It's 90 Degrees and I Have No A/C--Ugh!

by MaryB
42 replies
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Hi, all.

The A/C in our ancient van is broken. It's $100 just to have it diagnosed. I know that the diagnosis will reveal a repair of at least $500! The van is barely worth $500. We are trying to hold on for one more year and save for a new one ...

Does anyone have a good "work-around" for fixing a broken A/C or could recommend a good, portable A/C for autos?

Thanks!
#auto a/c #auto repair
  • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
    Hi Mary

    If you freeze a large bottle of water your husband can hold it up and fan the cool air at you whilst you drive.

    This serves two puposes.

    1. It will keep you cool
    2. It will provide him with a cardiovascular workout

    Does that help?

    Dan
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Swampy (a real company) and others make portable a/c for cars - you have to google it.
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      • Profile picture of the author ThomM
        Or you could just roll the windows down.
        For all the time I lived in Florida I never had A/C in a vehicle or in any of the houses I lived in.
        I also never got sick from going from A/C to non A/C environments.

        I never understood why people move south to escape the cold, and then surround themselves with A/C:confused:
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        • Profile picture of the author yukon
          Banned
          Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

          Or you could just roll the windows down.
          For all the time I lived in Florida I never had A/C in a vehicle or in any of the houses I lived in.
          I also never got sick from going from A/C to non A/C environments.

          I never understood why people move south to escape the cold, and then surround themselves with A/C:confused:
          Because the humidity sucks, in the South.
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          • Profile picture of the author ThomM
            Originally Posted by yukon View Post

            Because the humidity sucks, in the South.
            The humidity sucks everywhere, get over it
            I lived for 5 years or so in Tampa and did construction most of the time I lived there, never had A/C.
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        • Profile picture of the author MerlynSanchez
          I cannot function without AC in my car or in my house. You must be part reptile

          And I didn't escape the cold; my parents moved me down here. I would never have chosen South Florida unless it's just to winter here.



          Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

          Or you could just roll the windows down.
          For all the time I lived in Florida I never had A/C in a vehicle or in any of the houses I lived in.
          I also never got sick from going from A/C to non A/C environments.

          I never understood why people move south to escape the cold, and then surround themselves with A/C:confused:
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        • Profile picture of the author QuickSurf
          Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

          Or you could just roll the windows down.
          For all the time I lived in Florida I never had A/C in a vehicle or in any of the houses I lived in.
          I also never got sick from going from A/C to non A/C environments.

          I never understood why people move south to escape the cold, and then surround themselves with A/C:confused:
          Living in South FL with no a/c, no friggen way. Going w/o power after a hurricane = feeling like being in a sauna for weeks in Fl heat/humidity. I remember friends of our family telling us how "back" in the day some of their parents didn't have a/c, and said it was torture lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
    I've never been able to afford a care with working air conditioning... one day maybe, but so far I've just made a habit of keeping the windows down and bringing lots of cold and partially frozen water bottles with me.
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    Hi Mary,

    That is terrible.

    I can not imagine not having AC in my car. It was 33C here in Toronto yesterday and put it on FULL blast.
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    • Profile picture of the author ThomM
      Here's the issue with A/C.
      You are driving your car on a 90 degree day with the A/C on full blast.
      You get out of your car and it feels like you are entering a blast furnace.
      The A/C prevents you from acclimating to the heat.

      Seriously A/C is for wimps and old people.
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
        Banned
        Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

        Seriously A/C is for wimps and old people.
        Lol

        Let me guess, you drive a conestoga wagon?

        Welcome to the future!

        [just playing]
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        • Profile picture of the author ThomM
          Originally Posted by yukon View Post

          Lol

          Let me guess, you drive a conestoga wagon?

          Welcome to the future!

          [just playing]
          Pretty close, an 85 Jeep Cherokee
          Of course I ride my Star most days.
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          • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
            Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

            Pretty close, an 85 Jeep Cherokee
            Of course I ride my Star most days.
            My sister had a '88 Jeep PU and the alternator went out on it at 413,000 miles.

            She still had the original clutch in that puppy.

            You just can't kill that vintage of Jeep...
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            • Profile picture of the author ThomM
              I just got mine last Dec. and put it on the road in Jan.
              It sat for 2 years so it took us about 20 mins. to get it running the first time
              It's only got around 125,000 miles on it. So far after 5 months I've only added 400 miles or so to that, so I figure it will last me a while.
              Bodies just starting to show a few bubbles here and there, but it's basically rust free.
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              • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
                Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

                Bodies just starting to show a few bubbles here and there, but it's basically rust free.
                Rust. That's what finally helped take my sister's Jeep out. But there's a story...

                She came home one day and left the truck in nuetral by mistake and went into her house. She came out a bit later to find the Jeep had rolled out of her driveway and flipped onto it's lid in the ditch across the street from her house. Ouch!

                When the tow truck arrived the guy put his winch hook onto one of the rear spring perches to flip it back over. He ended up ripping the entire rear end and leaf springs clean off the sucker.

                Rust.

                It never sleeps...
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          • Profile picture of the author yukon
            Banned
            Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

            Pretty close, an 85 Jeep Cherokee
            Of course I ride my Star most days.
            No joke I still have my old '95 Jeep Cherokee 4.0, has about 220K miles on it.

            The cost of new parts are dirt cheap, not to mention If the tax & insurance gets any cheaper they will be sending me a check.

            Only thing I've ever replaced was the starter, tires, battery, brakes + front rotors. Sucks on long drives, after about 100 miles it feels like your sitting on plywood seats, lol.

            BTW, the Jeeps A/C still works great!
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      • Profile picture of the author Kurt
        Originally Posted by ThomM View Post

        Here's the issue with A/C.
        You are driving your car on a 90 degree day with the A/C on full blast.
        You get out of your car and it feels like you are entering a blast furnace.
        The A/C prevents you from acclimating to the heat.

        Seriously A/C is for wimps and old people.
        Im my experience, it's the old folks that like the heat. They have the thermostat set to 95.

        IMO, heaters and furnaces are for wimps.
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  • Profile picture of the author MaryB
    I appreciate everyone's chiming in.

    I will offer a few additional points:

    • I do live in the hot, humid, sticky South.
    • I have three children who are super-uncomfortable in their car seats.
    • I am a wimp--when it comes to being hot.
    • I am also old.
    • I do ride around with the windows rolled down.
    • We also have an infestation of cicadas in Nashville right now (annoying bugs that emerge from the ground every 13 years and will dive bomb your windshield and fly into your opened car windows).
    • And I absolutely, positively love air conditioning and miss it in my hot, sticky van full of cicadas and whiny kids.
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    • Profile picture of the author ThomM
      Originally Posted by MaryB View Post

      I appreciate everyone's chiming in.

      I will offer a few additional points:

      • I do live in the hot, humid, sticky South.
      • I have three children who are super-uncomfortable in their car seats.
      • I am a wimp--when it comes to being hot.
      • I am also old.
      • I do ride around with the windows rolled down.
      • We also have an infestation of cicadas in Nashville right now (annoying bugs that emerge from the ground every 13 years and will dive bomb your windshield and fly into your opened car windows).
      • And I absolutely, positively love air conditioning and miss it in my hot, sticky van full of cicadas and whiny kids.
      Nothing wrong with being a wimp when you know you are one
      Heck there's a few things I'm a wimp about, like riding my motorcycle without a windshield.
      I forgot about the bugs down there.
      Your last reason for wanting it is the best as far as I'm concerned.
      I got to give you some respect for that one
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    • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
      Originally Posted by MaryB View Post

      I have three children who are super-uncomfortable in their car seats.
      • I am also old.
      :confused::confused::confused:

      Are you the Granny in the Group?
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      • Profile picture of the author ThomM
        Originally Posted by Bill Farnham View Post

        [/LIST]:confused::confused::confused:

        Are you the Granny in the Group?
        Bill you should know, having 3 kids makes you feel old even if you're 20
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    • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
      Originally Posted by MaryB View Post

      We also have an infestation of cicadas in Nashville right now...
      HOLY COW

      I just saw this video from Nashville...

      Square Peg Pinhole: Cicada Madness
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    My new truck has A/C.


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  • Profile picture of the author Roaddog
    I'm with Thom all the way.

    Acclimation does wonders...Took a plane from San Francisco to Anchorage to Clark airbase in the Philippines. Climate control pressurized of course. When I stepped out of that plane, I thought I wasn't going to be able to breathe. Even though I spent 3 years on the East coast, I had never experienced humidity like that.

    Well long short, I got used to it and lived there on/off for years and never had more than a fan.
    (Course stealing someones fan over there is akin to stealing a horse in the old west..lol)

    To this day I won't use air con unless it's extreme (for kids and old people usually)

    The first thing I do buying an old Chevy or whathaveyou is pull that heavy ass air con unit out.


    Acclimate, it's amazing what mankind can adapt to.


    I hope this public service message hasn't been a bunch of hot air...:p
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    • Profile picture of the author ThomM
      Originally Posted by Roaddog View Post

      I'm with Thom all the way.

      Acclimation does wonders...Took a plane from San Francisco to Anchorage to Clark airbase in the Philippines. Climate control pressurized of course. When I stepped out of that plane, I thought I wasn't going to be able to breathe. Even though I spent 3 years on the East coast, I had never experienced humidity like that.

      Well long short, I got used to it and lived there on/off for years and never had more than a fan.
      (Course stealing someones fan over there is akin to stealing a horse in the old west..lol)

      To this day I won't use air con unless it's extreme (for kids and old people usually)

      The first thing I do buying an old Chevy or whathaveyou is pull that heavy ass air con unit out.


      Acclimate, it's amazing what mankind can adapt to.


      I hope this public service message hasn't been a bunch of hot air...:p
      Right now it's 90+ out with 75+ humidity. In the house it's 80.
      I'm sitting here in shorts and am comfortable. Plus I can go outside and not feel like I'm walking into a blast furnace.
      When we play horseshoes on Monday nights it's real easy to tell who works in an office with A/C and who works outside. I'll give you a hint. One group looks like it's ready to collapse from the heat
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    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by Roaddog View Post

      I'm with Thom all the way.

      Acclimation does wonders...Took a plane from San Francisco to Anchorage to Clark airbase in the Philippines. Climate control pressurized of course. When I stepped out of that plane, I thought I wasn't going to be able to breathe. Even though I spent 3 years on the East coast, I had never experienced humidity like that.

      Well long short, I got used to it and lived there on/off for years and never had more than a fan.
      (Course stealing someones fan over there is akin to stealing a horse in the old west..lol)

      To this day I won't use air con unless it's extreme (for kids and old people usually)

      The first thing I do buying an old Chevy or whathaveyou is pull that heavy ass air con unit out.


      Acclimate, it's amazing what mankind can adapt to.


      I hope this public service message hasn't been a bunch of hot air...:p
      I lived in Las Vegas off and on for many years, and never got acclimated.

      115 in the shade (and 165 in the car) is something I never got used to. I'm well-acclimated to the cold Rocky Mountain weather though.

      BTW, the air conditioner is why the many of the largest cities are now in the south, whereas 50-75 years ago they were in the North.
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      • Profile picture of the author Roaddog
        @Thom,

        That hot and humid this early? Is that normal?
        It's been many years since opening those fire hydrants in Philly...I remember praying for that cooling rain.

        @Kurt You know places like Vegas and Yuma..that sometimes is just insane heat. I remember a trip to Laughlin one time, had to stay in Needles I think.
        It was something like 80 at 3 in the morning.

        Dry heat is where air con works best IMO. In humidity a fan.
        Air con just puts more moisture in the air, IMO.
        But like I said unless it's really extreme..won't use it.

        One nice thing about San Dog, don't remember the last time I personally have used air con OR heat, for that matter.
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        • Profile picture of the author Kurt
          Originally Posted by Roaddog View Post

          @Thom,

          That hot and humid this early? Is that normal?
          It's been many years since opening those fire hydrants in Philly...I remember praying for that cooling rain.

          @Kurt You know places like Vegas and Yuma..that sometimes is just insane heat. I remember a trip to Laughlin one time, had to stay in Needles I think.
          It was something like 80 at 3 in the morning.

          Dry heat is where air con works best IMO. In humidity a fan.
          Air con just puts more moisture in the air, IMO.
          But like I said unless it's really extreme..won't use it.

          One nice thing about San Dog, don't remember the last time I personally have used air con OR heat, for that matter.
          I've seen LV over 100 at midnight. But once the sun goes down, it's much more tolerable. Temperature readings are in the shade, so if it's 115 during the day in the shade...

          There was a hot spell and I forgot my keys in the car. It was parked in the sun. I went back to get my keys after just a few minutes and it literally burned my bad enough when I grabbed my keys it left a small blister on my finger.

          And one thing you'll never find in a car in LV is vinyl seats.

          I had a couple of friends that were roofers in LV and they'd work with hot tar. I honestly don't know how they survived...
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          • Profile picture of the author Roaddog
            Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

            I've seen LV over 100 at midnight. But once the sun goes down, it's much more tolerable. Temperature readings are in the shade, so if it's 115 during the day in the shade...

            There was a hot spell and I forgot my keys in the car. It was parked in the sun. I went back to get my keys after just a few minutes and it literally burned my bad enough when I grabbed my keys it left a small blister on my finger.

            And one thing you'll never find in a car in LV is vinyl seats.

            I had a couple of friends that were roofers in LV and they'd work with hot tar. I honestly don't know how they survived
            ...
            Yea I knew a roofer from Henderson out there (Henderson had a building boom a few years back)...no thanks.
            I tried roofing myself for a short time. And that was only just L.A.
            ALWAYS subbed it out after that...lol


            There was good money in it out there (in Nevada)...if you lived thru it.
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            • Profile picture of the author ThomM
              Originally Posted by yukon View Post

              No joke I still have my old '95 Jeep Cherokee 4.0, has about 220K miles on it.

              The cost of new parts are dirt cheap, not to mention If the tax & insurance gets any cheaper they will be sending me a check.

              Only thing I've ever replaced was the starter, tires, battery, brakes + front rotors. Sucks on long drives, after about 100 miles it feels like your sitting on plywood seats, lol.

              BTW, the Jeeps A/C still works great!
              Same with mine, you got to love old Jeeps. I haven't gone over 20 miles at one time in mine, I got the bike for trips

              Originally Posted by Roaddog View Post

              @Thom,

              That hot and humid this early? Is that normal?
              It's been many years since opening those fire hydrants in Philly...I remember praying for that cooling rain.
              It happened last year also, been in the high 80's to low 90's for about a week and tomorrow the high is going to be in the high 60's then mid 70's for a while. Heck two weeks ago 55 was warm

              Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

              Im my experience, it's the old folks that like the heat. They have the thermostat set to 95.

              IMO, heaters and furnaces are for wimps.
              I won't say I like it Kurt, but I do deal with it.
              Besides I worked in a lot of commercial kitchens that where real hot and humid.
              By the way my furnace died 4 years ago. Now I just use a couple of space heaters to take the chill off and keep the pipes from freezing.
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        • Profile picture of the author ThomM
          Originally Posted by Roaddog View Post

          @Thom,

          That hot and humid this early? Is that normal?
          Remember how I said yesterday it was in the 90's?
          Today at noon it's 60 degrees and tonight it's going down to 42
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  • Profile picture of the author ghostrecon
    Try a battery operated fan, it won't do much, but it might give your brain the illusion of feeling cool.
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  • Profile picture of the author MaryB
    you guys have caused me to LOL! Thanks for the photos.
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  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    Ancient? If it is more than about 15 years or so, your 1995 jeep probably qualifies 8-(, you are SUNK! It is ILLEGAL to repair it! SERIOUSLY, due to bans on CFCs! A CONVERSION could cost hundreds!

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author ThomM
      Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

      Ancient? If it is more than about 15 years or so, your 1995 jeep probably qualifies 8-(, you are SUNK! It is ILLEGAL to repair it! SERIOUSLY, due to bans on CFCs! A CONVERSION could cost hundreds!

      Steve
      Which is just another reason why when I bought mine I made sure the windows went up and down, but still haven't checked the A/C
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    I'm thinking about getting one of these...They seem to get really good reviews on Amazon...

    Amazon.com: Small Fan & Mini-Air Conditioner:...Amazon.com: Small Fan & Mini-Air Conditioner:...
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  • Profile picture of the author jducey1234
    Yeah I would say roll down the window. Air conditioning in cars was very rare back in the day. Easy fer me to say though. My AC works fine.
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  • Profile picture of the author mologic
    That sucks! happened to me a couple summers ago. My motor blew out in my AC unit. Replacing it sucked, but I managed to do it myself. Had to spend a few hot hours in the attic and buy a new motor
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  • Profile picture of the author Andie
    Mary,
    You don't mention the ages of your kids, but get each of them one of the mist water bottles w/fan attached They can "self cool" or even cool each other....and occupy them on the rides. Inexpensive, might leave the car a bit soggy but in that heat it will 'self dry' pretty quick too!

    Andie
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