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94 Es300 Evaporator Shot

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took it in to diagnose my A/c problem and turns out the evaporator is screwed up...they say they'll replace it and the expansion valve at the same time. Estimate w/ parts is $650. I'm probably gonna buy the parts myself (saving $100) and use a shop where a friend of mine gets a discount. So maybe I can knock it down to $350 HOPEFULLY! I'd do this myself but the system has to be discharged first.

A/C gradually went warm.

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You said your "AC gradually went warm". That sounds like a gradual refrigerant leak, possibly from a rubber 0-ring seal connection on the evaporator. For $15 bucks you could try to recharge it yourself to see if the cold air returns. Periodically topping off a system that has a small leak is cheap.

AC shops always seek the most expensive way possible to fix something. Like instead of replacing a 50 cent rubber 0-ring, they'd rather replace the entire evaporator for several hundred dollars. An evaporator is like a radiator - it's sealed and should not leak except possibly as a hose / metal fitting connection point.

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I'm sure your evaporator is fine. Check your high and low pressures when it fails to cool. If the low side drops into a vacuum, your expasion valve is stuck. Common on 1994-1996 Es300's

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Keep in mind though that refilling an a/c system that already has a leak is just adding to the depletion on the ozone layer.  That's why you can't get R-12 unless your are licensed.

Countless thousands of pounds of R12 is still used worldwide in 3rd world countries because it's still legal there and much of the R12 that is left in the first world countries will eventually be released into the atmosphere anyway because the containers it's stored in will eventually rust / corrode. Finally, ozone depletion is a temporary, reversible phenomenon.

Incidentally, I am licensed and one of the things every licensed person learns is that it is NOT illegal (ironically!) to add R12 refrigerant to a system that has a leak. It's just technically illegal to intentionally vent R12 directly to the atmosphere (although I've never heard of a do-it-yourselfer that was fined for doing it).

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very glad you replied mehullica...I read every topic regarding A/C and it was almost always an expansion valve, but just figured (dunno why) the guy I spoke with was honest...here's the exact of how it happened...

about a month ago I noticed the air not as cold as usual but it was really hot out so I figured no big deal...then it was fine again for like a week...then once again it wasn't warm or anything just not COLD...then fine again...til me n my G/F were 50 miles into the 90 mile trip to the beach on a 95 degree day and it went from cold ten minutes into the trip to slowly warm an hour in...so like you mentioned I figured the freon gradually found a way out and recharged it...the system wouldn't take any out of the bottle...(or if it did it was VERY little) and the air was not any better. So since then when you FIRST turn the car, the A/C at full blast isn't cold or even chilly but BARELY below room temperature or whatever you'd say then it quickly goes back to warm and no coldness at all.

OK so yesterday I took it to have it checked and the guy showed me the gauges and that it was way outta wack...he spoke broken english of course but from what I gathered the High side pressure was too low and the Low too high or vice versa...I just know something was screwed up and showing bigtime on the gauges...but the compressor fires right up and everything and I believe the system is holding freon fine.

so anyway, that's where I'm at right now. Ya know I seriously am tempted to have a buddy of mine discharge it then me go to advance buy the 40$ valve and roll up my sleeves. Even if it's a huge headache it's worth saving at least $400 I think!

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