View Full Version : Need tips on small repairs to a car
02-22-2012, 03:08 PM
I can get a 96 Buick Century for $800 from my ex mother-in-law. With my budget (bills took a bigger chunk of my taxes than I thought they would :sad: )this is pretty much a great deal...if it runs well.
Here is what she says is wrong with it:
AC doesn't work (no explanation...might just need recharged?)
Motor in driver-side window needs replaced
Door handle on driver-side needs fixed
What I'm wondering is, how much do these kinds of things costs to fix? If the AC just needs recharged, how much does that kind of thing run?
My step-dad can do pretty much all the repairs like that for me, so all I need to worry about is parts and whether or not I would need a professional.
I hate that my dad never taught me about cars...it's really coming back to bite me in the ass.
02-22-2012, 03:13 PM
Recharge assuming it fixes the problem done legally probably $100-$200 depending on amount required. Why do you need AC is OR ?
window motor probably less $50 shipped for new.
Door handle, 1-$20 junk yard.
02-22-2012, 03:19 PM
You could easily replace the window motor and door handle by yourself with limited skills (and for cheap if you are patient and can find an online of local junkyard that has the part). If the compressor is bad on the AC, it will cost a lot. Recharging is easy and cheaper, but needs to be done by a professional to dispose of the chemicals. If I were you I would replace the motor and door handle and roll down the windows for AC!!!!
02-22-2012, 03:40 PM
In the summer, it gets upwards of 100 degrees in the Valley thsmith. Only for a couple months a year, but still...I'm too fat for that lol
02-22-2012, 03:45 PM
A/C recharge is about $100. A condensor or compressor (new) installed = more than you paid for the car.
Window issue could be the motor and or window regulator. I had a regulator (motor was fine) done on my GTi recently, parts and labor was about $350, not sure on the motor if that;s the issue.
02-22-2012, 05:40 PM
For a $800 old Buick I would:
1) Screw the AC, leave it busted
2) Leave the Driver's side door busted. Get in and out of the car on the passenger side and slide over assuming it has a bench seat.
3) If the driver's side window is stuck in the down position, leave it down. If it is stuck in the up position, force it down or bust it out and broom out the glass. You will want the window down anyway when you remember that the AC doesn't work (see item # 1 above).
Keep oil in the engine and drive it until it dies or (really needs) an expensive repair.
But that's just what I would do, you may be the "picky type".
I am only exaggerating a little, but a beater is a beater, don't spend a lot of money on it, especially if it has a lot of miles on it and is worn out. Save your money and look for a better car when you can afford it.
That is unless it has sentimental value to you since it is your ex-mother in law's car.
02-22-2012, 05:47 PM
The AC on a car that old would require more than a recharge can. The filter/drier and all o-rings would need to be replaced at a minimum. Then a vacumm pulled on the system and recharged. That's if the compressor is still good. Like h9 said, if the compressor is gone, add at least 500 min. to the car.
02-22-2012, 06:00 PM
I just had my a/c completely redone....Compressor,blower motor,hoses,drier,clean evap. and cond.,misc. wiring,etc. $1100.00+ .
02-22-2012, 06:15 PM
ugh...I guess I'm ok with leaving the AC broken. The heater apparently works, and that's what's most important 90% of the time around here.
I would probably fix the window though, for those times when I have my kids and they're hungry as hell but too bitchy to take inside to get something to eat lol...
Thanks for the tips and thoughts guys. I appreciate it.
02-22-2012, 08:24 PM
www.car-part.com - find the window motor and door handle at a junk yard near you, then replace them yourself. Like others said, it might be easier to leave the A/C busted. You will have to pay to get it checked for leaks if you want it recharged, otherwise the gas will get out fairly quickly. That's of course if compressor is still working and there are no leaks in the evaporator.
02-22-2012, 10:36 PM
The window motor is a dealer item only and is not that cheap because the entire regulator needs to be replaced with it as a unit, and it is riveted into the door panel. The AC leak is tougher to pin down, but is likely the compressor, and can run 4/500 bucks for just the part. The door handles can be had in a junk hard IF they are willing to tear down the door to get to it. Most are not these days as it is far easier to sell the entire door. Ebay may be your friend here...
Click on the link and search here. Parts are MUCH cheaper than I quoted above. Get a chilton's manual for the car as well and you may be in luck!
02-22-2012, 11:06 PM
The window motor can be had as a window motor/regulator together by dorman aftermarket!(sorry John) Leave the ac alone! If it aint making noise in the belt drive system! And when u fix the window motor/regulator(which i highly recomend to replace 2gether) u can see whats wrong with the door handle,and order parts accordingly!(from your local Carquest store of course)! Good luck! I'd buy that beater in a NY second!
02-22-2012, 11:10 PM
no need to appologize man... I saw the error of my post as soon as I went to Ebay for the link, but thanks for making me feel bad just the same.... my self esteem has been forever damaged.:cry::cheesygrin:
02-22-2012, 11:18 PM
lol! Its the 1st or 2nd post i've been comfortable making replies i know i'm not wrong on!
P.S. You'll be alright John! You"ll be alright! I usually never argue with u! Good Day!
02-23-2012, 12:01 PM
I'm confused now...what was wrong with the ebay link john gave?
02-23-2012, 01:27 PM
Just one quick suggestion regarding the window problem: don't order any parts without doing some easy troubleshooting first.
It could be in the switch itself, I have successfully used contact cleaner on switches that showed no continuity before.
Also, I ran into a weird one last summer, my 2000 Grand Cherokee's driver side window wouldn't go down - everything tested good; happened to try it with the door panel off - worked fine.
Put the panel back on - no work.
I ended up replacing the rubber insulation piece (what we used to call cats' whiskers), it had dried out over the years and was causing too much resistance.
02-27-2012, 11:07 AM
I ended up getting the car, because my step-dad looked it over and said it was a great car for that money, even with the problems it had.
We popped off the door panel yesterday to look at the handle and window motor. Someone had pulled the handle so hard that it snapped off of the rod. My dad drilled a hole in what was left of the handle, clipped the rod back in, and now it's working. I have to remember to be gentle with it, but the handle was the only thing I was really worried about getting to work.
The window motor looks like it's blown. It looks like it overheats, which is why it will work for a second or two and then shut down for a while.
The AC actually feels like it works, but that could just be the cold air outside coming in through the vents.
One thing that I noticed while driving is that every now and then the "BRAKE" light (the one that usually comes on when the E-brake is applied) will come on. If I make a right-hand turn at-speed (not from a stop), the light will go off and stay off. Anyone run into this before?
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