The temps around here have been in the 90's since Saturday. For Maryland and April, that is very strange. Usually the temps are in the 70's with occasional 80+, but never in the 90's+ this early. So, I have been driving around in a sauna, not a nice comfy car.
Since the end of last summer, I have been waiting for my boyfriend (a master car mechanic with all the certifications a mechanic can have) to fix my air conditioner in the car. Finally, he decided to help me last night. He knew it was a simple vacuum hose that needed to be replaced, or so he thought that was all. We replaced the vacuum hose, took all of 30 mins (longer to dismantle the dash than to replace). We placed the new hose on, recharged the compressor, and low and behold....new leak. He thought that was a possibility, since a broken vacuum hose should not cause the freon to leak out of the system (vacuum hose only controls the vents to open and close). Since he thought I might have another leak somewhere, we placed freon dye in the compressor to aid in finding a "leak". He thought he had it narrowed down to some gasket seals that seal the hoses to the compressor. When he came home from work today, we took the dash back down, and replaced the gaskets and recharged the compressor with only 1 pound of freon, just in case that was not the problem. Of course, the gaskets were not the problem. He finally found the leak. Apparently, one of the air conditioner hoses ($190 shop cost, not what one would pay retail...that would be closer to $300), was rubbing against a fuel line. After 5 years of normal car vibration, the air conditioner hose now has a 1/2-1 in hole in it, right where it was rubbing against the fuel line. He can't tell for sure, but the fuel line may also be worn some too. He is fit to be tied. He can't believe that anyone would design a car so poorly to allow these hoses to rub together. He is convinced that it is a major safety issue, as the fuel line can easily be compromised now. Since discovering this, I have called the car manufacturer to report the issue (can't hurt to call out the potential safety issue). Unfortunately there is no recall about this issue, however, they gave me the number of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the people who issue recalls. I called them, and am in the process of officially reporting a major car safety issue. This is the first step on how automobile recalls are issued. Granted, this does not help me now, as I still need to have the leak fixed, and repaired in such a way as to not cause more damage to the fuel line. I know that I am lucky to have a boyfriend that can fix the problem, but if he is unable to fix the problem without replacing the ac hose, then he will need to take the car to the shop that he works at. Luckily, he should be able to work something out with his boss, but still, all and all it's about a $800-1000 job (full price).
Do I really need ac in the car??? Driving 32,000/yr-yes!