed.
There is nothing uniquely special about the A/C system in a Corvette, I would find a reputable A/C shop and get an estimate; might find their parts and labor costs a lot lower then a shop that specializes in Corvettes or a dealership.

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Old 02-11-2019, 03:20 PM
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This is a GM car, not some sort of engineering marvel. If you truly don't think you can do it, (it's literally just pull and replace), then do yourself a favor and get some more quotes. The biggest issue is removing the refrigerant and refilling. Parts can be had for less than $300. Hell that might not even be the issue. Btw you might not be remembering correctly, are you sure it wasn't the compressor that has frozen?
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by CRNA15 View Post
This is a GM car, not some sort of engineering marvel. If you truly don't think you can do it, (it's literally just pull and replace), then do yourself a favor and get some more quotes. The biggest issue is removing the refrigerant and refilling. Parts can be had for less than $300. Hell that might not even be the issue. Btw you might not be remembering correctly, are you sure it wasn't the compressor that has frozen?
Yes, you are correct... compressor! Updated with screenshot of the invoice.

Thanks for calling this out!

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Old 02-11-2019, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by KingCorvette93 View Post
Yes, you are correct... compressor! Updated with screenshot of the invoice.

Thanks for calling this out!
Please do not take it to that shop, that quote is outrageous. If the compressor is truly frozen then you probably would've heard an atrocious noise from the belt slipping on the pulley. Can you hear the compressor kick on and off repeatedly? Or turn on at all? It could just be the compressor clutch as well. Find a small shop that can do an A/C leak test for you. It may be as simple as a leak somewhere and you're out of coolant. It sounds like this shop is just throwing parts at it, did they do an actual diagnosis? If so then they surely would've given you paperwork or charged for labor/dye.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by CRNA15 View Post
Please do not take it to that shop, that quote is outrageous. If the compressor is truly frozen then you probably would've heard an atrocious noise from the belt slipping on the pulley. Can you hear the compressor kick on and off repeatedly? Or turn on at all? It could just be the compressor clutch as well. Find a small shop that can do an A/C leak test for you. It may be as simple as a leak somewhere and you're out of coolant. It sounds like this shop is just throwing parts at it, did they do an actual diagnosis? If so then they surely would've given you paperwork or charged for labor/dye.
Yes, they did an A/C inspection.


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Old 02-11-2019, 05:13 PM
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That's not a outrageous price in my mind, A good A/C tech is not going to work for peanuts & in Florida, your gonna need that A/C...Lol
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:17 PM
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Thanks for all the input, folks.

As a testament to the shop's professionalism, I'll share with you that they sent me a hand-written thank you card that ended with "We appreciate you!" after I had the general and A/C inspection done.

A ploy to pull the wool over unsuspecting customers' eyes? Possibly...

A nice gesture and indicative of knowledge and professionalism? More likely... perhaps definitely!

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Old 02-11-2019, 05:38 PM
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There's about 200 to 250 dollars worth of refrigerant, evac, and recharge included in the 1000 labor charge. That leaves 750 to 800 labor for the compressor, belt, expansion valve BUT NOT the condensor, which is really high. 300 for the condensor? I guess that is reasonable. however, the 120 for the initial inspection is redundant because it's an evac and recharge with dye, pressure test.

And 6 cans of brake clean? What do you have leaking under that car that requires 6 cans of brake clean to clean?

I'm sure that I have seen worse, but that quote really is on the high side.

Our compressor is a scroll type, and it is very likely to be trashed but not seized. And even if it was, it has a clutch which will freewheel. Yes, you should look at some videos and familiarize yourself, but changing it yourself? Unless you have a good set of gauges and are familiar with high pressure systems you stand to either injure yourself or blow the seals right out of your brand new compressor.


edit - holy **** they are charging you extra labor for replacing the belt. that they HAVE TO REMOVE TO DO THE COMPRESSOR!!!!! He's double billing for everything. Holy smokes.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:40 PM
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If I were making an extra 700 profit I'd send you a card too. and maybe a box of chocolates. Hope they use a condom.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:54 PM
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Compressor AND condenser going out at the same time? Nope. High price to fix this on a dime-a-dozen a/c system, which likely does not need both components? You betcha.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Sox-Fan View Post
If I were making an extra 700 profit I'd send you a card too. and maybe a box of chocolates. Hope they use a condom.
Ya I hope they pay for his uber home after that reaming.

Originally Posted by jimijam View Post
Compressor AND condenser going out at the same time? Nope. High price to fix this on a dime-a-dozen a/c system, which likely does not need both components? You betcha.
This. To my knowledge condensers donít ďgo outĒ it may develop a leak, but itís essentially just a heat exchanger. More than likely you just need a new compressor or even just a new clutch.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:18 PM
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Seems high to me, easily worth a second opinion. As already said, compressor AND condensor? Your condenser is just a "radiator" for your freon/ac system.

What is the door release bezel about?

Last edited by cadyshac; 02-11-2019 at 06:20 PM.
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