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My fiancée was in a minor front end collision recently with enough damage to the vehicle that many pieces of the vehicle's front needed to be fixed or replaced.

The weather has been heating up since the repair and we've noticed the A/C in her vehicle (2011 Toyota Venza) is not working consistently. She has taken the vehicle back to the auto body shop to have them review and they told her that the A/C condenser is bad.

I pulled the repair bill (covered by insurance) and see a couple line items regarding work to the A/C unit, including one for a removed/replaced after market A/C condenser assembly.

If the body shop purchased a new after market A/C condenser assembly to replace the one damaged in the accident how likely is it to not function correctly?

  • Most body shops cover their work with some kind of warranty. Look online and in their literature for something to do with it, then throw it in their face. They should fix the ill if it was something which was fixed originally. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jul 15 '16 at 21:03
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Replacing an AC compressor involves completely recharging the refrigerant, which requires specialized equipment to evacuate the air and replace it with refrigerant and generally costs about $140 for most vehicles, while topping up an already charged system can be done with more rudimentary equipment, since there isn't any air in the system, simply a lower pressure of refrigerant.

In my experience, most body shops don't know enough about mechanical stuff. If your shop used the "topping up technique" on your repair that needed a full recharge, then there is still plenty of air in your AC system and it mixed with the refrigerant, and that will negatively impact cooling performance. This is a common repair mistake by people who do not know about AC. If you suspect this may have happened, go to an AC-certified shop and get your system bled and recharged.

  • Thank you for your answer. The repair bill line items are "Remove/Replace Condenser assembly", "AC Service - refrigerant recovery", and "AC Service - evacuate & recharge" which came to $161. Based on the information you provided I'm guessing they did not recharge the system properly. – jtperreault Jul 16 '16 at 16:28

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