After spending $2000 to replace the air conditioning compressor and condenser on my Prius, the A/C stopped working again. The dealer now says there is a leak in the refrigerant line and wants $675 to fix it. Is this reasonable?
by Visitor in Belmont, MA on August 31, 2010
I had a 2004 Prius that I took in to a dealer for a tune up at about 125,000 miles. It was winter when I had the work done. While there, I found a 2006 Prius and bought it. Just after getting the 2004 back from service, I was cleaning it and checking it out to put on the market and found the air conditioning didn't work. I took it back and they charged the system with new coolant and a die they said would show where the leak was. Now the air was working and I sold the car. I told the new owner about the air problem and said I would pay for the repair. He should just wait for the air to stop working. It did and he took it back to the same dealer. They wanted $2000 to replace the "broken" parts. He took it to a different dealer that did the job for $700. Two weeks later, the air quit again and cost him another $700 for repairs. Is this a scam run by the dealers.? My brother-in-law who works in a junk yard as a mechanic says all they have to do is loosen a nut in the coolant line and allow the coolant to leak out slowly and a few weeks later the air stops working. They just have to tighten the nut and recharge the system for everything to work fine again. I'm afraid to take the car in to a dealer now. At least make sure the air is working on your car when you leave it at the dealer and check it again a week or so after. If they are doing this, it would be hard to catch them short of a hidden camera.