Saturday, September 17, 2011

Car Problems. I Want to Share This!

No photos today.  I have to share an experience from this week and hopefully it will benefit others.  My 1999 Yukon, which will be mine until its death or mine, started leaking water and antifreeze earlier this week.......trip to car hospital for a new radiator, hoses, serpentine belt, (oh heck, why not, it'd been sounding whirly twirly for quite some time), fuel filter, coolant flush, 20,000 point check, tire rotate because car hospital said I was in extreme danger (seriously, that's what they said) and about $1000 later I'm the proud owner of a rehabbed gas-sucking clunker (it's paid for folks, what can I say).

After work, DH and I drove to pick up my now-all-better Yuke, and while I was in giving the car salesman (after hours, service people are sitting down to their suppers while the car salemen are still selling) my pla$tic, my better half starts silently signaling me in "uh-oh" animation so I step outside to see what's up.  My Yuke has two air conditioners....I don't know just does, front and back.  The back is blowing out heat.......not just uncooled air.......heat, hot, just short of flaming, muy caliente.  Front A/C vents fine.........cold.  We left without the Yuke, requesting an inspection the next morning to figure out what went wrong with the A/C.

Next day, my wonderful, favorite service rep of years calls and she has her own version of "uh-oh"  She just says "uh-oh". They'd pressure tested my A/C, lines, condenser, compressor, or whatever they pressure test, and I have leaks and I'm low on freon..........for a start.  Now.......I've always felt comfortable with her, but without going into detail, there were more than a few tips the day before that not all might be hunky-dory in her service world right now, ummmmmm like uhhhhhh she said I could die in a horrendous crash without new tires when my tire man, just a few weeks ago, said I had at least another 5,000 miles.  And I went to him to buy new tires; does that sound like bad tires?! From a tire salesman? 

There's just something that doesn't feel right about a car that goes in with a happy A/C and a few hours later and a lot of servicing rolls out with a hot A/C, no? I mean, I know there are some spooky coincidences on this earth, but I was having trouble with this one. And in 2009 the condenser, switch, hoses were replaced and freon (or whatever they use now) was replaced so it's not like I don't realize the A/C in an 13 year old Yuke can't be sick.

6th sense told me that the Yuke and I needed to leave. So we did, and crap, on the way home the front A/C starts heating me up.........slowly but surely. So now I'm getting mad. I arrive at the office, my boss starts getting as mad as I am (he gets his car fixed at some undisclosed location that even the Secret Service is unaware of, backyard garage, communication by hand because of language barrier, but cheap cheap cheap) so he spends time online just looking for my engine and A/C manuals, comments etc.  And here is what he found that you all need to know because it appears to be exactly what happened to my Yuke A/C.

After finding similar A/C issues in Yukes and other cars, sometimes while playing under the hood, the car computer can shut down the A/C cooling.  There were several solutions involving fuses, the battery or just an order of shutting down the A/C controls and the ignition.  This is what he found in the Edmunds car forums as a suggestion:

Make sure HEAT /AC OFF positions, start vehicle.
Turn vehicle OFF.
Disconnect ( - ) negative battery cable.
Remove HVAC / AC fuses ( you might have fuses under dash and hood ? )
Let vehicle sit 30 minutes.
Connect ( - ) negative battery cable, start vehicle for few minutes.
Turn OFF.
Install HVAC / AC fuses.
Start vehicle.

I am not a car mechanic, my better half is not a car mechanic, my boss is not a car mechanic.  I hereby disclaim any responsibility for screwing up your car if you try this. But, it worked and has stayed working. This evidently re-sets your car's computer which evidently communicates to your A/C it's ok to start blowing cold air again.  My DH did more research after learning about this and it appears not only do mechanics know this but gleefully take your green bills to "repair" your A/C.  I must say we must give this a serious test by driving the vehicle for many days with the A/C blowing, which in FL is not too difficult.  If indeed, I have no freon, if I have leaks, or my A/C is shot, I'll be the first to come back and say I was wrong.  But this is evidently not an uncommon scene. So it's worth sharing the story if it can save you the aggravation of a A/C service fee for nothing. And we all know A/Cs truly do leak, get sick and die so all car mechanics out there, I'm trying to keep your jobs for you too.  We do need you........the ethical and honest ones.....all of us.


Wax Beach Artist said...

Unfortunately there are many crooks in this world waiting to take advantage of all of us. I hate, hate, hate, to have to go to a mechanic, they seem to be some of the worst. It is hard to find a trusty one! Still looking...

It's great your boss helped you like that! You must be an honest, loyal and dedicated employee or he most likely would not have bothered.

I am currently having computer issues. I have gone to the computer doctors and even the ones you have to call spending all day on the phone with them...patience running low. Does he know anything about computers?

Jessie said...

Wow! That's some story! I'm so glad you and your boss thought to do some internet research before you plunked down more money to pay for a nonexistent problem. What on earth did we ever do before the internet???

Seems like every blooming thing on vehicles is run by computer these days; it only makes sense that sometimes those just need a reset, too.

Hope you're staying cool!

whyte said...

Wax, been in those shoes too. A past employer went to the local high school and asked about hiring one of the top computer students there. He ended up working for them for almost 4-5 years.......all thru his college years.

Jessie, I internet. We've done a ton of self-help searching, (including computers Wax!)

LuLu Kellogg said...

Hi Pat!!! I remember you from Silver Bella! Thank you so much for popping by my little corner of Halloween Land and leaving your lovely comments on my Blog about my weight loss. That meant the world to me. It's certainly not been an easy journey but SO worth it since I feel like a new person :) Do come back and visit again!!

whyte said...

Hi Lulu, so glad to "see" you again. You are and will be an inspiration to so many, sharing your journey and success! Thank you!