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Ask Jared D Your Own Question
Jared D
Jared D, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 1200
Experience:  Shop Supervisor at County Fleet
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Subaru 2010 Forester Just took my car into a shop that is

Customer Question

Subaru 2010 Forester
Just took my car into a shop that is always expensive, but very convenient.
The AC was acting up on the driver's side... was hardly cooling at all. The passenger side was pretty cool. They are saying that I need a new compressor, receiver dryer, condenser, expansion valve, cabin air filter.. $1,451.80!!!
I really thought he was just going to add some freon and send me on my way. Any advice you can give me to make sure I'm not getting ripped off?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Subaru
Expert:  Jared D replied 6 months ago.

If the vehicle needs a new compressor then their estimate sounds reasonable (albeit ridiculously expensive). When replacing a failed compressor it requires replacement of pretty much the entire AC system to ensure no debris is left over in the system to damage the new compressor.

That being said- how did they determine the compressor was the problem? If the system was blowing cold on the passenger side but not on the driver's side I don't know if I would suspect the compressor as the cause of the problem. If they did a pressure test and found that the compressor was not pumping up enough pressure then it could be surmised that it needs to be replaced- did they give you any sort of explanation as to why it is the problem?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
They at first said it was probably freon, but after running an $80 AC checkup (that goes towards any work done) they said the compressor needed to be replaced. The gist of his detailed explanation was that they ran a it was only passing when he was revving the engine... when the car was in idle, it wasn't pumping enough.When you say ridiculously expensive? That means that replacing it is ridiculously expensive or that what they are charging for it is ridiculously expensive? If you can give me a ballpark of what I am being overcharged, maybe I can better decide if the convenience is worth it.
Expert:  Jared D replied 6 months ago.

Their price is fair, just all of the parts involved make it ridiculously expensive. The compressor alone is about a $600 part not including labor (should be about $150). The receiver and the condenser is one part- another 150 in labor and abour 350-400 for the part. I would say they are fairly reasonable at $1450 including the flush, the recharge, expansion valve, labor, etc, unless they are charging you separately for a receiver/dryer and a condenser.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks Jared, that helps tremendously. Sounds like I won't beat it by much if I drive across town. It just comes down to whether or not I trust that the compressor is really broken.
Expert:  Jared D replied 6 months ago.

Exactly. If they legitimately saw a low pressure condition at higher compressor speeds then it probably needs a new one. If they are just taking a shot in the dark and hoping for a big payout then it might not need one.

A second opinion wouldn't hurt. You might look for a shop that offers free AC diagnosis and see what they say about it. Just don't tell them what the other shop said or they will follow suit without even looking closely at it.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Good advice. Thanks for your time, Jared.
Expert:  Jared D replied 6 months ago.

Let me know if you need additional info.

Please don't forget to rate.

Expert:  Jared D replied 6 months ago.

Good morning,

I wanted to check and see if you needed any additional help.

If you no longer need help, please don't forget to rate.