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Timing belt kills air conditioning

 
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Old 23 Aug 2007, 06:43 am
customer20's Avatar
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Default Timing belt kills air conditioning

On these hot days we really enjoyed our ice cold air-conditioner! It was so cold that after a few minutes, we would turn it down a few notches because it got too cold!


A couple of weeks ago the water pump died, and we towed it back to the dealer that sold us the car. It has 87,000 miles on it, and they recommended changing the timing belt and spark plugs at the same time, so we agreed.


When we got the car back the air conditioner didn't cool at all, it was just a fan. So we took it right back, and they said "It was our fault." and topped off the freon.


The next day the air conditioner still didn't cool, and there was an oily spot under the car. We drove it right back, and they "checked all of the connections that they had disconnected during the service" and replaced two "O-rings" without charge, and said the oily spot was likely from the freon leak.


The next day the air conditioner still didn't work so we brought it back again, and this time they want $1,200 to fix a leak behind the dashboard that "they may have made worse by trying to repair it."


My question is: Are they charging me to repair damage they did???
I think so because it worked perfectly before the service. But I'm no mechanic.


Can anyone please explain how changing a timing belt, water pump, and spark plugs could damage an air conditioner?


Thanks.
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Old 23 Aug 2007, 06:58 am
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Default Re: Timing belt kills air conditioning

I think that you are being taken advantage of. If all worked before they should repair it with no further charge. Was this a Chrysler dealer, if so ask to have a district rep come in and discuss the problem with them. Good Luck!!


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Old 23 Aug 2007, 07:38 am
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Default Re: Timing belt kills air conditioning

Agree. Your A/C worked fine before - just tell them you want it working again. Clearly they damaged something with your A/C when they did the timing belt.
If you open the hood, it's quite tight in there. The labor to get at the water pump is about the same as to do the timing belt, which should be done around 100,000 miles, so that's why both are usually done together.
I don't know what they damaged, but the coincidence of the A/C going bad and them working on your car is proof they broke it.
Just keep repeating that you're not going to pay for something they broke. I'm sure they made money off you for your water pump & Timing belt, so don't feel bad.
I would try the A/C right away and not even take the car back until it's working - tell them that.
You might look into a lawyer, and might mention that, too...
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Last edited by quicksilverdon; 23 Aug 2007 at 07:46 am.
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Old 23 Aug 2007, 12:35 pm
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Default Re: Timing belt kills air conditioning

And if you paid by Credit Card:
Call your bank and explain you have been defrauded and are DISPUTING the charge (DISPUTE is the magic word.) Then don't pay that part of your bill.
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Old 23 Aug 2007, 08:03 pm
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Default Re: Timing belt kills air conditioning

Thanks for the quick replies!

I called the Chrysler dealer's service manager and explained that I didn't want to pay for something that I thought they broke, and he said he would look into it and call me back.

A different manager called back and told me that they were replacing the evaporator, which was behind the dashboard, and that it was not removed when the timing belt was changed.

He said it may have been finished off by the pressure changes during repair, but that it was old, and that they would show me the damage when I picked up the car.

Plus, they would reduce the repair bill by 50%. He assured me that it would total less than $600-.

I agreed.

I couldn't prove they did anything wrong, and so it seemed like a fair compromise.

Thanks again.

This is a great group!
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Old 23 Aug 2007, 08:46 pm
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Default Re: Timing belt kills air conditioning

Sounds like they were being fair, even tho they didn't claim responsibility. As long as you are satisfied, go for it.
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Old 25 Aug 2007, 10:31 pm
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Default Re: Timing belt kills air conditioning

A while back I was changing the O2 sensor on my Cavalier. Before the work I had ice cold working AC, after completing the job my AC stopped working. I pretty much determined that my leaning on the AC lines caused the seals to start leaking. If the part he shows you is bad or corroded his explanation seems reasonable.
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Old 19 Jul 2009, 05:55 pm
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Default Re: Timing belt kills air conditioning

I believe that according to "the book", the ac has to be removed to change the t belt. So maybe they removed it and didn't re connect it.
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Old 19 Jul 2009, 07:28 pm
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Default Re: Timing belt kills air conditioning

I had to remove the compressor when I did the timing belt on my car. I'm betting they put it together without any freon the first time. As for the condenser, the pressure cycle from discharging and charging could be the problem there.
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Old 19 Jul 2009, 08:19 pm
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Default Re: Timing belt kills air conditioning

I will say just so you know that the parts under and behind the dash are a PITA to get to, so you would have been paying for mucho labor to get to them. Its not an easy thing to get to.. Just so you know, the cost was a big one for a reason. If they were trying to jack you around is another story..
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