1992 MERCEDES BENZ 500SEL FREON LEAK BEHIND DASHBOARD

  • Tiny
  • badbobbad
  • 1992 Mercedes Benz 500sel

Air Conditioning problem
1992 Mercedes Benz 500sel V8 Two Wheel Drive Automatic 140000 miles

My Mercedes mechanic stated that the part behind the dashboard that is leaking freon must be replaced. He quoted me a total of 40 hrs to do the job (about $4000 dollars)

I had the same part replaced in a 1997 Acura CL3.0, but it took that Acura mechanic about six hours.

Does 40 hrs sound right?

Thanks, Bob

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Thursday, February 5th, 2009 AT 2:13 PM

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  • Tiny
  • Jack42
  • Member

I forwarded your link to our resident M/B expert. He will be with you shortly.
Thank You for using 2CarPros

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Thursday, February 5th, 2009 AT 8:25 PM
  • Tiny
  • gfimotorcars
  • Expert
  • 681 posts

First do you know exactly what the part name is that they want to replace? This vehicle is known to have evaporator leaks and if you need this replaced dash removal and replacement is necessary as well as removal of the heater case. This is a very labor intensive job but 40 hours sounds steep. We used to do this job for around 30 hours sometime back at the dealer, if memory serves me correctly. I would recommend getting a price breakdown of exactly where all this labor is going before you do anything. Next I would recommend calling your local benz dealer and seeing if they can give you a quote based on the diagnosis from this other shop (sometimes the dealer can be cheaper on big repairs on older cars because of access to MB special tools necessary to make the jobs faster and easier). A final note, dash R&R labor times are unusually high for this model due to the vacuum elements and electronics present behind the dash. These are very extensive and numerous and the labor time reflects this. Also keep in mind that late 90's Acura's and Honda's are generally easy to work on, whereas this particular Benz is loaded with equipment and is quite difficult to both diagnose and repair. Please let me know if I can assist you any further.

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Thursday, February 5th, 2009 AT 9:46 PM
  • Tiny
  • badbobbad
  • Member

The part is the evaporator. The mechanic insists on a new Behr evaporator ($600) rather that an aftermarket evaporator ($225). What would you buy?

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Friday, February 6th, 2009 AT 6:31 AM
  • Tiny
  • gfimotorcars
  • Expert
  • 681 posts

I would definately go with the OEM evaporator. An aftermarket evaporator may work but the quality of the parts are usually not as good. With a repair like this you want to be assured this will get fixed the first time and not have to be re-repaired due to a cheap part failing early. Usually aftermarket parts are okay but in this case I would go for the Behr part.

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Friday, February 6th, 2009 AT 9:46 AM
  • Tiny
  • badbobbad
  • Member

Thanks. You have been most helpful.

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Friday, February 6th, 2009 AT 2:39 PM

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