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1993 Sedan Deville; 1997 Deville D'Elegance; 2010 DTS
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112 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Re my 1993 Sedan de Ville...

Yesterday I ran my monthly check of the 'puter and found an F46 code in there (low refrigerant). Sort of shocked never even seen a "F" code in the five years I've owned the car and I check the codes fairly regularly. I havent run the A\C for a while (probably not since mid October when it was likely to have been operating just fine) and when I did, sure enough there wasn't any really cold air coming out. After that test I found F47 codes popping up (no F46 codes any longer though).

Took it to a local radiator\AC shop today to get a recharge of the refrigerant (R-12 I assume). They tested the system and reported leaks in the compressor, the evaporator, and the condensor. Gave me an estimate of $1800 to replace all three units. By law, they say, they can't refill the system with R-12 or any other refrigerant knowing that there are leaks. Recommended that I not get the work done given the age of the vehicle (hey! it's a beauty and runs just fine, thank you very much...).

Called my go-to Caddy guy (Ed's Airport Service in Santa Monica) and over the phone asked for an estimate to replace the three units. They ballparked it at $1000.

My questions to you all are...
(1) Whether there are any short term fixes that might work to seal up said leaks, ala the glop some folks pour into radiators?
(2) Whether the rapid decline from a perfectly functioning system (with no A\C related codes noted for many years) to one with low refrigerant levels in the three major components is something suspicious or something to be expected in a 12 year old machine?
(3) Whether the estimate of a grand's worth of work and parts seems reasonable given the extent of the problem?
(4) Whether there are other components that may also begin to fail in the AC system even if these three major parts are replaced, making the exersize a waste of money?


Thanks, as always, for any help you can provide.

Nick
[email protected]
 

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Well thats a tough question.......it kinda depends on the miles you've got on it and how long you plan on keeping it on the road.
You mentioned if it there were other parts of the AC system that would need fixing....there are but not sure what. But more importantly, what other major components of the car may fail next prior to getting your money;s worth out of the AC unit.

Thats alot of money to put into a 13 year old car whose ($1000-$1800 probably account for a bulk of the cars resale/book value at this point) so it were up to me I'd just go with a cheap fix or the windows. (my buddy in Santa Monica has been driving for years with a busted AC, he says its no problem even in traffic..)

I can't offer you any cheap fix ideas....I wonder if a used unit from a junkyard or something would work.....probably not unless you can find a newer unit. (I think the leak is time dependent, not mileage dependent, for the most part....its probably has to do with the deterioration of the rubber (or plastic) fittings and such.....which break down over time.

Good luck
 

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White Diamond '03 DHS (with DTS floor shift)
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86,794 Posts
1. DO NOT use any type of sealant. You'll just destroy the compressor.

2. This was not likely a "rapid decline". It most likely was slowly seaping and just now got to the point where it tripped the warning. It is not uncommon for a 13 year old car to need a top off. I'd get a second opinion on the leaks.
 

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'80 Fleetwood Coupe, 1994 and 1995 Mercedes 140 Coupe
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Smells funny friend. I'd find a shop that will actually demonstrate how they detected all those leaks.
 

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2003 Escalade
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540 Posts
You need to find a corner shop that will fill it and take a sniffer to the connections. That is the only way to actually find out where the leaks are.
 

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I would agree with Ranger, Ape man & Guyz, find another shop that will top it off, maybe even a leak detecting dye to prove leaking, but if the leak (if any) is inside the car the dye could stain interior carpet & such. Unlikely, but that would be for you to decide.
 

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88 Sedan Deville, 89 Eldorado, 11 SRX, 18 CT6
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130 Posts
ok. a car that old, will DEF need freon. if they change it to 134A, youll need a recharge every 3 years or so. its the nature of the beast. you probably dont have any major leaks at all. all systems leak SOME. get some R12, if your in atlanta ill do it for you... but id recommend AGAINST R134a on the car, only because it's really expensive, and if not done like, 100% perfectly, youll be in worse shape, and broke. Personally, i have an 88 deville that a shop told me the same thing, i got R12 and "topped" it off three years ago.... its still ice cold. it'll probably need a little more next year, but im not worried about it.
 
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