Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Air Conditioner

Having a faulty air conditioner is basically the worst thing you can have living in Tucson.

Actually, that's true of Louisiana as well. I've never lived in a place where a lack of air conditioner would ever be bearable in the summer or, really, any time other than winter.

Oddly, I've been living with a faulty air conditioner in my car for the past several years.

To be clear, I've tried to get it fixed several times. Sometimes I simply couldn't afford to bring it to a mechanic, but even when I could the problem would only be fixed temporarily.

It was always a strange problem, too: it wasn't a freon leak or anything of the sort, the car simply wouldn't blow air. I could feel the slightest bit of cold coming our of the vent, but the air wouldn't move. Sometimes it would work for a while, sometimes a mist would shoot out of the vent, and sometimes it was completely useless.

Then, one day my mom brought the car to someone while I was on a trip. When I came back, the air conditioner was working! For a while, anyway. That's when the thing got really weird: the A/C would work just fine for, about a half an hour. Then, slowly, the air wold blow slower and slower until, finally, it would just stop completely. I could make it work again by stopping and turning the car off for a while, maybe 10-30 minutes, and the the cycle would begin again.

Still, this was manageable so long as I wasn't on any long trips. I could drive around town just fine, for the most part, so I dealt with it.

Recently, though, I decided to finally do something about it for good. My Check Engine light popped on a few weeks ago, so rather than bring my car to a regular mechanic, I brought the car to a Honda dealership. I let them fix the Check Engine light problem, replaced my broken visor, and let them take a crack at the A/C problem.

They made some minor repairs, hoping that it wold fix the problem, and gave the car back to me. I tested it out that day, but the problem was not solved.

So, I immediately brought the car back in. A week later, there was still no progress. Eventually they called me and let me borrow one of their new cars while waiting, which was all kinds of worrisome.

Still, the borrowed car was nice: a red Honda Fit with only a couple thousand miles on it. I used it for the entire time I was in Flagstaff last week.

On Monday I returned the borrowed car and picked up my own. After doing some really deep investigation, to the point where they were sending a video stream to some guy at the factory to determine the problem, they discovered that the problem was that the air conditioner would never actually shut off: it would always be on, full blast, causing the parts to actually freeze over.

So, they replaced the parts that needed replacing, and I ended up with a $1,600 bill. It... could be worse. If my car is indeed fixed now, it'll have been worth it. I still haven't taken it on a long drive, though...

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