- 06-24-14 12:31 AM #1Cadillac Owners Member
- Automobile(s): 2008 Cadillac DTS, 1986 and 1970 Fleetwood 75 series Limos
- Join Date
- Sep 2013
- Buffalo/Western New York
Air conditioning in critical condition 2008 DTS
Back again with a question/advice request
I just took my 2008 DTS into the dealer for a simple issue, my front left tire was losing air every night while parked but not going flat. I'd go from 35psi down to 18 over night. After a few days of pumping air into it every morning it started going from 35psi cold down to 20 psi or less hot (after driving on it for a few hours) and I'd have to stop for air at a service station. It was no big deal to fix, didn't cost me a thing. I asked them to fix a glitch with my DIC that was reading the front tire pressures and displaying them as rear tires and vice versa. Last time the car was in for service for the issues I discussed on this forum recently I had them also recharge the air conditioning because it was blowing warm/hot air. I had told them I had only had the car for several months and that the air blew cold when I got it last September so I assumed it only needed a recharge but to check it over and see if they found fault with the system. The AC worked for a couple days when I got the car back then went back to blowing hot air again, so today I mentioned it and asked if they could take a look and see what's really wrong with it and let me know what kind of costs would be involved as far as fixing it goes. They said that the coolant is leaking from the condenser so the condenser needs to be replaced, $651.72 total, parts $244.68 plus labor.
This isn't the dealer I bought the car from. The dealer I bought the car from was bought out by another local dealer chain within a month of my buying this car. I felt great about the dealer I bought the car from right up until it came time for the final paperwork and steps to take ownership of the vehicle. First off the first two things the salesman pitched to me about the car/dealership was 1) all their cars come with "our [dealership name] lifetime warranty, covering the whole car as long as you own it" (seemed almost unbelievably too good to be true, which it was as they basically forced me into signing my right to it away during the paperwork process where documents were thrown at me at such a high rate of speed it was impossible to inspect what any of them were about) and 2) the salesman made it a point to bring me back out to the car after my test drive to prove how well the AC worked as when he prepared the car for me to take on a test drive he hit the PASS button on the climate control unit thinking it was the AC switch for whatever reason. I've had enough issues with this car in the now 9 months I've owned it that I've just kind of sat back and quietly dealt with in the spirit of "all cars have problems, all cars require service, that's part of life and part of car ownership", but for me personally, I need air conditioning in my car. I know there's probably not a thing the dealership I bought the car from (or, rather the folks who own the place now, it's still a Cadillac dealer though) will do for me, and I'm not typically the type of person to be confrontational about these matters, but I'm thinking I may take a drive over there tomorrow, do my best to remain calm but firm and explain my displeasure at the mounting issues I'm having with this car since they sold it to me and see if they are willing to meet me somewhere near the middle to fix this issue. I mean, I've had to have this car in the shop for things that I feel should not have had to be done so soon after purchasing a car from a reputable (supposedly) Cadillac dealership, even a used car, for instance when I decided to buy it I mentioned that I noticed the brakes were in need of attention during my test drive and they said no problem we will fix them for you. Had to wait an extra several days to take delivery of the car so they could do this (a brake job takes three days??) and when I went to pick it up and asked about the brakes they said "yes, we replaced your rear brake pads" (maybe rotors too, I can't remember) yet it was the front brakes that had the most noticeable issues, which is what I told them. Like I said, I'm not usually one to be "that guy" that goes into these places and raises hell because of my personal displeasure, but I feel like I'm at the end of my rope dealing with things that shouldn't be going wrong so soon after buying this car. I may get nothing out of it repair wise but if I can look someone in the eye there and say "you suck and you're causing me way more headaches than I feel like dealing with right now" I will probably feel a little better.
The final chapter to this (sorry I am so long winded, I'm a bit of a writer and brevity is not among my strong qualities) is that I have a friend/acquaintance who is a mechanic (by trade, not an amateur garage tinkerer) who just posted on Facebook about wanting to make a little extra money on the side and if anyone needed work done on their car to get in touch with him. He said he can get the part for around $100 (don't know if this would be a brand new, reconditioned, or scrap yard part) and would install for another $150, I would then have to take the car somewhere to have the system charged. I am all for keeping my car dealer-serviced but it's getting a bit pricey when things that shouldn't be going bad keep going bad, and I would almost rather help an acquaintance who I know to be a good person/qualified mechanic.
Has anyone else had this issue? How much did it cost you to fix? If/when the original dealership (under new ownership) refuses to rectify the situation, seeing as it's been so long since I bought the car, and they're under all new ownership and possibly different staff/management, do you think I should be more hesitant to let a mechanic friend do the work "off the books" to save a ton of money?
Any input is welcome, aside from any of the old "shouldn't drive a cadillac if you're worried about saving money on repairs" stuff, I've heard it all and I know I know...but I'm getting sick of shelling money out to the dealership #2 which is closer to home and has been doing the maintenance and repairs on the car since I bought it and seldom seems to get things right the first time (like, I may be wrong but if the condenser was leaking wouldn't they have noticed that when they recharged the system last month and tested it?)
I don't know, I just figured it was worth a post here for some input, I tried a search and didn't find anything relevant in any previous posts. Our local area has a Cadillac-LaSalle club and their yearly car show is less than a month away, it's about an hour drive to the show location from home and it'll be a rough one if I'm in a sweltering hot car the whole way up to the show!
If you read this whole post I give you tons of credit. I know I go on forever a lot of the time, even my closest friends have little patience for my long winded tendencies HAH!
- 06-24-14 10:47 AM #2
Re: Air conditioning in critical condition 2008 DTS
For routine maintenance I probably would not be taking it to the dealer... especially if they seldom get it right the first time.
I see nothing wrong with taking it to an independent mechanic as long as he knows what he is doing.
For instance...I WOULD NOT take it to a mechanic that normally works on foreign cars...
For the AC problem... check with some local shops that specialize in AC work... see what they say about it and get prices to fix it.
If you still have brake issues... changing the pads on the front wheels is a really simple job.
You can do it yourself in an hour or so...
- 06-24-14 04:02 PM #3
The brake issues have been solved, that was when I bought the car 9 months ago. I do plan on doing pads myself in the future. And the only time the dealer does routine maintenance is when it's in there for something else and happens to need say, an oil change.
I will probably stop a few places today and see what they say. It's a hot and humid day today where I am and it'll be a killer one without air conditioning. I find myself taking side trips to walk around stores/the mall/anyplace air conditioned just for some temporary relief. The heat and humidity really messes with my body/pain/bad back issues and my ability to breathe easily. I'm only 28, I shouldn't have these weather related ailments yet! Lol
- 06-25-14 12:24 AM #4
- 06-25-14 03:13 PM #5
Oh if I had a nickel for every time an older person misunderstood my back/health issues I'd have my car all paid off! long story short I had a series of jobs where I was expected to do heavy lifting and moving that it would typically take at least 3 or 4 men to safely handle. I'm pretty strong and have a much better work ethic than most of the other people I've encountered in my age group so I did the work that was expected of me despite the obvious damage it was causing my body. And try being under 50 years old these days and trying to get pain medications that work! They look at you like you're just looking to get high or make money selling drugs...now that I've settled into a career that requires almost NO physical labour (church organist/choir director) I'm still in great pain just from having to sit on a piano/organ bench for several hours at a time. One of the reasons I value having a nice big car with lots of room and comfortable seats!
And anyone who knows me personally knows I'm an old person trapped in a young persons body haha.
Having an interesting day regarding my car problem too, my dad looked over the extended warranty papers and came to the conclusion that the AC repair would be covered, and I was thrilled, until I looked at the paperwork myself and saw that the mileage cutoff is around 95k and the car is up to 97k which makes me want to call some of the shady characters I know to find out if they know anyone who can roll back a digital odometer for me...(obviously joking, mostly...) so I may just be having my mechanic friend do the work, as long as he's getting new/rebuilt parts and not something pulled from a junkyard and therefore a big gamble to install.
I'm getting used to dealing with headaches after every major purchase I make. I swear when the day comes that I finally buy a house it'll probably burn down the day after I move in. At least I got to vent a little frustration at the dealer the car came from (if you can even consider it the same place anymore seeing as it was sold a month after I bought the car and they have apparently replaced all the staff). When one guy told me it had been too long since I bought the car I wanted to ask him how often he used his air conditioning in winter in Buffalo. I in no way expected them to be like "sure bud, we can fix it and it won't cost you a thing!" but I had kind of hoped they'd be even the slightest bit sympathetic.
- 06-25-14 03:38 PM #6
Re: Air conditioning in critical condition 2008 DTS
I am pretty uneducated and have did manual labor all of my younger life.
Started teaching myself computers when they first came out in the late 70's with the goal of using my knowledge to make a living and not my physical strength.
The last 25 years before I was forced to retire and take care of my Darling Wife, who had several mini strokes and now is totally disabled, were spent in the computer industry.
IBM... Microsoft... Wells Fargo bank...
I have bad knees and bad hips and I love the seats in my DTS.
It is one of the very few cars I am comfortable in driving for long distances.
- 06-25-14 06:47 PM #7
I don't take offense to much so no worries (especially online where no one really "knows" anyone else so what's the point of getting bent out of shape!) I guess I can be a little over sensitive to scenarios where my age is brought into play, I've always been the type of person who is told he's "wise beyond his years" and in my career as a professional church musician most of my colleagues are older and assume I know nothing/have little experience thus I get talked down to a lot which has always made my blood boil.
The comfort of a Cadillac is exactly why I wanted to get one (again) after driving my smaller Saturn sedan for a number of years. I spend a lot of time in the car so it's very important I be comfortable while driving. I can sit on the (nice new heavily padded) piano bench for two hours and feel like I had a knife thrust into my back but I can drive the DTS all day and still feel great!
Props to getting into the computer game early! I know very little about them even though I'm of the age where it's expected you be a whiz with technology...thankfully I have a friend who sounds similar to yourself. He's an engineer and works with his mind, and he can fix just about anything I break when it comes to computers, and he's in the age bracket where you expect they know nothing about modern technology haha.
Thinking it might be time to go take a cruise around and get some stuff done today, the rain seems to have let up and it's not too hot or humid so i can drive with the windows down and not sweat myself into dehydration lmao!!
- 06-27-14 02:40 AM #8Cadillac Owners Member
- Automobile(s): None
- Join Date
- Mar 2014
Re: Air conditioning in critical condition 2008 DTS
You can buy a recharger kit at Walmart or almost anywhere else, and recharge the system.