Coronavirus COVID-19: Advice on buying, owning and running a car during the outbreak | No thanks

Why don't people protect their air conditioning condensers from stone damage?

After reading your column regarding CB's complaint about damage to a Yaris a/c condenser, I feel I should write to tell you that both my Saab 9-3s suffered similar damage within weeks of each other during the dealer's warranty period. Needless to say, the local dealer took the view of hard luck (despite buying two 9-3s from him when his Saab stock was hard to shift), but we can fix it for around £700, but there would be a delay due to Saab parts problems. The part alone was quoted at £450. I contacted my local parts factor, Allparts in High Wycombe, who had condensers in stock at £150 and the same make as fitted by Saab. My local garage fitted the part inclusive of a re-gas for £100. Whilst the front bumper panel was off the cars, they fitted strong nylon mesh that I found in a garden centre, behind the bumper aperture held on simply with plastic tie wraps. No further trouble, all for £250 per car.

Asked on by

Good, sensible stuff. Many thanks. Others have adapted domestic fan shields and gutter leaf shields to protect their a/c condensers. It looks like these condensers are one of those components that manufacturers deliberately make vulnerable in order to create an income stream from supplying and fitting the replacement parts.
Similar questions
In March, I bought a low-mileage (10,000) 2013 Porsche Boxster from a Porsche dealer, including - what I thought was - a rock-solid two year warranty. Initially, I didn't use the air-con (to save fuel)...
My daughter’s car brushed against a metal gate while visiting a property. The damage to her car is minimal as the impact was very minor. However, the owner of the gate is claiming severe damage was caused...
As I opened the door of my van, the wind caught the door and blew it into the side of the car parked next to me. There is only a tiny bit of damage. After a bit of panicking I went and got a pen and paper...
Related models
More of the same. Modernised with sharper looks. Quick 2.8 twin-turbo. Strong diesels. Spare parts still readily available.
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car