Damages caused by failed A/C compressor

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Charles5654
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Damages caused by failed A/C compressor

Post by Charles5654 »

In May 2021 I had a new aftermarket A/C compressor installed in my Civic. The car was about 19 years old and I was hoping that the new compressor would improve the performance of the A/C system. The other reason for the replacement was that I was afraid that, because of its age, the old compressor might fail and contaminate with debris the A/C system. Unfortunately, despite the replacement work was done by a reputable company following the instructions of the new compressor manufacturer, after just 1-1/2 years the new compressor is now about to fail. The dealer told me that all the other main components of the A/C system will also need to be replaced because of contamination.

What is reasonable to expect from the manufacturer of the new compressor in terms of compensation for the damages to the A/C system of my car?

Thanks
tbirdtbird
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Re: Damages caused by failed A/C compressor

Post by tbirdtbird »

Unfortunately is does not sound like proper diagnostics were performed on an under-performing system. Someone woke up one day and declared, "it must be the compressor". BUT it was prolly NG. Some testing would have been nice, tho.
On a vehicle that old, in this shop we would have changed out the accumulator, orifice tube, and condenser while changing the comp, no questions asked. AC components will not last forever, same as any other car part.

The new comp has failed because there is debris in the system (ie the old compressor was indeed failing perhaps unknownst to anyone).

New comp warranties are void if the above parts are not replaced, the instructions that come with them state that clearly.

The take home lesson is that the condenser has such minute passageways that any debris will be trapped there, reducing performance. BUT some particles will still get thru and contaminate the rest of the system. I realize that this is not what you want to hear.

Why are you having a stealership work on your car?
Seek out an independent shop that displays the MACS sign (the only mobile AC accrediting agency in the US). This gives you decent AC mechanics, and not just high school dropouts

ALSO we hope you did not install a reman comp. Never use them, they are junk and will fail quickly
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Cusser
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Re: Damages caused by failed A/C compressor

Post by Cusser »

When the compressor seized on my 1988 Mazda B2200 truck in 2014, I bought a brand new compressor and drier from ACkits.com, and backflushed the serpentine condenser and high pressure lines with solvent.

When the compressor kept breaking small AC belt on our high-miles 2005 Yukon about 2016, I gambled and just replaced its compressor with brand-new. Compressor "chugging" and belt breaking stopped.

When the compressor seized on my 2004 Nissan Frontier in 2018, I installed a new compressor, new condenser, new drier, and backflushed the high pressure lines.

Not every situation is the same.
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Tim
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Re: Damages caused by failed A/C compressor

Post by Tim »

I would not be so quick to blame the shop. 1.5 years down the road, there is a problem. We have no idea of the true nature of the failure! If the shop had the ability to respond. We might have a different picture.

But to answer the question. In general A/C compressors come with a 1-year warranty. The shop is not liable for any damage unless they provide a different warranty.
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Charles5654
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Re: Damages caused by failed A/C compressor

Post by Charles5654 »

Thanks to All for the valuable information provided.
I admit that I may have not done my homework properly when I had my original compressor replaced. I thought that the machine that is used to remove the old refrigerant is capable of detecting contaminants, because the removed refrigerant is re-used in other cars, but perhaps that is not the way things work.
Also, if my car AC system was already contaminated when the original compressor was replaced, shouldn’t the new compressor have failed sooner than after 1-1/2 years? My car AC system worked ok until recently.
tbirdtbird
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Re: Damages caused by failed A/C compressor

Post by tbirdtbird »

Try to come to this site first when you have AC underperformance or issues. There are several really sharp pros here and we are happy to assist. I have not found a better or even equal site out there....
When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you: www.ACKits.com
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Tim
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Re: Damages caused by failed A/C compressor

Post by Tim »

The short answer to when it should fail cannot be answered. No one can tell, and so any variables on the owner's side out weight those of a shop.

Shop:
Was working fine when it left.

Owner:
1.5 years later, complains of performance issues.
Was it serviced each year to ensure no leaks or issues?
What was the condenser or evap condition?
What were the pressure readings?

If I'm coming off as harsh. I'm just explaining the points that were not addressed in the post. I also feel it's not fair to blame the shop at this point.

I just took my Truck through the drive-through car wash. The radio antenna is now gone. Should I blame the car wash or myself for not getting out and removing it before entering?
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JohnHere
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Re: Damages caused by failed A/C compressor

Post by JohnHere »

You mentioned that the replacement compressor is about to fail after 1-1/2 years. How do you know that? Is it making unusual noises? Pressures out of whack? Leaking oil and/or refrigerant? Drive belt squealing? If not, yet the vent temps aren't cool, it might be something else.
Member – MACS (Mobile Air Climate Systems Association)

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Charles5654
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Re: Damages caused by failed A/C compressor

Post by Charles5654 »

JohnHere,

Since the temperature of the air coming out of the vents was 73F, I took the car to the dealer, thinking that there might be a refrigerant leak. After checking the AC system, they told me that there were no leaks and they made the following two statements in writing:

Quote
Cause: not building proper pressure and freezing up AC lines
Unquote

Quote
Found to have contamination in the system due to failing compressor
Unquote
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Tim
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Re: Damages caused by failed A/C compressor

Post by Tim »

I'd get a second opinion.

But do so making sure of these paramotors.

Check pressures at idle and 1500rpm. Check the system for leaks. May also need to reclaim refrigerant and charge back to OE spec and repeat this process by comparing both pressure readings.

As for contamination, a good shop can replace the drier before recharging. Cutting open the old one and checking if there is debris in the system.

With your last comments. I'd be interested in if the system is full and if there really are no leaks in the system. Doing a visual inspection, check the system and connections for any signs of oil build-up.
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