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Hey kids, My A/c stopped blowing cold two weeks ago. The dealership wants to recharge with free-on, add dye and then inspect for leaks to the tune of over 1000 dollars! Does anyone have any suggestions about what I could replace in the cooling system where a leak might have occurred? I realize its not smart to work blindly on it, but for 1000 dollars i figure there could be some parts i could replace myself for cheaper. any suggestions? I live in the Los Angeles area.
 

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You can buy a dye kit at your local auto parts store that does the same thing the dealer's setup does for a good bit less. You might want to do some snooping around first though for simple things like:

  • is your compressor kicking in when you turn on the AC
  • after the compressor runs for a few minutes, check the high and low pressure pipes to see if one is hot and one is cold
If the compressor isn't coming on, check your fuses first. After that, well it gets expensive.

If the compressor comes on but the pipes aren't getting cold then you're low on refrigerant which you can dye to find the leak yourself and seal/recharge on your own too depending on where the leak is. $1,000 is a steep price though, you might want to go to a shop that specializes in AC repair if you can find a reputable one and see if they can do better.
 

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Did the dealer smile when they told you that? They had to be kidding. Take it to a reputable, independent A/C shop. You don't want to overcharge this system.

The Element has a very efficient, but very small capacity system. The cooling is very sensitive to the amount of charge and cannot be optimally charged without a complete drain and refill.
 

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Electrical on mine

Perhaps the responders can assist me? Mine seems to be mechanically correct as it is intermittent. MY friend who is a mechanic believes it is electrical. One thing I have noticed lately is that the lights on the dash knobs cut off. If I tap them with my finger the return for a short while. Could it in fact be these turn knobs/switches and how could I tell for sure?
 

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Perhaps the responders can assist me? Mine seems to be mechanically correct as it is intermittent. MY friend who is a mechanic believes it is electrical. One thing I have noticed lately is that the lights on the dash knobs cut off. If I tap them with my finger the return for a short while. Could it in fact be these turn knobs/switches and how could I tell for sure?
RD just suggested in another thread to check the connection behind the switch. Unplug and plug back in should give a clue if that's the right direction. Good luck.
 
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