I was just curious how long should a compressor last?, when should you change it? Before a compressor goes bad, not because of neglect but just worn out, is there a time when you should consider changing it before it totaly goes, I am thinking preventive maintenance, if it goes, you have change out everything or most everything and flush.
Its the same as an engine and or a transmission. At times you can treat it like crap and abuse it and it will run over 200k, then at other times you can be overly cautious and exceed the maintenance schedules only to see an early death. The real trick to taking advantage of reading any early signs of failure, is to be able to see the signs.
On my personal Astro van, I will change it out whenver I do major engine work- I put a new one on my van, then sell the old on on another job as a used one- - I can build the compressor into most any model (in the same family) and make it fit any other H-6, HT application. So I usually let them go 100k or so, then change it just because it is easy to do when I have the van in for other work. I then record any pertinent info, just for a good learning experience- and it goes into my database of a/c repairs. The main trick is- don't let them run with low refrigerant- if the vehicle does not cool- or is lack luster in cooling- disable the compressor until you can attend to it! The most wear occurs with low refrigerant charge, because of lack of oil circulation-
If compressor is cooling fine, but you hear some knocking, then disable it until you can change it out, no use in filling the system with crud,
Of course this is all well and good- if and only if you are the primary driver.... and can notice noises, smells, temps etc.. most wives that I know will just "drive them till they die" - so it is a good idea to drive the wife's car, or the daughter's car once in awhile....
The number one A/C diagnostic tool there is- is to know how much refrigerant is in the system- this can only be done by recovering and weighing the refrigerant!!
Just a thought.... 65% of A/C failures in my 3200 car diagnostic database (GM vehicles) are due to loss of refrigerant due to a leak......
thanks hecat and GMtech for the sound advice, I was thinking along the sames lines as you but wanting some more opinions on the subject. Like you guys always say do it right the first time. In the long run if you have a compressor in a vehicle with 100,000 miles, I figure $200-$300 now will save a lot of time and $$ in the long run, instead of trying to get every penny out of that compressor
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