$1500 for A/C repair - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-24-2015, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy $1500 for A/C repair

Aloha everyone...so I've been having issues with my A/C system...already replaced the LOW side A/C line but still losing pressure within a few hours of recharge. Took it to Ted Wiens Firestone so I can get it diagnosed for $19.95 and got duped to pay $242 to reseal/install suction hose and a seal kit was ordered as well. Long story short, they found more stuff to replace but quoted $1500 to go further into the tear down. Here is the exact diagnosis word for word:

"Has leak back in evaporator/expansion valve area. Compressor is noisy and has higher pressure readings at higher RPM's. Recommend replacing compressor. Check condenser & check evap. area for leak."

Now, I'm not worried about the compressor as that I can take care of. I'am worried about the evaporator since the dash will need to come out...so my question is, has anyone document this process? I have searched and found info on how to remove the radio and the cigarette lighter but nothing about removing the dash.

Mahalo for your help!


ps. I live in Las Vegas.....

06 Jeep Commander "Kammi Mana" - Zombie Outbreak Extraction Vehicle AKA Keiki Hauler
95 Lexus SC300 "Akaori" - Daddy's dream dorifto machine
83 Datsun 280zxt "Sasami" - The one that got away

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 08:11 AM
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You need a FSM if you want a documented process. I've done it more than one vehicle myself without a FSM, but made sure I was very organized as I did it, it takes a long time, like an entire weekend. I'm a pretty mechanically inclined person that has done this as a hobby for years, so I'm capable of this kind of job. Most people are NOT, even with a FSM to guide them.

Judging from my own experience and other posts on the forum, the AC evaporator developing a leak is NOT uncommon on Commanders. It will leak oil and if you keep recharging it without adding oil, you'll run low on oil and damage the compressor.

My Commander developed a leak in the Evaporator, I recharged it several times and did NOT add oil, since I could NOT find the leak or find the evidence of leaking oil. My Compressor seized.


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Last edited by Mongo; 06-25-2015 at 01:38 PM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 04:21 PM
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Hey shakamike!

Cool rigs you've got there. LOVE the 280Z!

My XK is also a keiki hauler! (Wife is hawaiian)

Wish i could help with the dash tear down.

I might have a pdf of the FSM..

See if this works

Jeep Commander Factory Service Manual:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6L...ew?usp=sharing

Last edited by luckyse7ens; 06-25-2015 at 04:28 PM.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 06:05 PM
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Somewhere on this forum, the is a time laps video of two tech's removing the dash to replace some AC components. Do a search.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2015, 08:14 AM
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It's hard to judge the level experience/ability needed to do this job yourself. It's is a hard job, but literally its just a bunch of simple jobs one after the other, strung out to be one overall long job. And that is where you could get into trouble, if you don't have the experience/ability, you might break something because you missed something, or when it is time to put it all back together, you get totally lost or miss steps putting it back together. Organization as you do the job is key.

Plastic sandwich bags, with a roll of tape, as you remove each component, put all its fasteners in the sandwich bag and tape it to the component. Believe me, if you throw all the fasteners in big cup, you'll miss fasteners or use the wrong ones in spots as you put it back together.

It can hurt to have a cleared, clean area next to the vehicle that you lay out each component you remove in an organized fashioned. Think exploded diagram of the dash, lay out the parts like that. If throw the parts in a pile, you'll get lost putting it back together.

Cell phone camera, as you take it apart, take photos, especially of some of the complicated stuff, especially routing of wire harness's. You can pull the photos up as reference if you get stuck on how it goes back together. The one that I got stuck on was the routing of some of the wire harness's. (once you get everything out, its just going to be a big rats nest of wires.

Put a piece of duct tape over the steering wheel to hold it in place/keep it from turning, when you remove it. It is indexed and has sensors that effect the ESP/Roll Mitigation and has clock spring that must maintain proper index. When you remove it, the wheel will turn very easily, and its tempting to play with it, don't, it's easy to re-install the steering wheel with a full turn or more off from the index, that result in all sorts of problems. Maybe a broken clock spring, all sorts of warning lights and non-functioning ESP/Roll Mitigation, ABS, etc.

You can perform a self-test on the HVAC unit, the manual you can do the test yourself, the automatic version the test can only be initiated by the high end dealer tool. The self test will tell you if have any problems with the blend doors and the motors driving them. While you have the HVAC unit out and disassembled to replace the Evaporator is the time to fix any problems with blend doors, clear blockages, lubricate the rods, replace bad motors, etc. At least one of the blend door motors is buried underneath the safety impact cage, requiring pulling the whole dash and safety cage to change the motor.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2015, 08:52 AM
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I had a leak that would empty my freon by the next day so I drove with out A/C for about a year then I decided to try MRL-3 Super Seal Leak Sealer from amazon and 2 cans of r-134a freon, figured better than paying an arm and a leg and well it has been a month and its still blowing cold air, might as well give it a try the sealer says it has both rubber and metal sealant.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-26-2015, 09:18 AM
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Using sealants is a big risk. I can't say it doesn't ever work, cause someone just proved they can work. The problem is, they also might NOT work, and if they don't you've just contaminated the AC system with lots foreign matter that could cause further damage or clogged the AC. And that also is still a risk if it does work, cause NOT all of it will be consumed sealing the leak, and the foreign matter may still be circulating an eventually cause problems later even though they did seal the leak.

If, it just wasn't worth it to fix the AC leak, I was going to live without AC in my vehicle, hey, what do you have to loose, sure I might try the sealant. Sometime they work, and sometimes they work for a little while.

If, I need the AC, I have to spend the money to fix it, I would NOT try the sealant, the risk is high that it won't work and then the cost of fixing the AC just went much higher than it was before. Expect some AC shops to turn you away and NOT service your AC if you have foreign contaminates in the system.


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