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htoz

A/c Compressor Replacement Question?

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I have a 94 LS400 with 104,000mi. About 2 months after have the timing belt and water-pump replaced, I started having a loud grinding noise from the front of the engine. At first I though it was a problem with the replacement of the timing belt, but after a few miles, the A/C control unit on the dash went completely dark, all the lights went out, and the unit wouldn't work. I then attributed the noise to the A/C compressor. I took it to a local mechanic (not Lexus dealer), who replaced the compressor (said it was bad) and replaced the fuse to the A/C unit in the dash, but he is unable to get the A/C to come back on. He is telling me that the electronic control unit in the dash is bad and needs to be replaced for $900.

Any ideas as to what he may have missed at this point. Any other fuses or switches to get the unit to function? I appreciate any help I can get at this time. I've decided to go without any heat/cooling so far but it's going to get cold pretty soon.

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I think the mechanic is shade tree. On this very board is a detailed (pinned) thread describing your dash light problem. As far as the A/C goes, I think the mechanic is guessing. You can't just replace the compressor without doing the entire system including the evaporator which requires the dashboard to be removed. If you really want the true diagnostic, take it to a Toyota dealer, one that doesn't also have a Lexus dealership.

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take it to a Toyota dealer, one that doesn't also have a Lexus dealership.

Excellent point VB. You will often find prices for parts to be actually lower at the Lexus shop because they know that owners are going to Toyota for the typically lower costs. Some of these jointly owned Toyota dealerships will even send you to the Lexus division for service and decline to work on your car.

As for your a/c prob, since the mechanic didn't repair it, and if he didn't list anything else in his original estimate, ask for your money back. Never pay for repairs anywhere if they don't fix the prob! If necessary, have them return the replaced part and go elsewhere. Guesswork should never be rewarded. At the very least, a qualified tech will advise you when he has to do some diagnostic work and roughly how much it may cost. Then it's up to you to determine how much you want to spend. Some probs can be difficult to assess and determining the solution can take a lot of time. Never leave the shop with an open ended budget for diagnostics, they can wind up costing more than the repair is worth, especially with either an inexperienced or inept tech!

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As for your a/c prob, since the mechanic didn't repair it, and if he didn't list anything else in his original estimate, ask for your money back. Never pay for repairs anywhere if they don't fix the prob! If necessary, have them return the replaced part and go elsewhere. Guesswork should never be rewarded. At the very least, a qualified tech will advise you when he has to do some diagnostic work and roughly how much it may cost. Then it's up to you to determine how much you want to spend. Some probs can be difficult to assess and determining the solution can take a lot of time. Never leave the shop with an open ended budget for diagnostics, they can wind up costing more than the repair is worth, especially with either an inexperienced or inept tech!

Thanks for your input on this. As far as not paying for the repair, he specifically listed the replacement of A/C compressor along with various parts. The old compressor was obviously shot, and the loud noise is no longer there. However, the issue with the a/c control shutting off completely, due to what we thought was a blown fuse, once the fuse was replaced, it remains inoperative. I was wondering perhaps there was something else we missed.

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