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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2011, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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A/C Misdiagnosis? What to Do?

I took my car to Firestone on November 3 because my a/c was blowing hot air. Hot air as if the heater were on. They said that I was low on freon and they recharged the system. However, they couldn't find a leak. On November 6, I was back at Firestone because the a/c was blowing hot air as if the heater were on. They put some sort of dye on the system on Nov 3, and they couldn't find a leak the second time. They said that it could be a possible blend door actuator issue. It moves when you change the temperature, and they believe it could be stuck. Their argument was that if the a/c was just not blowing cold air, then it would blow the outside temperature when all the way on cold. They believe that the actuator is stuck on hot. However, they didn't look at it. They just surmised that and told me to go to the dealer because they may be able to diagnose it better and repair it for less $. That cost me $150 (with the second visit being free, of course).

Today, November 12, I make it to the dealership. They told me that Firestone didn't put enough freon in the car and that they recharged it with like a pound of it. $176 for essentially the same thing that Firestone did. I told the advisor up front that Firestone said it could be the blend door actuator. When I asked him that again after the repair was "finished," the dealer said that if the freon is low, the air could still run hot as though the heater were on. I said "okay," paid up with the intent of complaining to Firestone about a botched job. On my way to Firestone, I decided to test out the a/c. I switched it from cold to hot back to cold. It wouldn't go back to cold. I heard a click when I turned the knob to hot. I called the dealer and they are booked for the rest of the weekend, so I'll have to get over there during the week.

Is it right to conclude that there is something more wrong with my A/C besides freon? The cold air will work sparingly. About how much do you think this would cost to repair? Labor in my area is $100/hr.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2011, 06:18 PM
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No pride in their work. 325$ so far for wrong work done because they are too lazy to troubleshoot. What a shame.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-15-2011, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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I talked to the dealer. They are still saying that Firestone did not put enough Freon in the system. This is in spite of the fact that Firestone said that the blend door actuator could be messed up and I told the dealer that when I brought the car there. That is, if there is not a leak in the system after all. This is a mess. I have my appointment tomorrow so I will keep you updated.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 04:35 AM
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Take it to a local garage and have them check it out. Sometimes the dealers are way too stuck up. I have had more luck with getting my car fixed at a local mom-pop shop compared to the big dealers. They are more competitive on their price, and they have a better availability that works better with my schedule.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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So, I just got home from the dealer, and the news is not good. The blend door actuator is actually working. There is a screw looking thing attached to it that pretty much broke off. It looks like rubber or plastic. Perhaps something fell in and chipped it. (Sorry it's not specific. I couldn't remember all the terminology). Well, because GM doesn't sell the small part but only sells it as part of a big unit, I have to replace the entire blend door actuator control case. (The mechanic pretty much told me that this was typical of GM. They find that they are having problems with small parts, so they lump them into a bigger thing you have to buy). It is $130 for the part, which they were going to comp me for because of the last visit. The killer is 8 hours of labor because they have to pull the entire dash. $1078 total.

The mechanic did a bypass of some sort, which is giving really good cold air. Unfortunately, I won't have heat. That won't be too big of a deal in Central Florida, but we do have a handful of cold spells. So, it's a fix for now.

I guess the question is what do I do about the freon work at Firestone. The dealer is adamant that the freon was low.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 03:42 PM
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Have you considered salvage parts?

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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The part is not bad. It's $165.71. They are going to take $130 off because of my previous visit. It's the labor that is killer.

However, if you're talking about getting the salvage part to get the small part that I actually need, I will definitely look into that if that will save the mechanics from pulling the entire dash.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-16-2011, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt3365 View Post
However, if you're talking about getting the salvage part to get the small part that I actually need, I will definitely look into that if that will save the mechanics from pulling the entire dash.
Yes, that is what I meant. Then you don't have to bring it to a 100$/hr shop to get it fixed.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-21-2011, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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I called the dealer to get the specific part number. It is GM 10393238. Air Conditioner Evaporator Case....
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-23-2011, 07:48 AM
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I see you're already working towards a solution. If Customer Service can be of any assistance, please let me know via private message!

Best,
Sarah
GM Customer Service
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