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Old 21-03-2009   #1
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Air Con Condensor con?!

2002 1.6 Stilo.

My air con wasn't working, so took it into the Fiat dealer. They dianosed the usual broken pipe and priced up the job at 120 inc. regassing. Fair enough I thought. Anyway, after changing the pipe they told me that the condensor had a hole, so that part would need replacing too. They quoted 230 for the part and about 120 for the labour. I decided not to go ahead as it was becoming an expensive 480 job. So I just paid them 80 for the pipe fitted.

Fortunately I managed to to buy a new in box condensor off Ebay for 95 inc. p and p. I then thought that if a Fiat Dealer was going to charge 120 for labour to fit it I ought to be able to get it done for 60-80 at an 'independent'. Yet when I went to a local one that had been recommended to me, they said it is a 'big job'....you have to dismantle the fan, drop the radiator which means having to replace the coolant..... Said it would take best part of a day! Seemed like another air 'con' to me!

I'm bemused.

Is the air con condensor replacement that complicated? Will the Fiat dealer fit my supplied condensor for 120 having not pocketed their profit on the part? will they even fit parts they haven't supplied?

Mainly, how long does it take and how much should a competent mechanic/garage charge to replace the condensor? A re-gass I presume is about 60 wherever you go?

Obviously having no air con is a nuiscance rather than a an essential repair, but having bought the condensor I'd like to get the system running again at some point at a fair price.
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Old 21-03-2009   #2
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Re: Air Con Condensor con?!

they probably may fit it if its a fiat part, as they don't make a lot on parts anyway
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Old 21-03-2009   #3
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Re: Air Con Condensor con?!

why dont you get a workshop manual on disc, dont know if you can get one on here but if you join http://www.fs-oc.net/ and donate you can get one there. You never know you might be able to do the job yourself.
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Old 21-03-2009   #4
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Re: Air Con Condensor con?!

Quote Originally Posted by johnson550 View Post
why dont you get a workshop manual on disc, dont know if you can get one on here but if you join http://www.fs-oc.net/ and donate you can get one there. You never know you might be able to do the job yourself.
why not just post the info up and the OP can see without paying any money
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Old 21-03-2009   #5
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Re: Air Con Condensor con?!

Shouldn't need to disturb the radiator, fan or drain engine coolant.

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Once you've disconnected the pipes and removed these bolts the condensor drops straight out into your face and knocks your teeth out so dentist bills are much more than you'd pay at a garage.

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As your system has been open for some time then it will need a total vacuum down and refill and possibly a new filter drier (item 2)

I'd leave it to an aircon specialist or garage with good aircon engineer to do the lot. Air con systems need to have everything running and balanced just right. It will probably be cheaper as there may be other problems and they'll be able to pressure and leak check the entire system whilst they're doing the job. Either way it will be well worth doing and you'll love it afterwards
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Last edited by Deckchair5; 21-03-2009 at 19:22.
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Old 21-03-2009   #6
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Re: Air Con Condensor con?!

Nice to see the dealer is cheaper than your recommended independent, I am looking for a word that reflects this, people on this forum sometimes substitute stealer for dealer so how does, robbing conning bast..d sound for your recommended independent.
Truth is, whoever did the original job couldn't have diagnosed the condenser hole until the system was capable of holding vacuum, then pressure testing with nitrogen. If I was your dealer I would not have a problem fitting your part but would definately recommend a new filter/drier, I cant remember whether your new condenser will have a new one in though.
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Old 21-03-2009   #7
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Re: Air Con Condensor con?!

Quote Originally Posted by custard View Post
why not just post the info up and the OP can see without paying any money
If I had the info I would post it up unlike some other people who go to the trouble of replying and telling them to use the search. At the moment I am lucky enough not to need a manual.
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Old 21-03-2009   #8
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Re: Air Con Condensor con?!

Quote Originally Posted by NumanR View Post
I cant remember whether your new condenser will have a new one in though.
I can.

Genuine new condensor's come with a new receiver/drier filter.
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Old 22-03-2009   #9
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Re: Air Con Condensor con?!

Quote Originally Posted by Deckchair5 View Post
Once you've disconnected the pipes and removed these bolts the condensor drops straight out into your face and knocks your teeth out so dentist bills are much more than you'd pay at a garage.

Have you considered writing for Haynes?
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