AC Issue Again

Driving home from work yesterday was hell. The AC in my 2011 Toyota Sienna was blowing hot air even though I had it serviced less than three months ago. I called up Khang about the AC as well as replacing the timing cover gasket. He told me to bring it in the next day.

I arrived at his shop at 8:00 am this morning. He had his boy pumped freon without even taking a look at the car. After 10 minutes, the AC pumped out cold air again. I also noticed the AC light stopped flashing. He told me $150. I asked him for an estimate on replacing the timing cover gasket. He told me that he would also have to replace the water pump. My natural reaction was, “Oh really!” He went off, “Am I the mechanic or are you?” He continued, “If you knew how to fix it, you would have.” I nodded and thought to myself, “No shit!” He went on, “You have to trust me. I have many cars here. I don’t need to cheat you.” I replied with a bit of a joke, “Of course I trust you, but I am not sure if I can afford your trust.” Then he asked me, “Did I recommend that you replace the timing cover gasket? I can’t remember, but I must have said the timing valves.” I responded, “Yes you did as part of maintenance.”

I asked a follow-up question, “Will the AC last this time or will it stop working again? You did a service on it less then three months ago.” He replied, “Why didn’t you tell me? I fixed so many cars I don’t remember.” He went on, “If that’s the case, there’s a leak somewhere. I still have to charge you because your car leaked.” I nodded and replied, “Sure.” Then he said, “I am a fair guy. I am not going to charge you for the AC. Why don’t you bring your car back next week when you go on vacation and I will check everything.” Fair enough.

Now I am debating if I should bringing back my car for him to service. I do want to keep this car for as long as I can. I don’t want to keep paying for services, but I also don’t want to buy a new car. I have been thinking of taking the free shuttle to work instead. I don’t want to depend on a car anymore. The cost is just too much to maintain a car. We’ll see.