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I bought a used Pilot EX-L last year and my AC stopped working, so took it in to my local mechanic. After testing system pressures, he found that the low side pressure was at 85 psi (should be closer to 30) and high side pressure was only at 110, the AC compressor was noisy and appeared to be failing. He says that they would need to do the following: change the filter, dryer, receiver and then the AC compressor. Estimate is $1100 for parts & $700 for labor (and possibly if the coondensor needs to be changed, that would be another $600).

I called my local Honda dealership service, and they said that the 1234YF refrigerant now being used in Pilots 2016 and newer tends to cause a higher failure rate with components (not sure which components?) earlier on in the life of the car. They wanted to take a look, and then inject the dye to check for a leak ($75-$250).

I guess my questions are:
1) whether anyone has experienced this before (I did some research and the AC failing was a known issue with CRVs and a class action lawsuit was filed)
2) would you go the route of the dealer, or straight to the mechanic?
3) since this is a used car, any possible way the previous driver could have done something to really mess up the AC compressor (it was a lease turn in)

I apologize for any mistakes in terminology - I tried to take careful notes but I am not a mechanic or good with cars, but just doing my due diligence before shelling out $1800-$2400 for this car. Thanks!
 

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being an ac tech I can tell you that your local mechanic is wrong about the expected pressure of that particular refrigerant. 85psi is slightly higher than i would expect but 30psi would put your evaporator coil at about 0 degrees Fahrenheit when it should be closer to 40 degrees. Without knowing the ambient temperature when he took those pressures but I assume the "outside" temperature was over 60 degrees which makes me think you are low on refrigerant which likely damaged the compressor from running undercharged. Either way it sounds like you have a leak somewhere, probably the condenser if they said you might need a new one and a new compressor
 
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