Car Noob Needs Your Advice - Refrigerant Leak Fix

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by ElGranMachete43, Aug 5, 2022.

  1. ElGranMachete43


    Aug 5, 2022
    Likes Received:
    Hi All,
    I need your help making an informed decision on the following:

    Car Info:

    I own a 2014 base Impreza hatchback that I bough from my father (the sole owner) over 5 years ago. The car currently has 111k miles on it and has not been involved in any crashes.

    Use: commuting to work about 23 miles each way via highway

    Issue: Long standing A/C problems - always suspected a leak but was never diagnosed as such. Blew out compressor about 2 years ago and was replaced by Subaru dealership. This past month the AC has been blowing stale air suddenly - under the hood the compressor wasn't spinning so took it in. Dealership tells me that the system was completely devoid of refrigerant suggesting a large leak in the system. A "small leak" was noted on the condenser, however, "it was not large enough to explain the substantial and rapid loss of refrigerant." They recommended replacing the condenser (quoted 755 for parts and labor) and also replacing the evaporator core (quoted $1,354 for parts and labor). I have attached their blurb and the parts quote as images.

    Tech blurb with quote
    Part list quotes

    Dilemma: At around $2200 USD repair this car is becoming more of a financial burden that I would like. Here are my questions:

    -Can I get away with getting a refrigerant refill each time it stops blowing cold? What potential drawbacks could this have? Does it damage the compressor if it is devoid of refrigerant?

    It is reasonable to replace BOTH the condenser AND the evaporator? Is their conclusion reasonable or are they trying to upsell me?

    -Would a step-wise repair make sense? replace the known issue -the condenser- then the evaporator if there continues to be a leak?

    -Is it worth it to take it in for a second opinion elsewhere? or is this is a reasonable conclusion and price of repair?

    -Should I get rid of the car? I have about 7k in savings for a new vehicle and could probably get a few grand for this one?

    Any and all advice on the above is welcome. I hope this is a reasonable post for this forum.

    ElGranMachete43, Aug 5, 2022
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