Install AC system in car, or get new car?

I recently started a job as a driver for some extra cash. Unfortunately my car does not have an AC system (it was a hand me down from a family member - I used to work in the city so I didn’t really need one except to hang out). And the weather has been hot these past few days. So much so that I’m sweating to the point where the steeringwheel is slippery, and I begin to feel tired and dehydrated. Not exactly the best and safest of situtations to be in.

It’s the beginning of summer essentially, so it can only get worse. Should I invest in an airconditioning for the car (2000 Kia Sephia) or should I just look for a newer (used) car instead? What do you guys think?

I went to to get the book value of the car. Since the sale value of the car is about $3000 without air, and $3325 with air, spending a thousand to two thousand dollars installing air conditioning wouldn’t make sense to me.

It’s an exceptionally expensive repair. Between 1500 and 3000, depending on the car.

Whoa! that’s a lot, I’d rather put that money on a down payment for a newer car. Argh, just a couple more weeks of heat endurance! :frowning:

If you can’t do the work yourself, it’ll be expensive.
Most low-end asian imports are shipped to dealers without AC or other installable options. The dealership installs them on an as-needed basis (or to inflate to price of every car on the lot, YMMV). You can go to a salvage yard and pull the necessary parts to DIY but you’ll need a lot of specialty tools (related to AC work, in general) to do it: line wrenches, guage set, vacuum, etc.

They make swamp coolers for cars. I saw one once on a classic beetle. THe girl said it worked pretty good.

No idea the cost.

Buy a cooler, a battery (or an adapter, something to power the fan), an electric fan, a pipe, and some ice packs. Cut a hole in the top of the cooler, install the fan, plug it into the battery, cut a hole into the side of the cooler and install the pipe for blow-through purposes, and then place about five ice packs in the cooler.

For the cost of no more than $75-100 total if you go nuts and a little dilligence in freezing the ice packs overnight you’ll have yourself a nice little air conditioner, and you don’t have to have any mechanical knowledge at all to do it.

Dude. All this time I’ve known you, and didn’t realize your name was Rube Goldberg. :wink:

Airman doors:

Fan blows down(into the cooler) right? Whats the purpose of the pipe? Wouldn’t a hole in the side of the cooler suffice? (… so I happen to have all the parts and only a semi-functional A/C in my car…)

Hey that’s a great idea Airman. Looks like I have a project for this weekend.

Dude, you live in New Jersey, how hot can it get? O.K. I’m sure it can get pretty hot like anywhere else, but it cant last long. Roll your windows down and dress for the weather. What do you think folks did before AC was available in cars?

To bad you don’t have a pickup truck:

How about fold-down seats? :smiley:

Yeah, if only I had thought of it first. It’s basically the directions for a ghetto swamp cooler. See here for a commercial version of what I’m talking about.

The reason for the pipe in the side is so that if you choose to use real ice instead of ice packs (or you just plain forget and you’re in a pinch) you won’t end up with a deluge in your car. Otherwise you can just put a hole in the side and that’s good enough. The fan sucks the air through the side and blows it out the top.

In NJ, it seems to be the humidity rather than the heat. So, Airman Doors, USAF suggestion for his Rube Goldberg cooler might not help all that much. “Swamp coolers” don’t help a lot with high humidity.

Right now is a real good time to buy a new car, AC or no.

Thanks Airman I just may be bored enough to try this this weekend.