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I own a 2010 ford focus, where I have had no issues except with my AC. In 2018 I had a leak in my car connected to my evaporator and I had it fixed (pricey). 2 years I had no issues. Recently my AC started making a hissing noise and was blowing out room temp/hot air. I had it recharged at a mechanic and the cool air lasted about 6 days. It was diagnosed as my compressor is leaking and not functioning properly. It was priced at about 1,000 dollars. Anyone else run into this problem and any other less expensive options? I am a broke grad student!
 

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The later ones have a habit of evaporator leaking and if you are positive you heard the hiss of it then same thing again, you really don't hear much under the hood unless it pops a hose all at once. Think about whether you picked up any smell in the cockpit.

If sure of that then go somewhere else, the common response at most a/c places is 'it's the compressor' they like other businesses now go directly to the most expensive thing they can find, they do not think they make enough money doing other work there. The compressor allows them to add lots of other parts to the bill. Why like with ATX repair, it's always you have to have the whole thing now, even if they can fix it with a $20 part. That big bill even lets them shortchange the work if they are crooked, they change a $50 hose and charge for compressor.

The evaporator is more expensive but they don't choose that as they have to do too much work yanking the dash and too many other things get broken to have complaints always.

The compressor change ends up commonly a major problem too when they do not detail the work as close as they should, then it tears up quick and much more major issues they cannot ever seem to fix because they won't take the time to do it right. A vicious circle at $1000 a pop. I used to see a lot of compressors sold and then another in a week or month when the first one tore up when I was in parts. They do the work fast and sloppy.
 

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I know I'm a bit late to the conversation, but did they say it was the compressor, or the compressor clutch?
If they did a proper leak evaluation, then they should have either injected dye into the refrigerant, or seen the dye leaking out. You can verify this by getting a UV light and Yellow glasses kit from Amazon, or an auto parts store.
You'll want to look at it in a shady or dark area, but with the yellow lenses on, shine the UV light at the compressor and look for bright spots. You can trace the aluminum lines from the compressor through to the firewall, and look for any bright spots. If you run the car with the A/C on, you should be able to see the compressor pulley turning, and the center may cycle on and off, so the center hub of the pulley may stop. If the center hub doesn't move, then the clutch may have failed.
 
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