You've got some work ahead of you, but it's not all that bad. Your quote for $2000.00 is, for this job is bananas. Your car can be fixed quite inexpensively. Here's what to do:
First, take a look at www.ackits.com
. Read a little about "Black Death". I'd have a sneeking suspicion that this is what you're dealing with. They'll tell you you need all new parts, and so on, but it's just more to familairize yourself with some of the nasty stuff that can happen with a compressor breakdown.
Next step, ask yourself if you want to keep the car for awhile. This will detetermine if you go for new parts, or the junkyard. Auto AC Kits has some pretty good pricing on parts. They're US based, but the prices are so good it's work the hassle of cross border shipping. I took a look and you can get a new condensor for $102.48 US and a new compressor for $203.48 US and a new accumulator for $59.00 and a new expansion valve for $26.00
If you'd like to keep costs down, go to the junkyard and get a used compressor and a used condensor. You'll have to change the accumulaor and you really should replace the expansion valve. Go ahead and install the replacement parts. All of this stuff is bolt-on and not particularty complicated to R &R. I would also recommend that you replace any seals that you come across as they are 14 years old (cheap to replace). I'd also replace the schrader like valves in the charge ports at the same time (again.... they're about a buck or two a peice).
Next, find a reputable shop who will be willing to flush and evacuate your AC system, and then recharge with RedTek R12a (www.redtek.com
) or Duracool (www.Duracool.com)
. These are both drop-in replacements for R12. Two cans of RedTek should do the job as you require less of these refigerants than R12. I can't remember which one, but one of these sites has a chart that shows this. If you want, you could charge the system yourself after you take it in and have it flushed and evacuated (you can purchase RedTek at Part Source and probobly Canadian Tire), but you may as well have the shop re-charge it after they've done everthing else.
My own little gripe. I don't understand why some repair shops have to just jam people in these cirumstances. No one's going to spend $2000.00 fixing the AC on a 14 year old car. I don't understand why they didn't suggest the used parts route and the R12a route to you in the first place. They could have made a few bucks off you probobly, and you'd be enjoying a nice cool car right now if they hadn't been crazy with the price I'll bet. Anyways....
Shoot a reply back to this post if you want me to go into more detail on any of this.