Any Pug air conditioning specialists in Sydney?
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Icon9 Any Pug air conditioning specialists in Sydney?

    I have a 1995 306XR which has under 50,000 Ks on the clock but the air conditioning has died (completely).

    My local auto electrician has quoted me +/- $3,000 to fix it - he says that I need a new evaporator/compressor and that the last time he did this job (approx 3 years ago for the same model as mine) the part alone cost about $1200 from France. He also told me that the labour charge is very high because he basically has to take out the entire engine to do the job.

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    As it's warming up in Sydney I was wondering if anyone else has had the same problem and found someone who*was good but who didn't charge about half what the car is worth to fix the aircon?

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! Wintermute's Avatar
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    Take it to a peugeot dealer or pug specialist and see what they say. The bit about taking the engine out to replace the compressor sounds rediculous to me! I'd be very sceptical about anything this guy tells you....

    Tony.
    306 S16 1995 black
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  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! Kyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wintermute
    Take it to a peugeot dealer or pug specialist and see what they say. The bit about taking the engine out to replace the compressor sounds rediculous to me! I'd be very sceptical about anything this guy tells you....

    Tony.
    Especially considering the ac pump is almost the lowest component in the engine bay.... Piss easy to access...

  4. #4
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Sounds like you've found yourself a right one here. These melodramatic fault diagnosis in Sydney seem like the latest con to rip off French car owners. Do yourself and your bank balance a favour and don't ever spend another cent with this guy, he's at best an idiot or at worst a con artist.
    If it's the evaporator, then the reason he's hit the panic button is due to the dash needing to come out to access; the compressor as has been said is only a minor thing. My point is that unless you've been a victim of a strange phenomena, rarely if ever do two components die at once, particularly these two and usually a diagnosis that points at both ends of any system tells me that the one doing the diagnosing is working on the theory that if you replace everything, then this rules the law of averages out and it surely must work.
    In the past week, I've seen two dodgy diagnosis; one that cost the owner $850 that I diagnosed and advised a fix on the 'net which turned out to be a mixture adjustment and another where the customer was told something was going to make a spectacular difference which was in fact part of normal work practice when regassing a system; doubtless if he gets it done it should make a spectacular difference to his bank balance.
    Get a couple of quotes and see how they compare, but my guess would be if it's in the evaporator region that it will be <$100 for a new valve plus regas etc. Do you know if it has had the conversion from R12 done or if in fact it was an R134a system? Could be that you're still running the old R12 seals which may need doing. From cars I've seen, this seems like a common thing with Sydney cars; many have been charged to be done but very few have been.

    Alan S
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  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! slick's Avatar
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    stay well away from the mechanic quoting $3000... he probably doesnt want to do it so he's overpricing it to make you go away or he's a crook trying to rip you off.

    Ive had a similar problem a year or so ago with the air con blowing only hot air a few weeks after I've had it regassed. The compressor basically died of old age. I got a quote of $2000 initially from my dad's mechanic and so we're not going there again. After many phone calls I got anoter few quotes. $800 for a new compressor + $100 for a new regass after installation. I managed to find a compressor in a wrecked 1999 306 which fits prefectily and only paid about $300 installed. Then $100 later I had it regassed and compressor was also lubricated when regassed because it sat around in the wrecked car for 12 months with no use. Did the whole thing for under $500. Now it's very cold and I'm glad it's going well with 30 degree weather in Sydney this week
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  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! slick's Avatar
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    one more thing... it's easy to access the compressor as Kyle said. The guy I got my compressor from installed it himself in about 30 - 45 minutes on his front lawn. And also it should be R134a in the 1995 306. My 1994 306 S16 also had the newer type of gas. Obviously get any seals/ o-rings etc replaced at this time cause it's gonna save you $$$ later on. Some dodgey mechanics might forget about those
    1994 306 S16 sold but not forgotten
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  7. #7
    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    Ring this guy. Myself and other Pug owners have used him many times.

    A C Mobile Auto Air
    0417 703 700

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    Quote Originally Posted by RibbitRibbit
    I have a 1995 306XR which has under 50,000 Ks on the clock but the air conditioning has died (completely).

    My local auto electrician has quoted me +/- $3,000 to fix it - he says that I need a new evaporator/compressor and that the last time he did this job (approx 3 years ago for the same model as mine) the part alone cost about $1200 from France. He also told me that the labour charge is very high because he basically has to take out the entire engine to do the job.

    As it's warming up in Sydney I was wondering if anyone else has had the same problem and found someone who*was good but who didn't charge about half what the car is worth to fix the aircon?

    Cheers
    What on earth would an auto ELECTRICIAN know about air con compressors and evaporators??????????? he goes as far as the electric clutch on the front, the buck stops there for him!!!!!!..........

    take it to a mechanic and get a second/third opinion..............

  9. #9
    Tadpole
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterT
    Ring this guy. Myself and other Pug owners have used him many times.

    A C Mobile Auto Air
    0417 703 700
    Thanks Peter, I called a while ago and spoke with Craig. He said that he hasn't personally replaced an evaporator on a 306 but thinks it will be an expensive job because the entire dashboard has to be removed to replace the evaporator. He also mentioned that a replacement evaporator is an expensive item (he wasn't sure exactly how much it would cost) - he also said that he would speak to someone else he knows who may have done the job before - although he did say that everyone 'avoids them like the plague'. He thought (off the top of his head) that I might well be looking at $1500 - $2000 because there's a couple of days labour involved

    Looking through the Archives I noticed that a lot of Pug owners recommend a mechanic called Paul Vassallo in Ryde, but also said that he was 'A P Automotive' - according to the White Pages there is now an entry for A P Automotive in President Avenue, Monterey. Does anyone know if this is the same mechanic? I thought it might be worthwhile taking my car to him to be checked out.

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! Wintermute's Avatar
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    The other thing I would say is not to necessarily trust the first guys diagnosis!! yeah maybe the evapourator is cactus but maybe it is just that the seals in the compressor have gone! could be something as simple as the wiring for the clutch on the compressor is dodgy and the compressor is not even cutting in! Remember he told you that the reason it was expensive was because he had to take the engine out, not the dash board!!!! (although having read the instructions in Haynes manual for removing the dash, I can see that it would be expensive!).

    OK that address you have is not Pauls. He is on Victoria Rd Gladesville (pretty much opposite Gladesville business park). Address is 441 Victoria Rd. Phone is 9817 2134.

    Tony.
    Last edited by Wintermute; 29th October 2005 at 03:55 PM.
    306 S16 1995 black
    Morris 1100 1965 green

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts HONG KONG PUGGY's Avatar
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    Default Replacement compressors

    If it turns out you need a new compressor, try these people. I had a quote form him for one of rmy old S**b9000 and it was under $500 delivered to me in Brisbane. They are new not reco replacements too.

    Good luck,
    Chris


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  12. #12
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    I'd like to know what's "gone" on the evaporator which was my point exactly.
    In several years of refrigeration and air/con service, the only evaporators I'd seen needing replacement were the ones that had firstly malfunctioned, frosted up and were subsequently defrosted with a hammer or a coke bottle.
    Last year I did my sons Lancer over as his air/con had operated for about a month after he bought the car off a local tyre kicker. It was a Sydney car with the dreaded FSH that showed mega bucks spent on air/con service. I disassembled the entire system and drained all the dye from it as it had a history of every year having the system "tested" and dye being added; sometimes 2 and 3 times a year, but obviously nobody ever checked to see if the dye was coming out anywhere because when I removed the covers off the evaporator (not an easy job on a Jap car either incidentally) I discovered there was not one "O" ring that had been replaced with the neoprene ones that should be in a 134a system even though it had constantly been charged with R134a and there was also a bill for converting it. To ad insult to injury, the main leak was at a joint where an "O" ring had never been fitted. It has gone ever since, so the point is that I will bet that the leak at the evapoorator will either be at the T/X valve or at a joint and I doubt very much if the evaporator will need replacing.
    Unfortunately, when someone who has learnt someone elses trade via a mickey mouse Tafe course start diagnosing, theories often take precedence over a systematic diagnosis that a proper tradesman would have done and there's a tendency to always look at a worse case scenario.
    Forget the 12 Volt sparkys diagnosis, don't even put it into the head of whoever you take it to; let them do their own without putting ideas into their heads which may just throw them off the track.


    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=RibbitRibbit]Thanks Peter, I called a while ago and spoke with Craig. He said that he hasn't personally replaced an evaporator on a 306 but thinks it will be an expensive job because the entire dashboard has to be removed to replace the evaporator. He also mentioned that a replacement evaporator is an expensive item (he wasn't sure exactly how much it would cost) -

    The evaporator an an Audi 80 V6 is a Valeo. Replecement item is from $70 to about $300. There is an independent Audi/VW place in Collingwood Melbourne who sells the evaporator for about $70. I've replaced one.
    It's not that uncommon for them to leak as they have plastic tanks/things on either end. If you search threads i think a cit dealer in Fairfield Melbourne has an alternative that has no platic (i.e. its properly made). Don't know if it fits a pug but there is a good chance as they all may be Valeo.
    By the way, taking out the dash is not rocket scienc - just a bit of work.
    Hope you sort it for a reasonable price
    JoBo
    Last edited by JoBo; 29th October 2005 at 07:59 PM.

  14. #14
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    OK that address you have is not Pauls. He is on Victoria Rd Gladesville (pretty much opposite Gladesville business park). Address is 441 Victoria Rd. Phone is 9817 2134.

    Tony.[/QUOTE]

    Paul Vassalo is great - he recommended Star automotive on Buffalo Rd in Gladesville for A/C work. They fixed up my 505 air simply and cheaply.

  15. #15
    Tadpole
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    Quote Originally Posted by gecko558
    OK that address you have is not Pauls. He is on Victoria Rd Gladesville (pretty much opposite Gladesville business park). Address is 441 Victoria Rd. Phone is 9817 2134.

    Tony.
    Paul Vassalo is great - he recommended Star automotive on Buffalo Rd in Gladesville for A/C work. They fixed up my 505 air simply and cheaply.[/QUOTE]

    I would like to give them a call tomorrow but when I tried to find Star Automotive in the whitepages.com listings nothing came up. Is there a chance that you have the telephone number for them? My car is due for a service, too, so I think I will phone Paul Vassalo and see if I can book it in with him.

  16. #16
    Tadpole
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    Alan, is there some way I can find out from the owner's manual whether my system is R12 or R134a - I have no idea what this refers to! I bought the car new from City Automobiles in 1995 and have the original handbooks etc, but could find no mention of anything to do with the air conditioning (guess the owners aren't meant to know).

    When you say that I shouldn't mention anything to the air con service people about my previous air conditioning diagnosis, should I not tell them that I was told it was leaking from the evaporator? (This was after I paid $130 for a 'nitro test and regas with fluoro dye' - the re-gassing didn't last 24 hours)!

    i just don't want to have to pay again to get the same (?) diagnosis.

    Cheers

  17. #17
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    It seems from the Pug guys anyway, that the concensus is that it will be R134a. If it was originally an R12 & it's been converted, it should have a sticker under the bonnet somewhere informing you or anyone who works on it in the future, in fact there should even be a sticker there advising that a tracer dye was put in the system and included on that should also be the type of gas, amount and date it was put in. Any competant repairer will know how to recognise that so don't worry about that part of the job.
    I may be sounding a bit gung ho saying not to inform the repairer of what has been done, but I would suggest at best to simply say the pevious repairer ran a dye through it but didn't "pin point" the leak. My guess is that at best he has either spotted some dye in the general vicinity or hasn't found it anywhere else so presumed that is where the leak has to be. If he thinks he has to dismantle the car, I have no doubts he hasn't accessed the area of concern. My BX had a gigantic leak on the "evaporator" in fact it was dripping oil off the cover plate but it was from the T/X valve which had a split bellows and was accessable in my case via the opening for the glovebox and took 5 minutes to change.

    This is what the case looked like:

    http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/att...achmentid=2997

    and if you look at the valve, you can see it's covered in oil; the oil came from the bellows (circular looking thing at the rhs of the valve)

    http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/att...achmentid=2998

    There would be so much dye floating around in a case like this that an inexperienced repairer would blame a leak in the coil whereas someone with a bit of experience would look closer for the cause but may assume it has been physically seen if someone else has "diagnosed" it, that the coil is it.
    As you can see, apart from vibrating itself and scuffing through or fracturing a pipe, there is almost no way these can be damaged and are usually held so securely that that rarely ever happens.
    Your first guy "may" have used a leak detector also which would have shown a leak in that area but if he didn't access he would be guessing. You need someone who can troubleshoot based on fact and any suggestions from someone else he may just take on board and follow his assumptions which would leave you back where you started. If he can see a distinct leak on the coil, he should be able to show it to you, otherwise, it's just a guess.




    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  18. #18
    Tadpole
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    Your first guy "may" have used a leak detector also which would have shown a leak in that area but if he didn't access he would be guessing. You need someone who can troubleshoot based on fact and any suggestions from someone else he may just take on board and follow his assumptions which would leave you back where you started. If he can see a distinct leak on the coil, he should be able to show it to you, otherwise, it's just a guess.

    Alan S
    Many thanks for all the time and information Alan. I recall that the auto electrician simply seemed to use a light bulb that was meant to disclose the fluorescent dye. He had great difficulty locating any leak but, eventually, said he could see some dye that indicated it was coming from the evaporator and that this indicated it was a major problem! I believe I shall try and locate the Star Automotive that was mentioned in a previous post and see if I have some luck with them.

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