About a week or so ago I took the car in for service to get the air conditioning serviced for spring and as it was cool out still, I didn’t really test it all that well when I picked it up from our mechanic’s. The next day B comes barging in saying “the air conditioning isn’t working”. Sure it is, I say. It has to be because we paid to have the air conditioning on the car fixed. They’re good guys – if they say it’s working it must be.
I thought it worked. She didn’t. It turns out we were both right. The A/C would work sometimes and then not other times. It would work fine when I drove B to work, but then not on the way home. So, after a week of this yo-yo of the air-co I went out to do some errands and dropped by the mechanics to have a look again.
Now. We all know how the story goes – On the way to the mechanics the air conditioning worked again. But, despite the fact that it was a Friday afternoon at 4pm, they tossed it up on the hoist to have a look..
This is where my knowledge with car repair stops – when I hand over the keys. I know absolutely zero about the finer workings of the average automobile. I know there’s pistons and valves and lots of other stuff, but he could easily sell me down a river as I have no idea what I really need.
After some testing and prodding they pull the car down from the hoist because the air is working now as i has been since I arrived – , but as they go to back the car out of the driveway the air conditioning stops on them. We are not done yet it seems..
Now they’re intrigued. Now back up the hoist the mitsu goes and they fiddle and tweak and rev the engine for what seems to be an eternity to get to the problem. There’s dye they use to check the airco for leaks, but they don’t see any real great leaky parts so they are stumped. ”What if it’s the clutch motor thingy” one of them asks the other. Maybe… so they get the great ideal to bypass the clutch motor thingy (told ya, no car knowledge here) with a paper clip. They fiddle with the paper clip for eternity and wonder why the paper clip is not passing the electricity as it should.
It turns out the paper clip was a coated paper clip so the electricity was not passing through as intended so a new uncoated paper clip was found still no go. Whatever they tried to fix with office supplies turns out to be unrepairable in it’s current state.
After that test failed the car came down off the hoist with the diagnosis of a new clutch for the air conditioning system. I am to believe this clutch is different from the clutch to the transmission but I’m not so sure.
Regardless, the diagnosis is at very least we need a new clutch for the air conditioning system at $400 and the new compressor could be upwards of $1000 because you can’t buy just the clutch for our car model and make – you have to buy the whole compressor too
All this to say it’s going to be a long hot summer, because the purchasing department tells me that there’s no way we’re going to spend $1000 on an air conditioning repair on a car that at ten years old is probably not worth much more than the new part it needs.
So….for this summer anyway we’re enjoying the 4/60 air conditioning system: 4 windows down at 60 miles an hour.