$2000 to Inspect for A/C Leak? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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$2000 to Inspect for A/C Leak?

I believe I have a freon leak since freon needs to be replaced more often than it should for A/C to blow cold. Dye has not shown the point of leak, so my service group suspects the problem is the evaporator. They need to take the front clam off to get to the evaporator and check. They charge $1900 to remove the front clam and more to actually do the inspection & repair.

Hopefully, there is a less expensive alternative? Or at least a less expensive shop that does quality work on Lotuses near San Diego? The car is an 05 Elise.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 10:11 AM
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I'll take your front clam off for $500 and put it back on for free.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 10:17 AM
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I did the resistor pack delete last fall and replaced my evaporator while I was in there. Shops do charge that much for the clam removal but you can do it yourself pretty easily. Once the clam is off, the evaporator is fairly easy to get to and I replaced mine with one from NAPA for $20.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by staggarlee View Post
I did the resistor pack delete last fall and replaced my evaporator while I was in there. Shops do charge that much for the clam removal but you can do it yourself pretty easily. Once the clam is off, the evaporator is fairly easy to get to and I replaced mine with one from NAPA for $20.
I may give it a try. Where can I find detailed instructions about how to remove and replace the clam?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 10:41 AM
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Don't gamble. Put a can of freon and check with sniffer or infrared tester. It could be compressor leak. Evaporator leak, you can smell it from vent hole.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by NolanA View Post
I may give it a try. Where can I find detailed instructions about how to remove and replace the clam?
Step by step with pictures. I printed these out and had no problems. It's just time consuming.

Lotus Elise Maintenance, How to Remove the Front Clam

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by staggarlee View Post
I did the resistor pack delete last fall and replaced my evaporator while I was in there. Shops do charge that much for the clam removal but you can do it yourself pretty easily. Once the clam is off, the evaporator is fairly easy to get to and I replaced mine with one from NAPA for $20.
The evaporator is the coil inside the plastic box; maybe you are thinking of the receiver drier (generally a black canister with fittings at the top where the liquid lines attach).

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by azac View Post
The evaporator is the coil inside the plastic box; maybe you are thinking of the receiver drier (generally a black canister with fittings at the top where the liquid lines attach).
Crap! You're right, I wasn't thinking. I believe the receiver/drier is recommended to be replaced anytime you open the system. It's a cheap part anyway.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azac View Post
The evaporator is the coil inside the plastic box; maybe you are thinking of the receiver drier (generally a black canister with fittings at the top where the liquid lines attach).
San Diego isn't that far from Tucson... if you don't feel like trying this yourself I'd highly recommend azac to look at it
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 07:01 PM
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Garage
These cars have A/C?

Here in Wisconsin we only use the heater... especially this year.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-26-2011, 07:22 PM
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the Elise has a Heater???

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Originally Posted by GR82DRV View Post
These cars have A/C?

Here in Wisconsin we only use the heater... especially this year.
gotta check the manual you might be wrong! I never used it! we use AC 9 months out of 12 the rest is top & window down!!!

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by NolanA View Post
I believe I have a freon leak since freon needs to be replaced more often than it should for A/C to blow cold. Dye has not shown the point of leak, so my service group suspects the problem is the evaporator. They need to take the front clam off to get to the evaporator and check. They charge $1900 to remove the front clam and more to actually do the inspection & repair.

Hopefully, there is a less expensive alternative? Or at least a less expensive shop that does quality work on Lotuses near San Diego? The car is an 05 Elise.
Mine is a RHD Elise. Sent in to repair last month due to the same problem you had and found out that the aircon pipes have holes in them and my ride was only 3 years old. Aircon pipes on the right hand side inside the panel next to the driver seat. There is 2 pipe in there and one of them might have leak as there seems to have alot of small holes on one of the pipes itself and that is the cause to freon leak. I believe that you are having the same problem as me and a few of us in my country have encountered this problem. What my mechanic did was to customize another pipe and saw off the original pipe and and replace it. It works fine now.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-27-2011, 11:30 AM
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Front clam shouldn't take more than 2 hours to take off. I have done it twice and it is quite simple. I did it the second time by myself and only had a friend help me finally remove the clam off once i had all the bolts removed.
i would think most garages charge 125.00 and hour so it should only cost 500 for clam remove and install. then add the diagnosis fee and repair i would think it would cost around 1000 at most
Take the clam off yourself and trailer the car to the garge. have them fix the problem trailer it home. it will probably be cheaper to rent a trailer for the day.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate the feedback. I'd be okay with taking on/off the clam, if that was the whole project. However, it sounds like I'll still need to figure out whether it's the evaporator, compressor, aircon pipes, or something else and replace/fix that part, which is beyond what I want to do myself. Transporting ~30 miles to & from my service center with an open clam (and front wheels off?) also sounds awkward.

So I think the best option for me would be finding a new service place that does quality work on Lotuses and charges more reasonable prices. Does anyone have suggestions? As mentioned earlier, I'm in the San Diego area.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-28-2011, 05:16 PM
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For $2000 u could add freon how many times??? How often do u have to add it? Might not be worth the trouble. Just sayin'
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-29-2011, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NolanA View Post
I appreciate the feedback. I'd be okay with taking on/off the clam, if that was the whole project. However, it sounds like I'll still need to figure out whether it's the evaporator, compressor, aircon pipes, or something else and replace/fix that part, which is beyond what I want to do myself. Transporting ~30 miles to & from my service center with an open clam (and front wheels off?) also sounds awkward.

So I think the best option for me would be finding a new service place that does quality work on Lotuses and charges more reasonable prices. Does anyone have suggestions? As mentioned earlier, I'm in the San Diego area.
You can put the wheels back on and drive it on the trailer. When i swapped my radiator i took the car around my block before putting the clam back to make sure i didn't have any leaks and i got all the bubble bleed out.
Just an option if you can't find another garage.

Maybe just replace all those parts your self then get a garage to recharge the AC system. How much are all those parts?
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