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I recently went down this road back in summer as well had been driving without AC in my 2011 Toyota Tundra Crewmax Ltd, here in the Northeast. was not all that fun on some of those hot summer days with no AC, but thats why they put sunroof and real windows in cars. Felt like back in the 80s. But since we were taking a family trip in the summer we needed AC for a short vacation. Actually had looked at other vehicles to replace my tundra. But in the end decided against it and broke down and had the AC repaired. After taking it to a local toyota dealer who stated would the cost to repair would be >$2K (the confirmed the AC compressor clutch had seized and there was a leak in the condenser). I took it to a local shop that does AC work, they did a great job replaced compressor, condenser/dryer for under $1600. Definitely an expensive item to fix & correct, but well worth it in the end.
 

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AGAIN...Have the shop tell you exactly what the problem is so you can shop around..."It's leaking somewhere that we can't exactly locate and we want to tear out a bunch of stuff, all for $2000." They will no doubt have extra O-rings, seals, lube and plastic parts as an add-on cost down the road.... I am not syndical, just experienced...and broke... Chap
 

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One idea is to walk in & ask your local auto parts stores if they know any certified mechanics who do work on the side. Thats how I found my last 3 mechanics. Two of them I met like this are friends who worked at Hyundai over a decade and one other was a diesel mechanic (he moved away now).
All three were very reliable and labor rates are exactly half what a standard shop charges. What I really love is they let me choose if I want them to supply parts (even discounted) or use my own parts. They dont care because they dont make money off parts.
I use my own most times due to my preference of OEM or from OEM suppliers I buy online.
One even drove 50 miles to get the wife & I stranded on the road one night. Sure cant hurt to check a few parts stores they surely know enough of them.
I asked the manager because they've usually been there longer and just know more people.
He just took my number and gave it to a few mechanics he knew.
That's because shops and mostly stealerships never want their mechanics doing side work so most dont want people telling just anyone their name/numbers.
Just my experience & they will do it all, big or small jobs btw..
I have had to wait a few times to get repairs done a couple times because its on the side so Im at their mercy. Worth every minute for me to wait though..
 

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Hi Guys

This summer my AC stopped blowing cold air. Went to the shop they put some freon given that it is an old car, but few weeks later AC stopped working. So they looked at it closely and there was a leak in the AC lines. The dealer says they need to cut the muffler to get to these lines, and the job is $2k.

It has 145K miles, runs good, but almost 16 years old and wondering if it is time to trade it. However, runs like a tank, has a wireless Carplay radio, new windshield. Awesome car.

And this is after $2 work on brake lines, $1k brake drum, $1k steering rack. But this work was done over the lasft 2.5 years, so putting some money on a reliable car, is not that bad given that a monthly payment on a new car could be $700.

What do you guys think?
I suggest you get a second (A/C Shop) and maybe third estimate. Dealers are usually the most expensive. Many car owners for whatever reason don't fix their A/C's when they breakdown. It is one of the few comforts a car owner should never go without.....unless you live in Siberia. Find a reputable shop and get it fixed. You won't regret it.
 

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2005 Toyota Tundra 4x4 limited double cab 4.7l
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I suggest you get a second (A/C Shop) and maybe third estimate. Dealers are usually the most expensive. Many car owners for whatever reason don't fix their A/C's when they breakdown. It is one of the few comforts a car owner should never go without.....unless you live in Siberia. Find a reputable shop and get it fixed. You won't regret it.
yeah but there is also a point of diminishing returns how much money do you throw at a vehicle until it is a better idea to throw that money to a new ride. 2500 is what i paid for my tundra. I have already put 700 for new brakes but shop tells me i need new backing plates for my rear drums that is another 130 each and might as well do wheel bearings and seals too from what i understand most shops like to charge 1200 labor for the removal of rear drive shafts and pressing the old ones off. Until i do this no parking brake no auto adjust that also does not address the linkage might be rusted solid...
 

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Sounds like you are trying to justify getting a new/used truck. It's all up to you. We can only offer suggestions for diagnosing or repairing an issue. It certainly becomes much more costly when a shop has to do the work. Reality is with any new or used vehicle you never know what the next adventure will be. With a new one you have a warranty to help while you making those $500+ payments. With a used vehicle it's always an, hopefully a somewhat educated crap-shoot. Seems like overkill for an a/c cooling issue. Apparently there are more issues that you are aware of. Best of luck with your decision. Chap
 

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No this is my new truck all vehicles need a constant flow of care parts and money the thing I was trying to get across is there is a point where throwing money and parts at it is a bad investment. In my case if I throw parts at it my 2500 investment i can increase the value but only to a point and at that point I will need to decide to keep up or let go.
 

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My problem over the years is that for some reason I tend to get attached to a vehicle I have made my mark on and usually hang on past the point of logical and financial "move on".
Had a Sweet 52 Ford pick up for 14 years, finally sold it for 20K. Like to believe I may have broke even, probably not. But the enjoyment of working on it and driving it all those years are priceless. Tough call and you, like you said are the only one that can decide when that "let go" time is. As always, "enjoy the adventure"... Chap
 

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yeah but there is also a point of diminishing returns how much money do you throw at a vehicle until it is a better idea to throw that money to a new ride. 2500 is what i paid for my tundra. I have already put 700 for new brakes but shop tells me i need new backing plates for my rear drums that is another 130 each and might as well do wheel bearings and seals too from what i understand most shops like to charge 1200 labor for the removal of rear drive shafts and pressing the old ones off. Until i do this no parking brake no auto adjust that also does not address the linkage might be rusted solid...
This is unrelated to the AC conversation but, a word of advice - make sure they know what they're doing if you have them do the rear bearings. They are definitely tricky and on the Tundra, they have to be pressed onto the axle shaft carefully. If they're pressed on too far, or not far enough, the bearing won't touch the axle seal and it'll leak. Watch the 4runner rear wheel bearing video by Timmy the Toolman if you're interested in more detail. I'd specifically ask them if they're familiar with Toyota truck rear wheel bearings.
 
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