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96 Outback A/C evaporator leaking


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5 replies to this topic

#1 guyambrosino

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Posted 09 August 2005 - 11:16 PM

hi. just bought a 96 outtback wagon. among the unseen problems with it is that it is leaking freon. the mechanic I brought it to today said that it is the evaporator. he should me where the dye color was leaking from the drip hose. It seems the freon is getting into the water that drips out while the A/C is running.
questions would be: is this common?, is it teh evaporator that is leaking or some hose or something else? what is the cost to fix? and does he really have to take off the whole dash board to get at the evoprator or whatever else is leaking?
he is quoteing $350 for part and $600 labor.

also- just had all 4 rotors and brakes replaced. paid $600 for that. does that seem right?
thanks.
guy

#2 jimscat

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 05:39 AM

I do most of my own work and my brother and I just change the evap in my mothers 95 caravan. She was quoted 1200 bucks for to replace hers. From what I have read and understand from all the AC posts here a sub is easier. Hopefully Legacy777 will chime in at some point. He seems to be the AC goto guy here.

#3 guyambrosino

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 07:31 AM

thank you for getting back. hope to find out more.
guy


I do most of my own work and my brother and I just change the evap in my mothers 95 caravan. She was quoted 1200 bucks for to replace hers. From what I have read and understand from all the AC posts here a sub is easier. Hopefully Legacy777 will chime in at some point. He seems to be the AC goto guy here.



#4 mwatt

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 07:45 AM

hi. just bought a 96 outtback wagon. among the unseen problems with it is that it is leaking freon. the mechanic I brought it to today said that it is the evaporator. he should me where the dye color was leaking from the drip hose. It seems the freon is getting into the water that drips out while the A/C is running.
questions would be: is this common?, is it teh evaporator that is leaking or some hose or something else? what is the cost to fix? and does he really have to take off the whole dash board to get at the evoprator or whatever else is leaking?
he is quoteing $350 for part and $600 labor.

also- just had all 4 rotors and brakes replaced. paid $600 for that. does that seem right?
thanks.
guy


If the dye they put into the A/C system is showing up in the condensation drainage, then yes, the evaporator is leaking---there's nothing else inside the plenum that it could be.
The A/C plenum is the under-dash housing that encloses the "guts" of the A/C and heat system---evaporator core for the A/C, heater core, blower motor, duct control doors, etc. The dash has to be loosened and pulled back, then the plenum can be accessed and removed to replace the evaporator.
The latest edition of the Motors/Chilton time guide suggests 2.7 hours labor required to replace the evaporator, plus 1.4 hours labor to evacuate and recharge the system. Motors/Chilton is a guide, at best, and 2.7 hours to R&R the plenum sounds a little low to me. While it may take your mechanic more time than suggested by Motors, 600.00 in labor for the evaporator is still steep---I just realized that you live in New York so the market area is probably much different than down here "in the sticks"---what's your mechanic's hourly labor rate there?

#5 avk

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Posted 10 August 2005 - 01:54 PM

I know at least on Impreza of that vintage, there's no need to move the instrument panel. The evaporator case is accessible after removing the glove box and a reinforcement brace behind it. It's made of two halves held together by spring clips, like the air filter box. What's needed is to diconnect the lines at the firewall under the hood and then remove the nuts holding the case on the inside.

#6 Legacy777

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 11:30 AM

I can pull the evap box in 30 minutes, TOPS! (assuming the ac system is depressurized)

The A/C system needs to be de-pressurized and the fittings connecting the evaporator lines to the evaporator loosened. From there, you remove the glove box, loosen two bolts, and pull the evap box out. It's cake.

With the evap box out, he should be able to determine whether the leak is in the evap itself, or the associated piping, or expansion valve.

here's some pics of the evap box.
http://www.main.expe.../images/acevap/
http://www.main.expe.../images/accomp/




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