Talked to Wayne. He checked first to make sure the radiator fan and compressor fan did in fact need to be replaced. (Didn’t want to just take someone’s word on it.) And they did, so he replaced those.
Then he checked out the a/c. Drained and flushed the system. Inspected it. Recharged it with freon. Working perfectly. Nice, cold air conditioning he said. Compressor looks fine. Quiet, not making any noises, working great. System doesn’t appear to have any damage, any leaks – nothing. It’s fine.
He said he thinks the fan dying is what caused us to be low on coolant. I guess as the fan doesn’t work, the pressure builds up and the system will release freon through an emergency valve of sorts. The only sign of any leak was right at that valve he said. The more the fan died, the more pressure built up, the more the system ejected coolant until we got to a point where it wasn’t blowing cold anymore.
He put dye in the system though so if it starts blowing warm at all again, he can see where any possible leak would be. But right now? Doesn’t see any signs of damage or leaking. In fact, he said he doesn’t even need to see the car back unless we have problems.
He changed the oil and looked over everything else in the car and said the car is mechanically sound. There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s in good shape he said and can’t find anything wrong with it.
Total for the two fans, a/c check, evac, flush, recharge, oil change and labor? Just shy of $700. A lot of money of course, but sure beats $900 for the fans and $3-4K for a complete a/c system the dealership told us. I’ll pick it up with Mom tomorrow.
This is why I like Wayne. We brought it in there with the expectation of needing to spend thousands of dollars. With the thought that the entire system was destroyed. He could have told us anything and we would have believed it. Instead? He replaced what was broken and flushed out the system and said we didn’t need to spend more than that. I appreciate when someone doesn’t take advantage of you and that’s rare in car mechanics.
So for anyone in the Tampa Bay Area, my recommendation is to see Wayne at Tip Top Toys.
2627 Harbor Cir, Clearwater, FL 33759
We’ve been to him twice now, both times in situations we thought were massively dire, when he could have charged us just about anything and in both times? Told us honestly what was wrong (and what wasn’t!) and was fair in work and price.