1997 Chevy Suburban Rear A/C refrigerant hose has a leak.

Tiny
LOUIS315
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 CHEVROLET SUBURBAN
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 167,000 MILES
Had UV dye pumped into refrigerant system to find a leak. National chain store said that the aluminum rear refrigerant hose was rusted and leaking. They informally estimated $1600 to replace w/ original part from the dealer.

My four (4) questions:
1) Is $1600 a good price?
2) I've seen aftermarket Rubber replacement hoses for sale online that claim to be easier to install, and more durable than the original aluminum hose. Is that a good idea?
3) Could I patch the rusted section of the existing hose with a kit from the auto parts store?
4) Could I eliminate the rear refrigerant hose from the system, and try to live with cold air blowing from the front vents, but not the rear? Is there an aftermarket kit for that?

Thanks!
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Saturday, May 8th, 2010 AT 12:09 AM

4 Replies

Tiny
VEGASFARMKID
  • MEMBER
Can you eliminate the rear system? Yes. But if you are going to pay someone to bypass the system, the time it may take to disconnect, bypass, and recharge. Very well could be the same time as to repair. So you will only be ahead the part.

If the corroded area is on the low pressure side, then a "repair" rubber hose could be used. If it is on the high pressure side, your repair hose and hose clamps will not last very long.

Same with the patch kit, low side can be patched although I haven't had any luck with those kits. If you are going to try it anyway, use an inexpensive 2-part epoxy like "JBweld" use a wire brush to clean and some electrical contact cleaner (leaves no residue) then apply your patch. HIGH side no patching will hold up to the pressure.

1600?

It is a labor intensive job to remove those back lines, under the vehicle trying to get all the clamps loose, then fishing the very long line up through. Interior panels to remove etc etc.

The the reinstall of all interior trim. If it isn't right, you will have squeaks and rattles you never had before. So it takes more time and care.

The line itself is likely expensive, price that yourself to compare. As far as the labor: if it something they do pretty regular 6-8 hours is reasonable for COMPLETE line replacement.

My question: How bad is it leaking, does it leak out over night? Or will a charge last a whole season? You may have to consider the cost against the use, if it will last the season.
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Saturday, May 8th, 2010 AT 9:03 AM
Tiny
LOUIS315
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the reply.
We've had the system charged in each of the past two summers, and it blew cold air for less than 30 days in each case.

They claim that the flexible rubber hoses are easier to install: "These lines are a direct replacement and can be mounted to your existing aluminum lines or use our mounting kit."

They sell the rubber high and low pressure replacement rear line kit for $300, or a rear A/C block-off kit for $50.

Is it polite to buy something like that from the web, then take it to a local mechanic for installation?
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Monday, May 10th, 2010 AT 3:26 AM
Tiny
VEGASFARMKID
  • MEMBER
It looks like a pretty complete kit. The block off appers easy enough.

If you patronize your local shop enough to the point you and the owner/manager/foreman have some history. You should have no problem getting them to install outside supplied parts.

If your local shop doesn't have a parts dept. I wouldn't think they would be above installing outside parts.

Otherwise I would just ask.

Some would say it is not polite. But, I am confident, if you went in and explained your situation they would not find it rude that you asked.
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Monday, May 10th, 2010 AT 8:47 AM
Tiny
TIFITZGERALD
  • MEMBER
Did you go the route with the rubber hoses? Looking at the same thing, and wanted to know if you were successful with them.
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Friday, July 8th, 2016 AT 7:13 AM

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