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Air Conditioning Repair ... HELP !

 
Old 05-03-2012, 11:00 PM
  #1  
Don't lift
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Default Air Conditioning Repair ... HELP !

I've been dealing with my A/C problem ( not blowing cold ) for over a year ...

1) Mechanic "A" thought the evaporator, put dye in system but couldn't find obvious leak. Meanwhile his computer indicates a faulty ballast ( the one inside the driver's side front wheel well ) Replaced ballast...BANG cold air !!!!!
But only for couple of days.

Fast forward ..... months later...

2) Mechanic "B" thought it might be the CCU, said he will borrow one to test out. Never heard from him again !

Again...fast forward months later...

3) Yesterday I visited the local Dealer, their Mechanic "C" said evaporator with an repair estimate of $3963.00.....YIKES ! ( I was quoted under $2K by Mechanic "A" to replace the evaporator.)
________________________________________________________________
I'm not new to 911s, have searched this forum and read all regarding this topic. Have a few questions for the A/C Gurus on this board:

1) When a evaporator needs replacing, I assume because it is leaking freon, therefore if freon level is low or all leaked out...hence no cold air. Right?
If the answer is yes, can freon be added as often as it leaks out and keeping the air cold?
2) My Freon level was topped by Mechanic "A" over a year ago, and yesterday the level was still good. If the freon level didn't get leak out in the past year, why still no cold air?
3) Why after a new ballast was put in and air was cold for couple days?
4) Is there a temperature sensor that could've gone bad?
5) Is there any definitive method to pinpoint to the Evaporator?
________________________________________________________________
I am in So Cal, still looking for the best mechanic/shop in 993 A/C repairs.
aware of Callas, TRE, Hergerhiemer.....any other recommendation ?

Really need some HELP......TIA!
______________
'97 Blk/Blk C2S
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:47 PM
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I think the best SoCal shop for air-cooled Porsches is "200 N. Motorworks" on LaCienega Bl, just south of Pico; they specialize in air-cooled Porsches. Not affiliated, just a very pleased customer. Mostly because they've ALWAYS diagnosed the problem right the first time, and they're much less expensive than Callas, TRE, Herg's etc.

The shop is run by two brothers who were Porsche factory trained in Germany, used to work for Beverly Hills Porsche, then opened their own shop about 20 years ago. Might be the best kept secret in L.A.

(310)358-5521. Ask for Mark, tell him Philip in the silver 993 C4S recommended you. Many Rennlisters here in SoCal in the know use them when they want the problem fixed right the first time, and at the best price around to boot.

Good luck.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:09 AM
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Having just completed a DIY evaporator replacement, I can tell you the job is doable, but is a real PIA. My method for pinpointing the evaporator as the problem was to basically eliminate everything else as a possible problem first. The evaporator on our cars is a known issue. When you pull it, you see why. Mine was covered with obvious leaks that a sniffer barely picked up.

When you replace it (and you will almost certainly have to) be sure to get the Kuehl evap from Griffiths. Don't forget to replace your Drier at the same time.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:12 AM
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Leak=no refrigerant fluid=no cold air. Correct.
If you have no leak and the level is OK, you could have problems with the mixer flap servos. heated air would then overshadow any cooled air from the evaporator.
The ballast resistor will not significantly influence on the cooling effect, but the condenser fan will run intermittenlty on high to keep up. This is not good, you'll have higher pressures than normal in the system.

It is difficult to spot leaks in the evaporator by adding dye. Especially if the leak is minor, no dye will then exit through the evap drain pipe. The best way is to fill the system with nitrogen and sniff for leaks through the resirculation opening under the dashboard. An A/C specialist do this.

Have a look here for details:
www.porschehvac.bergvill.com

Cheers,
Tore

Last edited by ToreB; 05-04-2012 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:02 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Don't lift View Post
I've been dealing with my A/C problem ( not blowing cold ) for over a year ...

1) Mechanic "A" thought the evaporator, put dye in system but couldn't find obvious leak. Meanwhile his computer indicates a faulty ballast ( the one inside the driver's side front wheel well ) Replaced ballast...BANG cold air !!!!!
But only for couple of days. In order to check for a leak with a dye/black light test you need to be able to see the dye. Verify difficult with an evaporator that is in a case that is closed, unless the dye leaks out the bottom of the condensation tube under the car. An electronic leak detector is the choice tool and you would sniff the vents. You could have had 2 issues, the ballast and a leak somewhere.

Fast forward ..... months later...

2) Mechanic "B" thought it might be the CCU, said he will borrow one to test out. Never heard from him again ! He needs a secretary or you need to do the followup.

Again...fast forward months later...

3) Yesterday I visited the local Dealer, their Mechanic "C" said evaporator with an repair estimate of $3963.00.....YIKES ! ( I was quoted under $2K by Mechanic "A" to replace the evaporator.) We'll, that's 2 out of 3. The labor is rather costly, probably 12-15 hours plus evac, charge and test. Maybe is time to consider buying Mechanic A dinner.
________________________________________________________________
I'm not new to 911s, have searched this forum and read all regarding this topic. Have a few questions for the A/C Gurus on this board:

1) When a evaporator needs replacing, I assume because it is leaking freon, therefore if freon level is low or all leaked out...hence no cold air. Right?
If the answer is yes, can freon be added as often as it leaks out and keeping the air cold? When refrigerant levels are low you will not have good cooling performance and you can damage your compressor. If you want to continually have a AC with a leak you will need to continually "evac, charge and test".
2) My Freon level was topped by Mechanic "A" over a year ago, and yesterday the level was still good. If the freon level didn't get leak out in the past year, why still no cold air? If you have a leak the leakage rate is a matter of time and pressure. The longer you run the system the more it leaks, as well the higher the pressures the more it leaks. To determine how much refrigerant might be in the system you would need to check the pressures.
3) Why after a new ballast was put in and air was cold for couple days? I would have to review the circuit but off the top of my head a 'ballast' is used for fans
4) Is there a temperature sensor that could've gone bad? Would have to review the circuit again but there are a few sensors, such as one in the evap core and one in the cockpit
5) Is there any definitive method to pinpoint to the Evaporator?Answered that one, sniff, sniff
________________________________________________________________
I am in So Cal, still looking for the best mechanic/shop in 993 A/C repairs.
aware of Callas, TRE, Hergerhiemer.....any other recommendation ?

Really need some HELP......TIA!
______________
'97 Blk/Blk C2S
send an email to [email protected] or call us at 800-451-7225
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:19 AM
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At the compressor there is a seal that apparently leaks and is common to our cars (says my porsche mechanic), check that out. Add dye and run it for a few days and check the inside top of the engine lid to see any splatter marks.

I had that issue and my evaporator was fried, even though he added dye, he couldnt see any big leaks from my evaporator. When he look the evaporator off, it looks nasty and with visible leaks.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:38 AM
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As usual, using the 'shotgun' approach to troubleshooting will result in wasted
time and money, i.e. assuming the evaporator is the problem. A simple diagnosis
is not that complicated, e.g. just get some pressure gauges and use a Porsche
diagnostic tool (PST2, PIWIS, Rennlist DIY).
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:42 PM
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Gentlemen....thanks for your replies !

Goofballdeluxe
Will give Mark a call.

timabe
This is beyond my DIY ability.

ToreB
Visited your Web page, what a wealth of specific information !
Wish I can find someone with your knowledge in California.
Any traveling plan to LA in the near future? LOL

griffiths
Will contact for the Kuehl if/when needed.

gaby1088
Will take a look at my engine lid.

Lorenfb
"A simple diagnosis is not that complicated".....yeah right
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
OK....I'm still not sure WHO to go to for this repair !

I find it very strange that out the whole SoCal, there is not a "KNOWN" 993 HVAC specialist !?
Plus all SoCal members on this board must have had experiences with A/C repairs but yet no definitive info.? I was hoping to get an answer like ... So and so did a great job diagnose my 993 A/C problem, replaced my evaporator etc.... cost me this, highly recommend etc....

I hope at the end of my 993 HVAC repair saga, I can post a thread to help future members where to go!
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:42 PM
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Current update ...

Took my car in to Mark at "200 N. Motorworks" ( Goofballdeluxe ... Thanks for your recommendation ! )

They checked the whole system, all the servos are working properly, no obvious leak detected except the freon level was very low causing the compressor to not run. They evacuate, recharge the system and it blows cold! Mark at the shop told me to drive the car more, use the A/C and see...
So far after 1 month and approx 750 miles plus a 90 degree outside today, happy to report that the A/C is still blowing cold ! The real test will be in the summer...

Thus far, very happy with Mark as I found them to be professional, personable and very knowledgeable.
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Don't lift View Post
Current update ...

Took my car in to Mark at "200 N. Motorworks" ( Goofballdeluxe ... Thanks for your recommendation ! )

They checked the whole system, all the servos are working properly, no obvious leak detected except the freon level was very low causing the compressor to not run. They evacuate, recharge the system and it blows cold! Mark at the shop told me to drive the car more, use the A/C and see...
So far after 1 month and approx 750 miles plus a 90 degree outside today, happy to report that the A/C is still blowing cold ! The real test will be in the summer...

Thus far, very happy with Mark as I found them to be professional, personable and very knowledgeable.
_____________
'97 Blk/Blk C2S

Told ya they were great over there! And Mark is not only a gifted mechanic, but a terrific guy and as honest as they come. He's been my mechanic for over 7 years, and I've always found Mark and his crew to be about as good as they come.

I'm gonna take a guess and say that their fix was waay less than the nearly $4K that "Mechanic C" said it was to fix. Probably waay less than the $2K the other guy wanted, too.

Looks like you found your great 993 mechanic who knows what he's doing, and is priced fairly, too. Glad I could help
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Don't lift View Post
Current update ...

They checked the whole system

except the freon level was very low
??????
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:16 AM
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Lorenfb
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As previously posted:

"A simple diagnosis is not that complicated, e.g. just get some pressure gauges
and use a Porsche diagnostic tool (PST2, PIWIS, Rennlist DIY)."

Bottom line: It's always back to the simple basics for a solution!
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Old 06-22-2012, 11:28 AM
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Loren

soooo right
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Old 08-28-2012, 12:54 AM
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I recommend you to contact securecomfort. They provide the best Air Conditioning Repair Services, at an affordable price
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Lorenfb View Post
As usual, using the 'shotgun' approach to troubleshooting will result in wasted time and money.
Amen and true with any system one is troubleshooting.


Originally Posted by Lorenfb View Post
A simple diagnosis is not that complicated, e.g. just get some pressure gauges.
And they're not that expensive...less than the cost of an hour of labor and you end up with a tool for life.
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