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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?
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.
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.
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