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Last year when I bought this car in Las Vegas, I drove it in 115F temperature to San Francisco with the air conditioning running just fine. This year when the weather got hot and I turned it on, I got no cold air. I took it in to a dealer on one of their $199 spring specials thinking that a recharge would do the trick..NOT! they gave me an estimate of $2400 wanting to replace just about everything; compressor ($1094), Drier ($162), and other misc items, labor cost=$660. How can so many things have possibly gone wrong in just 1 year ? If anyone has dealt with a/c issues on this car and has any advice I'd appreciate it.
 

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2003 SLK32 AMG
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180 Posts
I thought mine needed a recharge well took it to the local repair shop asked if they did work on Benz they said yes... Recharged it put a color die in it and well found a leak on the condenser oring fixed it now enjoying ice cold air cost was two hr of labor and a pound of r134a and the new oring = 184.95
 

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1998 SLK 230, 2016 Tesla Model S P90D, 1984 Alfa Spider Veloce, 2008 E320 Bluetec (former)
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175 Posts
As my father just found out on his, it's not necessarily topping it off - the R134 refrigerant can apparently go bad and has to be flushed out and replaced. There is a also a MB approved additive that I believe stabilizes it. Worked great on my dad's SLK. That was all he needed and it cost him about $65.
 

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98 slk230, 02 X5, 06 RX 400, 98 civic TC, 86 celica gts.
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Sound BS to me but check first for any leak and have your local profess AC shop do the job since r134 refrigerant (DIY) can be illegal in some states to vent out in atmosphere?..
 

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2001 SLK 320(217K Miles), 2002 E320 Special Edition(183K Miles)
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Last year when I bought this car in Las Vegas, I drove it in 115F temperature to San Francisco with the air conditioning running just fine. This year when the weather got hot and I turned it on, I got no cold air.
One of the problems when you don't use the aircon for a long time, is that the seals dry out and the gas then escapes. So even in winter, you should turn on the aircon at regular intervals, e.g. one a week for 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can use the defrost setting on the aircon in winter for a few minutes, since that also turns on the air conditioner.
I've had a similar problem in a 190E I owned and by using it a regular intervals, it stopped losing gas. In my case, I just refilled it at Autozone, since it was a cheap enough way of diagnosing the severity of the problem. Of course if it looses all the gas again in a short time, you've got a bigger leak. But in the end it's your call.
 
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