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Discussion Starter #1
Just returned from my local Honda dealer with major bad news-the air conditioning system is ruined. Apparently, the air-conditioning compressor seals have separated with black “gung” flowing through out the system. The parts would come to nearly $2000 with an additional $1000 labor! While I love my 2006 Ridgeline, that kind of money makes me consider a trade. While the air-conditioning still works, it just does not cool adequately-just barely cool on the lowest setting.

The dealer has been very cooperative and would consider after-market parts to install but the labor cost would be unchanged.

Here is what would be necessary to replace:

Part# 38810-rgl-A01 Compressor 721.02
Part# 38900-rgm-505 Clutch Set 219.59
Part# 38924-rje-a01 Stator Set 72.77
Part# 80110-sjc-a01 Condenser 331.77
Part# 80315-sjc-a00 Discharge Hose 80.48
Part# 80342-sjc-a00 Pipe B, Receiver 20.52
Part# 80341-sjc-a51 Pipe B, Receiver 62.67
Part# 80311-sjc-a01 Suction Hose 59.65
Part# 80321-sjc-a02 Suction Pipe 26.38
Part# 90131-+sjc-a00 Flange Bolt .47
Part# 80215-sjc-a02 Evaporator Sub-Assy 283.30
Part# 80221-stx-a41 Expansion Valve Assy. 12.63

Total for parts: $1891.25

Labor: $1,000

Tax: 160.76

Any thoughts or recommendations? I love the truck but I am looking for reasonable alternatives.

Thanks.
 

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First, I would get a second opinion.
Second, I would search the wrecking yards to see what is out there.
 

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Let me second, the second opinion.

Although I would argue the junk yard option. If the system is open, odds are good it is, there is too many contaminates that could get into the system.

I am no AC expert, but I am seeing a near complete system replace on your list. I can not fathom that being necessary. Try a shop that specializes in AC.
 

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Stay away from the dealer unless it's warranty work. Head to a nice shop and just tell them the AC doesn't work right. Don't tell them anything about the dealer.
 

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+1 on salvage yard idea. Depending on where you live, you may find a very suitable solution there.
I was going to help my son install a replacement engine into a Saturn he bought recently.... but the salvage yard we got the engine from offered to do the engine install labor for $200.! ! ! Yeah, we took that deal. All went very well & our hands did not get nearly as dirty (even though we already had pulled the old engine before we knew we could have them do it at the yard). I'm in the San Diego area, and maybe you won't find as much accommodation near you, but it's certainly worth a try. If you can find the parts @ salvage yard, then just get a quote from someone who can remove & replace the entire system for you & then recharge it (or have someone else do that).
Once you have those numbers you'll be in a better place to make your decisions.

P.S. I would be completely comfortable with an AC system from a salvage yard RL with reasonably low mileage and a good "only if it's good" warranty.
 

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A typical repair for a failure like this involves replacing the compressor, expansion valve, and receiver followed by an evacuation and refrigerant recharge. There should be no need to replace the evaporator (a BIG chunk of the labor cost) the condensor, or the refrigerant lines. This should be about a $1,200-$1,500 repair if done properly. You might get away for half this price with salvage yard components and a "back yard" repair, but there is a significant risk it won't cool for very long.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The dealer indicated the reason the system is "plugged" is that a black carbon filter came apart sending black debris throughout the system. They did evacuate the system, recharged it with added dye to confirm no leaks.

The reason given to completely replace the entire system was everything listed as been contaminated and without replacing all the listed items, it will probably soon been plugged again.

I am considering "aftermarket" parts, namely from Denso but I am unsure as to the quality of the parts (they are a LOT cheaper).

Alternately, I could shop online to many of the Honda Parts (dealers) to see if they have lower prices including shipping. I am considering all the good suggestions given.
 

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I am considering "aftermarket" parts, namely from Denso but I am unsure as to the quality of the parts (they are a LOT cheaper).

.

We use Denso condensers in our shop quite a lot. 98% of the time they work with out a hitch. Radiators and condensers are one of the very, very, very, very few times you will ever hear me encourage aftermarket.
 

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I've done two A/C system overhauls in my home garage. I replaced the compressor, dryer, expansion valve -orifice, pressure switch, and o-rings. Basically everything except the evaporator and condenser. I flushed any contaminates from the system using two cans of the product in the image below from O'Reilly Auto Supply.



For my first job, I bought a vacuum pump and gauge set for evacuating and recharging the system. The vacuum pump was from Harbor Freight. I think with me buying all the parts and A/C service tools, it cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of $700. Then for the next job, I already had the gauges and vacuum pump. The second job cost under $500. I bought all new premium parts "with warranties" for the overhauls.

Both jobs have been running for over two years now.

I think there is a lot of profit to be made in A/C service jobs.

Somehow I think Honda sources their Just-In-Time manufacturing parts along with their Alabama auto manufacturing neighbors from a company named Federal Mogul. Its easy to see why SMP Intermotor and BWD Intermotor parts when placed side-by-side with OEM look identical. It is because both are sourced from Denso.
 

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We dodged the bullet on our 03 CRV last when the compressor went out but no implosion. Compressor w/clutch replaced and total system evac and recharged for $650. Indie mechanic (Charlie's). Dealer's estimate $1100-1800.
 

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I have done systems when the descant cartridge exploded and sent the black looking carbon through the entire system. Take all line off and blow everything out with nitrogen, then vacuum the system as normal and all if fine. The only thing that was replace was the compressor, dryer, accumulator and orifice filter.
 

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IMHO I would drive it without the A/C or trade it. That old with some miles and probably paid for I would just drive it.
 

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If you plan on keeping it multiple years then I'd get it repaired. I would take it an AC shop & see what they had to say. Like was already said don't mention you've been to the dealer.

If you don't have plans to keep it multiple years this is a good excuse to get something new.
 

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FIx it & go.... you won't be sorry. 'Always nice to get back to "good". (NOT at the dealer! ! ! ! --- shop around to reputable shops)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Took it to an independent A/c shop and they replaced Schroeder valve an condenser. It seems to be working-time will tell.
 

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I have done systems when the descant cartridge exploded and sent the black looking carbon through the entire system. Take all line off and blow everything out with nitrogen, then vacuum the system as normal and all if fine. The only thing that was replace was the compressor, dryer, accumulator and orifice filter.
We had that done on our 03 CRV. In fact, the compressor just stopped working.
Mechanic replaced that, evacuated the system and recharged. Keeping in mind the compressor was only $365 (cheap compared to the RL) likely remaned, + dryer. Still works great a year later with 100 deg temps outside.
Total bill was $700 against the dealer's estimate of $1100 minimum if the compressor did not blow.
 
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