"About 6 months ago I was giving a friends daughter a driving lesson in an empty parking lot. She hit a tree and all the air conditioning gas ran out. I called Stanco and I picked up a used part at the junkyard - the dryer. I bought new green o-rings for AC and installed the part. I took it to Stanco an they replaced a few common valve parts at the AC compressor and recharged the system and tested it for leaks. Now my the AC on my 1997 Saturn SW2 is back up and working great.
My background History and first call to Stanco: 06-06-2009
I have always performed most of my own maintenance including changing the serpentine belt on my 1997 Saturn SW2 - a car that I have owned since it was new. About a week after putting the belt on I got a chirping / whirring noise. The noise sounded like it was coming from the Air conditioning or AC compressor. I started shopping around and got quotes as high as $1000 or more!
I looked for places that specialized in Automotive Air conditioning because I knew this could get really expensive and I wanted it done right. Also, I sold my motorcycle in June so this is my only form of transportation. Hearing the noise and knowing it could lead to a break down and leave me without a car made me really nervous.
I checked Yelp but there few reviews for auto repair. I went to yellow pages online and found and started calling only places that listed AC as a specialty. When I called Stanco I spoke with Michael. He was listened carefully and took my information and said he would call with an estimate. A day later he called with a range of options from used to new parts. I think he realized the car is older and is in its sunset years so he didn't try to pressure me. So often when I call for quotes in San Diego people are rude or just want you to come down in person so they can sell you something.
This place is one of the few places that will change a bearing or clutch - every other place I spoke with said "yeah, we don't do that anymore" because it might not last. My car is 13 years old with 136K and doesn't have many years left. I got laid off in the spring - translation? Now is not the best time for $700+ repair.
When I called Michael today, he suggested I use a special test to determine if the noise was coming from the belt / pulleys or the ac compressor. I tried it and the noise went away completely. This means the compressor bearing is had nothing wrong with it. This saved me a lot of money and no one else I talked to on-line, off-line, at the auto store knew this trick.
there is no substitute for experience, honesty and the willingness to listen to the customer. I told Michael I repair computers and said he could have two hours of my time whenever he needed it and I would post a review on Yelp. I now have a place that I feel confident about recommending for automotive Air conditioning work."
~ Paul C. • San Diego, CA • 01/16/2013