A/C Condensor on Merc W140 SClass - Rojer
Folks,

My condensor is leaking on my W140 SClass 1996 S280. A new one will be about £450 including new condensor, labour and VAT at Andy Gayles MB Specialist.

Any pointers for a cheaper fix? Otherwise I'll do without.

Live in York and London.

Thanks in advance!


rojer@lycos.co.uk
Astra, Renault 18, Renault 25 TXi, Astra Est, Passat Est, Mercedes 190E, Mercedes
A/C Condensor on Merc W140 SClass - Aprilia
If that is fitted, flushed and gassed then its not a bad price. I would go with it. Your climate control won't be very good without it, especially if you have a dark colour interior trim (soaks up the sun on a hot day - lots of glass area on those W140's!).
A/C Condensor on Merc W140 SClass - Dave N
Not a bad price Roger, but I'd do it a bit cheaper and include a new filter/drier.

It's only 2.25 hours, and the parts aren't too pricy.
A/C Condensor on Merc W140 SClass - Rojer
Confused by your message

Do you mean:

o you would do it for me a bit cheaper

or

o I should be able to find someone to do it for a bit cheaper?

If so, where (in either case)?

Rojer
A/C Condensor on Merc W140 SClass - LHM
I never cease to be amazed at the price of replacement air-con parts, so your quote doesn't surprise me at all.

I managed to repair the compressor on SWMBO's Passat - thankfully it was just the pulley bearing (£30), but I was quoted £650 for a replacement compressor............

Opening the window can indeed be a bit more cost-effective :-)
A/C Condensor on Merc W140 SClass - Richard Turpin
£600 to £800 I was quoted on my 94 Toyota previa for a new condenser damaged by a stone "chip". I got a 2nd hand one from a scrap yard but the pipes were different sizes. Apparently this cannot be fixed unless I know an aluminium welder who is good. I don't, so I returned the condenser and will open the windows.
If there is anyone out there who knows of an effective way of joining one straight aluminium pipe to another, they should get into aircon repairs and will clean up. (apparently brake pipe joining technology wont work. I would have thought the pressure, which I'm told in an aircon is of the order of 300PSI, is too great. Don't brake too hard folks.)
A/C Condensor on Merc W140 SClass - eMBe {P}
Rojer - I recall you saying that you got this Merc at a bargain price. I would just put the extra repair cost down as an item towards the "total cost of ownership" and if that still comes out a bargain, well, you have done well. Be happy.

Have you looked at HJ's FAQ on air-conditioning. He lsits some good specialist repairers there.
A/C Condensor on Merc W140 SClass - LHM
Rojer,

One problem with aircon on 'prestige' models is that, come selling time, the prospective buyer will expect it to be fully working (no 'it just needs a re-gas' excuses!). If it isn't, the buyer may well query how well the car has been maintained in other areas.

Also, other A/C components will start to degenerate once the refrigerant (and the oil carried with it) has been lost - leading to additional expense should it be necessary to re-commission the system.

From your previous posts, I think you intend to run this car 'forever', so re-selling may not apply - but circumstances can change, and you might end up having to........

I do sympathise with you, however - an older car with working A/C can be a rare find!
A/C Condensor on Merc W140 SClass - Rojer
'M.B.' and 'LHM', you guys HAVE been paying attention haven't you? ;)

Yes, I DO intend it to last forever, but I will take it to an air con specialist first. I don't mind no A/C but Andy Gayle (pardon the pun) said it'll clear the back screen in seconds rather than minutes in the winter.

I'll need that as I pull out onto a major road in the mornings.

I'd figured out that other bit might start to seizr too .. going to HJ's pages now ...

Thank-you folks!

PS I used a Glass's Guid Calculator for my car, on the AA website I think, and it came out lower than what I'd paid.

S280, 1996, 'P', 96,000, FMBSH = £6500. Okay, with metallic paint, hidden aerial, leather and side bags. Is this normal?

We looked for three months off and on and saw four S-Classes in rubbish condition (frankly). This one was cheaper by thousands and the best condition of them all.

Are people just asking WAY too much for them or is the Glass's guide for the trade or something?

PPS The A/C went in the second month I had it as the A/C worked when tested and I notice some strange (and at the time very worrying) drip.. drip .. drip .. sound. It's possible that the previous owner did a 'temporary fix' to sell it.
A/C Condensor on Merc W140 SClass - LHM
Hi Rojer,

Of course we're paying attention - there's an exam at the end of term, don't you know???!! :-)

Personally, I'd bite the bullet and get the A/C fixed 'properly' - no point having to wind the window down in a traffic jam in the middle of summer, whilst the OAP in the Hyundai Accent next to you sits in A/C comfort (well, as much comfort as you're going to get in an Accent!).

Don't worry too much about the guide prices. They are, after all, merely a guide , and often have a tenuous link with reality. If you're happy with your purchase, then that's what's important to you - you'll always see what appear to be better deals immediately after having bought a car, but it's not worth losing sleep over........
A/C Condensor on Merc W140 SClass - volvoman
Agree - what's the point in having a luxury car and not being able to fully enjoy the luxury ? Running this car without the air-con would be like covering the leather seats with cheap plastic covers.
A/C Condensor on Merc W140 SClass - eMBe {P}
Rojer: You got a luxury at a very good price you were happy with. Enjoy the car. The price you paid is history.

V: I agree - once you have experienced top quality air-con or climate control, you never want to be without it. Even in winter. The ability to have chilled air (at a temperature of your choice) cooling your head is something I find essential on long drives. It helps keep me alert and relaxed in all weathers.
A/C Condensor on Merc W140 SClass - Aprilia
£6-7K for a decent '96 S-class is the going rate, so your £6500 was about the 'right' price. S-class is a big and expensive car for most folks to run, so used values will not be that high. You'd probably find a much more basic E-class would be more expensive because of its lower running costs.
I know that over in Germany many S-class owners actually sell them to overseas buyers because domestic demand is weak but export demand is strong and they get a better price. They get used as taxis and airport cars in the Middle East and Africa.

I would get your air-con fixed. Maybe it has been leaking a while and the previous owner gave it a re-gas (about £70) to get it working prior to selling. Anyhow, working air-con is worth having and as Andy Gayle says will help demist your car in the damp months. I know Andy and he won't rip you off - he'll do a good job at a fair price.
 

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