Bust aircon - likely cost? - Alanovich

I am considering buying a 1999 Mark II Mondeo as a "spare" car, probaly going to be used one day a week on average.

The one I'm looking at has done 82k miles, full history, and it looks and sounds like it's got a lot of life left in it. It's a 2.0i Ghia, auto. Hatch.

However, the aircon gas is leaking. The current owner had it regassed, but within three weeks air was no longer running cold, therefore he suspects a leak rather than a compressor failure or the like.

I do really like my aircon and don't want a car without it. Does anyone have any idea what a worst case ball park figure might be for fixing this? It'll give me a bit of leeway on the asking price. Fellow is asking just under a grand, which does sound a few hundred too high anyway.

I am keen on this particular car as it's otherwise very genuine, is on sale very close to me and has been looked after by a known good independent for some years. It has also had the obligatory cambelt change in fairly recent times at 65k miles.

Thanks for any advice.
Bust aircon - likely cost? - henry k

I found these people very very good.

I qoute from their extensive site

"The Ford Mondeo Mk II (1996 to 2000) has an aircon system which is second to none for its simplicity and efficiency, it really is one of the best systems around. Unfortunately it also has a serious design fault on the condenser which causes it to loose the refrigerant and stop working. To restore the AC we fit a condenser from an alternative manufacturer which we feel is better than the original and does not have this design fault. During the winter and early spring 2007 and 2008 we made this out of season offer and are happy to do the same again this autumn of 2008 up until the end of March 2009. This is to supply and fit this new condenser, evacuate, recharge with refrigerant and test the system for a total cost of £188.00 including vat. This is considerably less than just the cost of the new part from the main dealer.

Once the AC stops working on these good family saloons the car will have lost a lot of its appeal and it can easily turn into an old hack. Even though the trade-in value may be low, a small investment in a car that you know well can provide several more years of comfortable, reliable service and you should even recoup some of this cost when you finally come to trade it in.

Edit They have a listed on their site contacts in other regional areas

Edited by henry k on 11/09/2009 at 13:41

Bust aircon - likely cost? - Alanovich
Thanks Henry. Now why didn't Forum Search throw that one up when I had a rummage?

Maybe I just didn't spot it.

Cheers, a virtual pint is yours.
Bust aircon - likely cost? - J1mbo
Depends where the leak is, will need a gas and dye up. So, that's about £80 straight away. I'd say could be £400+ esp if its a part that needs changing. Could be a seal which could be cheap, its a gamble. Why not look around for one that works, theres loads of Mondeos!
Bust aircon - likely cost? - Alanovich
Quite so Jimbo, but there aren't many automatic ones with low miles and good history on sale within a few miles of my home. I'm not at any great liberty to go far from home at the moment for one reason and another. Which is why this one looks tempting. If I could knock the bloke down to 600 quid then a worst case scenario of 400 to fix the aircon is bearable. Although Henry's link suggests I could get away with under 200 with a bit of luck.
Bust aircon - likely cost? - Alanovich
Looking at the CBC, HJ reckons that the auto boxes only have a life of 60-90k in them. Erk. That sounds remarkably poor for a car with a reputation for reliability. This one's done 82k............

I guess a replacement gearbox is gonna be well over 500 quid? Looks like this car is just about worthless then. He's gonna be a lucky little boy to get a grand for it.
Bust aircon - likely cost? - henry k
>>.... the auto boxes only have a life of 60-90k in them.

I am still holding my breath but my 98 126K auto Mondeo is surviving.
Bust aircon - likely cost? - Alanovich
Good to hear, Henry.

Looks like a replacement is over a grand:


Bust aircon - likely cost? - Alanovich

Just thinking aloud here. Should I expect to see a gearbox oil change or two at some stage in the car's history? If so, when are they due?
Bust aircon - likely cost? - henry k
Should I expect to see a gearbox oil change or two at some stage in the car's history? If so when are they due?

Not aware of any. I have done about 45K since I got mine.
It had (all but the last) Ford service history and has been treated to Ford services since.
The main dealer I use seems very trust worthy and have not mentioned a gear box oil change.

Bust aircon - likely cost? - Alanovich
Bust aircon - likely cost? - Lou_O
>>.... the auto boxes only have a life of 60-90k in them.
I am still holding my breath but my 98 126K auto Mondeo is surviving.

My V6 Mondy Auto had around 110k when I got bored of it, auto box was fine.
Bust aircon - likely cost? - davecuk
Considering how much you may have to spend on the car for the aircon (especially if it's a little more than you think), plus other items on a car that age, the cost of TAX, Insurance and MOT etc.. lets say conservatively 1K for the car, 300 aircon, 120 for a couple of tyres, 150 for TAX, £100 for insurance, 150 for other stuff. That's around £1820 all for 1 day per week use. After the 1st year you will spend about 700 per annum keeping it on the road, and it will continue to loose around 200 per year in value. If anything moderately serious goes wrong, you'll be scrapping it.

The above is a best case option and works out at £19 thru to £25 (worst case) per week over a 2 year period, much more if it only lasts a year. After this petrol and parking still has to be paid for many journeys...possibly another £9.

Unless the journeys in it are very long ones, is it better to use a TAXI where necessary and public transport where possible or hire a car for those few extra long journeys?

Bust aircon - likely cost? - oldnotbold
I can guarantee it's not worth fixing the aircon from an economic point of view. Even if you find a car of that age with working aircon, it's no gtee it'll continue. They are made to a cheap price (the aircon units) and it shows.

The lack of working aircon probably drops the price by £100, if that.

Edited by oldnotbold on 11/09/2009 at 14:59

Bust aircon - likely cost? - Alanovich
That's a fair point, ONB. Still reckon the car's worth around half what he's asking though.
Bust aircon - likely cost? - Alanovich
I appreciate your input davecuk. But what price convenience? I haven't got all day to describe the usage the car would get, but suffice it to say it just needs to be there for me whenever I need it, to carry some unpleasant loads, and to be used as a school/run commuter when our main cars are off the road. My wife's Smart Roadster is a bit unreliable, but she loves it and we need a reliable back up in place - currently this is a 2006 Mazda 6, but it's not getting the use that a car of this value should. So I'm looking to get some money back on it before it depreciates to nothing, and replace with something cheaper with a fairly good life expectancy (5 years or so at about 6-8k miles a year).

Taxis, buses and hire cars are a hassle, and not always the right choice. For starters there's no bus route between my house and my children's school/nursery.

No too bothered about the costs which you have outlined, just trying to work out if this specific Mundaneo I'm looking at is a sound buy. I think I'd have to pay well under 500 quid for that to be the case, and with the seller's starting point of £1k I think he's going to have to wait for someone who hasn't done their homework.

Edited by Alanovich on 11/09/2009 at 15:02

Bust aircon - likely cost? - oldnotbold
190332857105 and 300346660184 on Ebay, both in Essex.
Bust aircon - likely cost? - Alanovich
Nice lookers, green one particularly, but Essex is a bit of a trek for me.
Bust aircon - likely cost? - davecuk
From the OP last post, it sounds like safety lies in Banger territory rather than paying 1K for the car, at least then you can throw it away when you have finished with it. Pretty much what we all did when we were 17.....it worked too.
Bust aircon - likely cost? - Galaxy
I know these cars well, and so I should, I've owned one for the past nine years!

The aircon problem is almost certainly down to the bottom of the condenser having rotted; this is a very common Mark II Mondeo problem. New condenser off Ebay, about £50, fit it yourself and then get someone round to test and gas it. Probably cost you around £100 to £120 in total, so, really not a big problem.

Quite honestly, I myself would be far more worried by the fact that this car is an auto, rather than the problem with the air conditioning. The autoboxes don't have a very good reputation, I'm sorry to say. Mark II Mondeo's get scrapped because the autobox has failed, it's a very expensive job to replace an autobox, probably in the region of what you are considering paying for the car!

These are good reliable cars, please don't get me wrong, but the autobox really is trouble with a capital "T"! Look for a good manual one, unless it absolutely has to be an auto, for licence reasons or something. Mine's done 147,000 miles, and, touch wood, no major problems. I expect it'll want a new clutch sometime soon but that's another story!

Bust aircon - likely cost? - Martin Devon
P Reg Mondeo
1.8 LX
110,000 miles
MOT till Feb 2010
Colour: Pearlescent Redcurrant

We have this here in Devon. It is the Son-in-Laws. He doesn't use it now. Needs new clutch. £100.00 no offers. New clutch fitted would be about £280.00-300.00

Best regards....MD
Bust aircon - likely cost? - Martin Devon
Bust aircon - likely cost? - Avant
Alanovich - I wonder if the economics of this really work. There's another thread on at the moment where Tack wants to keep his new Golf for best and buy a cheap car for commuting. Most people are saying 'use the Golf'.

The Mazda 6 is a good car: wouldn't it be worth thinking about keeping it long-term at the lowish mileage that you think you'll do?

I'm not sure if you still have the VW Touran, but if so, then the Smart would fulfil the role of back-up car admirably. If not, maybe SWMBO could look at other city cars and find one that's equally fun to drive (personally I'd have thought most things are more fun to drive than something with a godforsaken semi-automatic gearbox, but that's just my opinion!).
Bust aircon - likely cost? - Alanovich
Well, Mrs A has changed the equation somewhat. Her true unhappiness with the Mazda 6 has been revealed - it's too big. So Mondeos are hardly a satisfying alternative. We already have the Touran, as Avant points out, for transporting the family/dog when we're all travelling together or doing longer journeys (which will become more common once child number 2 grows out of her tendency to travel sickness).

Mrs A is stuck on her Roadster - this she uses on a daily basis to comute and transport child 1 to and from school. My daily commute includes the run to nursery with child 2. We do need to keep a third car at home, a second 4+ seater, for the occasions when I need a car but I'm not able to transport child 2, and Mrs A needs to switch wagons to carry both children.

Mrs A's priority is that this car should be as reliable and as modern in the crash-worthiness stakes as possible. My economic argument for changing the Mazda 6 for the Mondeo has been overruled. Not only that, there's no ISOFIX in a MkII Mondeo.

So we have come to the conclusion that, should I be happy to part with the 6 (I still do like it a lot), the best alternative is a Mazda 3 of similar vintage and value. I want the saloon if this is to happen, as I prefer saloons, estates and "long" hatches (eg Mazda 6 and Mondeo) over "stubby" hatches (Golf/Focus class).

I have spotted two near identical examples of automatic 3 saloons - same age, colour, mileage (with 2k miles), same history, same spec, same everything. One is near home in the South East, the other is up in Arctic Yorkshire, where they talk funny like. I'd obviously prefer to buy close to home, but this being the rip-off South East, the asking price is £750 higher. A not to be sniffed at difference in the £5k car range. The northern car is with a main VW (sic) dealer, the Southern with a reputable independent. Which makes the difference even more galling.

So how do I go about convincing the Southern dealer to price match his colleague oop north?