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.