AC problems on 2005 Acura RL

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Hi--I have a 2005 Acura RL, and just recently have been having issues with the air conditioning. When I start the car sometimes the car will get cold, sometimes it won't. I took my car to a supposedly reputable honda/acura mechanic, and he said that I need a new compressor and that would cost ~1500$. First, can the compressor be bad even if the car ac works intermittently (I was guessing it would be a electrical issue). Second, is $1500 a unreasonable cost to replace the compressor?
(1) Answer
This will need to be inspected by a good Climate Control Diagnostic person. I would get a second opinion, and yes $1500 is a bit out of line for an Acura Compressor repair/replacement. The new factory part costs $821, a new receiver dryer is $55 so that is REALLY expensive labor, again get a second opinion.
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