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On 7/23/2015 1:33 PM, trader_4 wrote:

Depends where you take it. Unscrupulous repair shop would fix it for you for $3000.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Today's tranny is little more complex being multi speed and TCU controlled. 10 speed auto with slap stick is not uncommon or CVT.
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trader_4 wrote:

Tech did not do leak test B4 recharging? It all depends what the exact problem is. Leak can be repaired but if it was where another leak could occur... Tech has to discuss with owner with honesty. Also higher efficiency unit will save money over time. I have Puron high efficiency unit which has been running for 5 years without an issue. Every spring I just do basic maintenance(mainly cleaning the unit and check Delta T at ODU and indoor). So far it's been 18 degrees F or little higher meaning it's doing OK. I use 16x25x5 MERV 11 filter every 6 months. Some times I switch to EAC. I feel sorry about a consumer who does not know anything about anything.
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<stuff snipped>

That's the problem. I've been trying to come up with a reliable national figure for heating and cooling scams, but haven't found it yet. What I have found is example after example of TV stations investigating and finding clear examples of fraud. It's just too easy to scam someone who is completely uneducated in the subject matter. But is it reasonable for a 60 year old widow to be an A/C mechanic? There are also an awful lot of former employees who tell how easy it is to screw up a customer's A/C so they end up selling them a new system.

No doubt about that. Same with refrigerators, too. But there's a perplexing problem that's yet to be solved with high-E units: they have more breakdown points embedded in them. You didn't need a circuit manual to figure out the old Chrysler Air Temp's circuitry but its efficiency was horrible.

I'd say a lot of people here do their own coil drop tests, etc. but that's not reflective of the general population.

Me too. But asking some people to evaluate HVAC techs would be the same as asking me to evaluate nuclear techs. As I was researching the subject I came across a pretty useful guide to HVAC scams:
10 Tips for Avoiding Heating and Air Conditioning Scams in the Atlanta Area
Whether your air conditioner died in the middle of a heat wave or your furnace is on the fritz on a chilly winter night, you're just happy to see a repairman.
But don't let your need for comfort blind you. There are some untrustworthy contractors who take advantage of homeowners who are desperate for quick repairs.
Follow these tips to avoid being scammed by contractors in the Atlanta area.
1) Ask for old, broken parts that were supposedly replaced Some contractors may charge you for parts they didn't actually replace. To prevent this, ask the contractor for the old, broken part after it has been replaced.
2) Watch out for "free" tune-up offers According to the BBB, a reputable contractor will offer you a free estimate as a part of the typical sales process. But less scrupulous companies might trick you by offering a "free" tune-up in order to make a high pressure sales pitch.
3) Beware of those asking for large amounts money upfront Some contractors ask for a down-payment (which is fine). But if a contractor asks you to pay him or her for the entire job before work is done, then hang up and try someone else.
4) Get 2-3 estimates before deciding Get cost estimates from at least 2-3 contractors before making your decision. This gives you options, leverage and an average price to work with. Trustworthy contractors don't mind giving free, no-obligation estimates for a heating or air conditioning installation job.
5) Don't get scammed on Freon Freon is what helps your air conditioner do its job. It's expensive, so certain contractors will try to find ways to get you to buy more than necessary or give it to you for "free", but in essence include it in the price of some other repair. For one, if you're A/C is low on Freon, chances are there's a leak because an A/C unit does not naturally lose Freon. If they merely fill your A/C up with Freon and don't offer to perform a leak search, you may be getting scammed. Also, have the contractor stay awhile as you test your A/C to see if it's working properly after the contractor says he or she is done.
6) Troubleshoot first If you can solve the problem yourself, then the chances of being scammed go down because you won't have to hire anyone at all. Research the symptoms of your problems online before calling for service. You can even use us as a resource by asking one of our experts for help.
7) Get it in writing Getting everything in writing will prevent the crafty bait and switch. So before a contractor starts working, make sure you have a written contract which details: Start and completion dates Itemized list of materials Payment penalties for not completing the job on time
8) Know if you really need to replace or just get it repaired Don't get suckered into replacing your A/C or furnace if you don't need to. Read our brief article: "How Do I Know If I Should Repair Or Replace My Current Heating And Air Conditioning System?" to learn more about this.
9) Read reviews and ratings online Good people get good reviews and ratings. Enough said. As you're looking for your 3-4 estimates, look up reviews on Yelp and Angie's List, and find their BBB rating.
10) Know what a quality heating and cooling contractor looks like If you know what a quality contractor looks like, spotting a potential scammer is easy. Quality contractors are: Insured NATE-certified Careful to survey your problem first and then give a final estimate, not vice versa Patient when explaining why they're repairing and charging you for something Local and work full time in an office--not part-time in their home's garage. Have a problem with your heating and cooling system in the Atlanta area? Contact us online for a free estimate. Want help troubleshooting your system? Ask one of our experts for help.
http://www.coolray.com/blog/article/10-tips-for-avoiding-heating-and-air-conditioning-scams-in-the-atlanta-area/
(No affliation - found by Google!)
--
Bobby G.


> know anything about anything.
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On Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 10:58:49 PM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:

You immediately jump to the conclusion that it has to be fraud. How about if the techs know from experience that the residential systems today are such pieces of crap that once they have a leak, it's just not worth fixing? That if they fix it, it's not cheap and the system typically winds up needing to be replaced soon anyway? Not saying that I know that's the case, but it's a possibility. People here seem to agree that while systems used to typically last 25+ years, today 15 is more typical.

There you go again with further expanding it into deliberate sabotage, which there was absolutely zero evidence of in this case.
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On 7/23/2015 9:05 AM, trader_4 wrote:

What $1000? I had two refrigeration repairs this year. One was an air dryer with a 19# charge. That was $640. Leak was easily found and repaired. The other was an older office AC, similar setup to a home unit and that was $500. Leak (second time) has not been found and a sealer was added. Yes, it is a bit of a crap shoot, but $500 and a chance it is fixed is better than just putting out $5000 with assurance of no leak.
Customer should have been given the option. Five years is not old. At 15 years I may agree to replace.
You are starting to sound like General Motors. I had a problem with a heated seat. It was less than 3 years, but over the 36,000 miles. They wanted $670 to replace the seat because the $10 element burned out. They suggested I buy a new car. A $35,000 solution to a $10 problem. BTW, I did eventually buy a new car, but that was my last GM.
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On Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 1:03:19 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I raised the example of where the leak was a failed evaporator, which is a common failure. I would think that could be $1000. First you have to find the leak. Then you have to recover the refrigerant. Then you have to replace the evaporator, flow nitrogen through it while brazing it, then pressurize it with nitrogen to leak test, then evacuate which takes time just standing there, then recharge it. Besides all the time, you have the cost of the new evaporator, refrigerant, etc.
The other was an older office AC, similar setup to a home

If the above attempt at leak fixing didn't work, would you still have paid the $600?

I'm only trying to look at it from the HVAC guy's perspective. After doing all of the above, it could turn out that the system still has another problem and then what? Who eats all the work already done? I guess the HVAC guy could just price that in, that for every X systems where the leak fix works, there are Y where they wind up eating Z dollars, so cover that by increasing the price of the repair on all of them.
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On 7/23/2015 1:23 PM, trader_4 wrote:

Sure, he did what I asked him to do. Took a chance and so far I'm winning. Nice and cool in here.

You have to lay it out to the customer. These are the costs and the potential results. Or we can just replace it all.
Look at it the same with a five year old car. What is the cost of a transmission? Fix it and what if the engine goes? Where do you stop tossing money at it and scrap it?
In the case of my 2001 Buick, I bought a new car in 2006 and the Buick became my wife's car. Couple of years later it was deteriorating so fast I gave it away. Long list of things going bad, expensive things.
Every GM car I bought new needed warranty repairs within the first couple of months. I've had 3 Sonatas and one needed one repair under warranty after 2 1/2 years and 57,000 miles.
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On Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 3:49:12 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I'll bet in the typical homeowner scenario the HVAC guys wind up eating the $600. Typical customer is going to say you didn't fix it, I'm not paying.

I agree. But that kind of analysis is beyond many homeowners today. That existing system was probably worth $3000 when new. Assuming it lasts 15 years, then 5 years in, it's worth ~$2000. So figure out how much you're willing to spend to try to fix something that worth $2000. And then there are a dozen forks in the decision path, possibilities, etc. You could discuss all those whatifs, and then when you hand them a bill for $600 and the system isn't fixed, I think in plenty of cases, whatever you told them is going to be forgotten and they aren't going to pay you. But I would also think that on the first service call they would at least go looking for the leak. How long can that take? I would think 30 mins they could do a quick once over of the accessible parts of the system. If they find it, then you have a good starting point to figure out what to do. But clearly the two or more companies they called in weren't going to do that.
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<stuff snipped>

Don't they have an unsually good warranty compared to US cars? That would inspire them to keep overall costs down by building them correctly in the first place!
--
Bobby G.




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On Thu, 23 Jul 2015 18:32:31 -0400, "Robert Green"

Everything is 5 year 60, drive train is 10 years 100,000 I'm on my third one and every body joint is perfectly aligned, good paint, etc. I'm waiting for the 16's to come out and may get a new one.
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wrote in message news:Tv-

would

I read this and said to myself "16's"? Sixteen what? What an odd name for a new car model. Then I realized it's next year. Oy. Brain freeze.
My wife now drives a Honda but wants to trade it in for something more comfortable. She reported she had read in Autoweek that all the German cars she was interested in (BMW and Audi) were burning oil right off the showroom floor. This site claims it's normal because of high heat and thin oil in modern engines but owners aren't too happy with adding a can of oil every month.
http://www.newsday.com/classifieds/cars/auto-doctor-car-engines-burn-oil-faster-than-ever-1.5208291
<<Dear Doctor: I had the oil changed by the dealership on my 2011 Audi A4 at 22,000 miles. Then at 28,000 miles the oil was a quart low. Is this normal? I'm using synthetic oil and drive about 250 miles a week on highways. Also, when did we do away with dipsticks? -- Debra
Dear Debra: You are using a quart at about 6,000 miles. A quart of oil consumption at even 1,000 miles-plus is considered normal. The oil we use today is very thin. Today's engines run at hotter temperatures. This equals oil usage. On some vehicles the engine and transmission fluid dipsticks left us in the early 2000 model years, as did the conventional oil and filter change every 3,000 miles or 3 month intervals. Some vehicles have an annual oil change interval while some also hold 9-plus quarts of oil and most require full-synthetic oil.>>
Here's the link to the Consumer Reports article referenced by Autoweek:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/06/excessive-oil-consumption/index.htm
<<We focused on 498,900 vehicles from the 2010 to 2014 model years, many of which are still under their powertrain warranty. Several engines emerged as the main offenders: Audi's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and 3.0-liter V6, BMW's 4.8-liter V8 and twin-?turbocharged 4.4-liter V8, and to a lesser extent Subaru's 3.6-liter six-cylinder and 2.0- and 2.5-liter four-cylinders.
Those engines are in models such as the Audi A3, Audi A4, Audi A5, Audi A6, and Audi Q5; BMW 5, BMW 6, and BMW 7 series, and BMW X5; and Subaru Forester, Subaru Impreza, Subaru Legacy, and Subaru Outback.
The worst case showed that, overall, owners of BMW 5 Series vehicles with V8 engines were 27 times as likely to suffer excessive oil consumption as owners of an average vehicle. >>
--
Bobby G.



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Robert Green posted for all of us...

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--
Tekkie *Please post a follow-up*

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<stuff snipped>

And you know how these systems work. Imagine being a poor schlub that doesn't know one bit about A/C and has to depend on the technician's word that what he says is wrong is actually true. One thing's for sure. The next time a tech comes out, I am going to set up one of my covert CCTV cameras to make sure he's not up to any hanky-panky.

Agreed. The fact that they went straight to the new system without testing for leaks pretty much tells me they're out to replace, not to repair.

There's an old IBM joke about flat tires that covers this:
A salesman, a mathematician, and a computer programmer are driving down the road when the car they are in gets a flat tire. The mathematician says they should sell the old tire and buy a new one. The computer programmer says they should drive the car around the block and see if the tire fixes itself. The salesman says that they should buy a new car.
--
Bobby G.



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My furnace/AC is 17 years old. Day before yesterday I had water all over the basement floor. It's got 3 drains that go to 3/4 PVC. I took off the exhaust vent to get at the panel covering the evaporator and verified the evap trough wasn't draining. Nice and clean in there. Surprised me. Cut the PVC on the vertical and taped a hose to it leading to the sump. Fixed. I'll replace most of the PVC later. There's about 35' of it.

GM has been very good to me. Never bought a new one and I never bought one with heated seats. Only one I didn't grow fond of was a '72 Nova. Otherwise I've run them to 150-180k miles with minimal issues, and never had one strand me. They all rusted out. But if I was a new car buyer, I'd probably go Hyundai. Three of my daughters bought Santa Fe's.
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On 7/23/2015 11:11 PM, Vic Smith wrote:

Not that you asked, but....
Some times, you can blow the crud out with air compressor, blow gun, and a towel to seal where the air gun goes in.
It's wise to make a way to pour your own water in, and once or twice a year to pour in hot water with a bunch of bleach.
--
.
Christopher A. Young
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On Fri, 24 Jul 2015 07:58:57 -0400, Stormin Mormon

Thanks, I'll keep that in mind before I do anything else.
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On 7/24/2015 10:59 AM, Vic Smith wrote:

Might be easier. And who knows, the new PVC might clog the same way, next year.
--
.
Christopher A. Young
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When the pipe plugs I usually use the shop vac to suck out the line. Just easier to get to in my case.
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In alt.home.repair, on Thu, 23 Jul 2015 06:05:18 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

He shouldnt' have done all that work without knowing it would work when he was done.
He should have explained the problem to the customer and told him the customer has two choices, A) For the repairman to put enough refrgerant in the system so he can test the system. If it tests good, he'll be able to re-use what he uesd when he evacuates it and then puts it back in. The customer will owe for the refridge and fixing the leak. $m
If it tests bad, the customer has to pay for the refrirgerant and the service call. $n Or he can go ahead and fix whatever else is broken. $p
Or, he should tell the customer at the same time, B) I can just fix the leak I found, but the system might not work because of other problems. I'll tell you what's needed then and you can decide whether or not to go further If you say no, then you'll just owe for my fixing the leak, and recharging, which is $m, like above.
If you say yes, it's $p.
The expensive complete repair comes out the same price.
The two paths to get there, if not completed, are different prices,
Don't tell me the right choice is to sell the man an AC he doesn't need.
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