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My car is a Mazda Tribute

My goal is to have the AC Condenser replaced. However, there are certain steps in the process that I can't do myself. These are:

  • Before work:

    • Discharge the AC
    • Empty the Refrigerant
  • After work:

    • Recharge the AC
    • Refill the Refrigerant
    • Evacuate the system
    • Leak test

My question is, can I take it to the shop, have them do the before work, drive back home and do my DIY, drive back to the shop and have them do the after work?

If I don't turn on the AC during the drive I shouldn't have any problems, right?

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    What are the indications the transmission is leaking through the AC Condenser? As far as I know, these two things do not in any way connect. Also, even if you do the AC work yourself, you'll want to evacuate then recharge the refrigerant. In what you are trying to accomplish, recharge and refill are the same thing. My main curiosity here is whether you are barking up the wrong tree and having work done which doesn't need to be done. I'd think you're having an issue with a transmission cooler or line ... not anything to do with the AC condenser. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Aug 27 '15 at 11:00
  • @Paulster2 thanks. Mazda Tribute/Ford escape does have the transmission fluid cooler line running on the upper part of the ac condenser. Thanks for pointing out that recharge ac & refill the refrigerant are the same thing. I am not totally clear whether my method would work (i.e. have the shop technician do the discharging / recharging / testing, and drive home to do the replacing condenser / drier / expansion valve work myself). Thanks again – ssgao Aug 27 '15 at 12:24
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The A/C system has a pressure sensor built in, so the A/C compressor wont run without refrigerant in the system. Therefore there is no problem driving the car.

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Sounds like a decent plan of attack.

The post-work actions should really be:

  • leak test
  • evacuate the system
  • recharge with refrigerant
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