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Discussion Starter #1
Went to a A/C shop today to get a diagnosis for $20. Lost about 0.5 lbs of R134 over the year, so he added that in. Low pressure OK, high pressure appears about 50 psi low. I can't validate that with the Honda manual. Got the temperature down to 70*, but that's about it. Their recommendation is that the compressor is weak, and should be replaced. Oh, and BTW, the expansion valve and accumulator/Drier should be replaced as well, as the compressor decomposition contaminates those pieces. Compressor part is $232; total parts and labor is $792. I passed.

I think it is time to seriously consider selling the car. The only problem is that SWMBO still isn't working, and I can't afford a new car, nor an old car likely to have repairs.
 

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A half pound of R134 isn't bad. You know the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" With that many miles. I'd be leery of spending $800 on a/c. Just drive it and if the a/c gets worse, replace the parts yourself. Air conditioning work is not hard, but you do need a vacuum pump and gauges. Surely you know someone with access to these.
 

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Gotta Honda graveyard about 3 miles from my house, get me a part number and I see if they have a compressor. You'll have to get the filter drier new. Course it'l cost you for my services but I'll give you the summer rate.

J. Boggs
 

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you'de think a guy with a garage like yours could do that sort of repair himself. :p

and i can't resist one more

iIt can't be broke, its a honda, they never break!

Seriously i do agree with changing the other parts when changing the compressor.

The A/C should be cyling on and staying on 99% of the time and not repeatedly engaging and disingaging. The electronic fan should be running full time when the A/C is on. If its doing that then the seal must be broken and the system purged and filled on any repair.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I looked at the physical aspects of doing the work myself, and it's not that bad. I don't have gauges, hosing, and expertise to determine if I did it right or not. The cost of parts alone is nearly $350. With Midlife on the lift, I have to work on the car just like you do. It's do-able, but should I?
 

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Go for it. Replace all the o-rings and gaskets you can get at easily. Get the R-134a at Wal*Mart. I saw it for $4.50 a can over there. You can rent the guages and vacumn pump from most tool rental places. That's what I'll be doing this weekend. $350.00 isn't all that unreasonable to bring the A/C back on-line. Good luck!
 

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Midlife,

The pressure on the high pressure side is a function of the ambient temperature at the condensor. So, the question is what was the temp. of the ambient air passing over the condensor when they measured the high pressure side? They should have used a thermometer and corrected for it using a chart.

You can really drop that high side pressure by lightly misting the condensor with a garden hose. If it wasn't that hot, or they had a fan blowing over the condensor the pressure on the high side might appear "low". The main thing is to be able to condense the high pressure gas to a liquid so that you take advantage of the phase change (latent heat) that occurs downstream of the orifice and in the evaporator (where the cooling happens).

Personally, I agree with you and wouldn't do anything right now but find the leak, then spend the rest of the $$ on Midlife!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, Roadracer, that's probably what I'm going to do: nothing. There is no leak per se, only a loss of 0.5 lbs over 8 years, which ain't bad. The A/C appears to be weak, and tolerable for local traffic. On long road trips, the car doesn't cool effectively, so I'll upgrade to the wife's Exploder for that.
 
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