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Car Air Conditioning Cost


How Much Does Car Air Conditioning Cost?

 
low costMinor Repairs: $150-$800average costMajor Repairs: $1,000-$4,000+high costAdding Air Conditioning: $1,500-$4,000+
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Most auto air conditioners have five major components: the refrigerant carries the heat; the compressor draws in refrigerant, compresses it and moves it along; the condenser expels heat (like a car radiator); the expansion valve is a nozzle that regulates refrigerant flow; and the drier/evaporator cools the car by blowing hot interior air across the refrigerant. HowStuffWorks.com provides an automotive air conditioning overview[1] .

Typical costs:

  • Expect to pay $100-$300 to have a technician inspect and evaluate the air conditioner, including checking all hoses, belts and connections and then topping it off with fresh refrigerant, possibly with dye included to check for leaks, or (if the refrigerant is down significantly) recharging it by draining the old refrigerant and refilling it. There is no way for a technician to determine exactly how much refrigerant[2] is added to or drained from the system, so most shops charge the same flat fee for topping off or recharging; others have a fee for the labor and a separate fee for a set amount of refrigerant (typically two pounds) regardless of the actual amount used. CostHelper readers report paying $115-$260 to have their air conditioning checked and either topped off or recharged, at an average cost of $162.
  • If leaks are detected, it typically costs $150-$800 for minor repairs to a vehicle's air conditioning system and then recharging it. This generally includes replacing a few parts like hoses, sensors, or either the compressor or condenser. CostHelper readers report paying $171-$727 for minor air conditioning repairs, at an average cost of $488.
  • Extensive auto air conditioning repairs can cost $1,000-$4,000 or more, depending on make and model. This can include replacing many or all of the air conditioning system's parts -- compressor, condenser, hoses, sensors, belts, pressure switch and valves -- and then recharging the refrigerant. For cars built before 1995, the refrigerant will need to be converted to a type that meets current environmental requirements. CostHelper readers report costs of $1,000-$3,700 for major air conditioning repairs, with an average of $1,829.
  • Installing air conditioning in a vehicle that doesn't have any can cost $1,500-$4,000 or more, depending on location and the vehicle's year, make and model; luxury vehicles can cost even more. For example, Summit Racing Equipment sells complete air conditioning kits[3] for classic cars and trucks for $1,150-$1,395 for just the parts; installation by an experienced technician can take 12-22 hours at about $50-$100 an hour, bringing total costs to install those kits to $1,750-$3,595.
Related articles: Tune-up, Flushing a Transmission, Oil Change, Window Tinting, Radiator Flush, Replacing a Water Pump

What should be included:
  • Motor vehicle air conditioning repairs are governed by federal and state environmental regulations, and must be done by a certified technician using specialized equipment. The Environmental Protection Agency explains how automotive air conditioning affects climate change[4] .
  • Repairs typically involve locating and stopping leaks; it can be tricky to find a small, slow leak in a hard-to-reach area, so it sometimes requires several attempts to fix the system. The EPA discusses the difference between topping off and recharging[5] and DriverSide.com explains the typical steps for servicing auto air conditioning[6] .
  • To add an air conditioning system to a vehicle that doesn't have one, installation typically includes cutting through the firewall, replacing the heater core, installing new under-hood components, modifying the dashboard and adapting the existing ventilation controls.
Additional costs:
  • For vehicles built before 1995, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates it can cost $100-$800 to convert from using CFC-12 refrigerant (brand name Freon)[7] to an approved substitute, depending on the make, model and age of the vehicle. However, if the conversion is done with other repair work, the EPA estimates it will add less than $200 to the total cost. The use of CFC-12 is not banned, but it is no longer manufactured in the US because it depletes the ozone layer and there are dwindling supplies of CFC-12 available.
Discounts:
  • Do-it-yourselfers can refresh an aging auto air conditioning system by topping if off with a recharge kit that typically costs about $40-$60. CNET[8] reviews the A/C Pro system, calling it a good DIY first step before consulting a mechanic.
Shopping for car air conditioning:
  • Montgomery County, MD explains what to expect[9] from auto air conditioning servicing and repairs.
  • Air conditioning repairs are available from car dealerships; automotive care chains like Firestone[10] , Midas[11] , Meinecke[12] or Sears[13] ; or at independent repair shops. Search the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence[14] or the International Automotive Technicians Network[15] for local repair shops.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments

Page 2 of 2   -   << Previous   1   2   

repace ac components
Amount: $150.00
Posted by: fernando b quintana in miami, FL.Posted: August 20th, 2014 03:08PM
Shop: neighbor mechanic
How much to spend replacing all three ac components 1998 chev. Malibu 3.1
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air conditioning
Amount: $350.00
Posted by: a user in Alexandria, VA.Posted: June 5th, 2014 09:06AM
Make: HyundaiModel: Elantra
The air conditioning on my vehicle stopped working (the vents just circulated the outside air). After the shop checked the system for leaks, etc., they determined that the electrical wires to the a/c system had been chewed by rodents (probably squirrels). It would probably be a good idea for the manufacturer to install a box/cover to enclose the wires so that they are not exposed to the local wildlife.
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Air Conditioning System
Amount: $1,794.00
Posted by: Lady Distraught in Crosby, TX.Posted: May 23rd, 2014 06:05AM
Make: ChevroletModel: Equinox
Shop: Chevrolet Dealership
Took car on for Recall on 12312 Oil Life Monitor Update, and ask them to check my air conditioning system. The checked it and informed me that
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Ac compressor replacement
Amount: $1,100.00
Posted by: Dr.. in Grand junction, CO.Posted: June 30th, 2013 11:06PM
Shop: Pearmains
Est. of 1100-1500 did new air compressor w clutch rnLabor 435rnParts 546rn Getting another est. before I get this done
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Buick Regal and Jeep Grand Cherokee A/C
Amount: $90.00
Posted by: Jamie Guerreo in Austin/Dallas, TX.Posted: April 13th, 2013 12:04PM
Make: 2 Models as statedModel: Above
Shop: Firestone
My experiences, rip off both times. Not one person I know has been satisfied with Firestone. ALWAYS try to get more done than what you bring your auto in for and is very costly or overcharge. Have another Firestone horror story not related to A/C.
Moved to Dallas and found a hole in the wall auto shop that has been 100% honest and affordable. Every person recommended is happy. If in Dallas, happy to recommend.
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How To Detect Leak
Amount: $50.00
Posted by: RogerS in Springfield, MA.Posted: July 21st, 2012 12:07PM
Make: HyundaiModel: Accent
Shop: Self
If you are handy, buy a recharge kit with UV dye or if you already have a recharge hose buy a can of UV dye for less than $20. Refill the system and then use a UV light (same light you can buy at a pet supply store to detect dog pee for $15). In less than an hour you will be able to see where it is leaking under the hood. If the leak is in the evaporater then you will have to spend some time under the dash to get access to shine the light there to see. Most of the time the leak is the high pressure hose or receiver/dryer, parts that are under the hood so access is not very difficult. If you are unlucky and it is the evaporater under the dash that will take some time to access and replace.
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a/c repair
Amount: $80.00
Posted by: Charles2 in DeLand, FL.Posted: July 6th, 2012 05:07PM
Make: \\\'96 Olds Ninety-EightModel: Regency Elite
Shop: ???
Paid $10 to diagnose, $70 for rebuilt compressor, need to buy a drier($17), relative who owns an auto repair shop looked up the labor hours required for my particular car( Old Compressor removed and new installed, less than an hour! Recharge 1 hour, total labor around 2 1/2 hours max! Now to find someone to do it! At least I'm prepared!
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ac recharge
Amount: $350.00
Posted by: a user in rochester ny, NY.Posted: May 22nd, 2012 03:05PM
Stay away from any Firestone garage
Huge rip off experts
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Why cold air blowing at driver's vent but passenger is hot air.
Amount: $90.00
Posted by: STS in Radcliff, KY.Posted: May 7th, 2012 05:05AM
Make: 2005 ChevyModel: Silverado 1500 4x4
Shop: Big M Chevy Radcliff KY
First, Keith at the Big M Service Counter told me it will be $43.00 to have my AC check out. They found the problem in less than 30 minutes and it will cost me $850.00 to replace the side temp actuator. I refused to have it replace. I wished I had a camera to vedio tape Keith's angry face at me, he turned around and charged me $90.00 instead of $43.00. I'm not letting him get away with my money, he is being told by his boss to credit back $45.00.
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A/C Repair
Amount: $94.00
Posted by: Rob in Alberta in Canada, Other.Posted: May 3rd, 2012 01:05PM
Make: ChevyModel: Suburban
Shop: Dwights
AC wasnt blowing cold when first turned it on this spring after noticing it wasnt blowing quite as cold as usual last fall. Out of curiousity,asked the father of one of my son's classmates (who is a GM dealership tech) what he thought a rough estimate would be to fix an AC issue in an '05 Suburban. Told me it would be "minimum $500" no matter what the cause. Took it to a local shop who tested it for leaks (none found) and recharged the refrigerant for a grand total of $94.00. This on a vehicle with both front and rear AC. Still blowing cold as ever 4 weeks later so must have been the ticket. Didnt replace ANY parts - just a recharge.
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A/C Repairs
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Atom Hunter in Beaumont, TX.Posted: February 13th, 2012 10:02AM
Make: 02 ChevyModel: Camaro
Shop: Scott's Import Service
I was allowed to bring my own parts only because I have spent now more than 6 grand at this shop on a different car. I purchased the A/C Accumulator, Compressor,Serpentine belt, and Orifice tube. With the knowledge that I may have to replace the condenser. Just the labor was quoted at $750.(note this price DOES NOT include replacing the Condenser) Is it just me or does that sound really steep?
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ac compressor labour n parts
Amount: $1,040.00
Posted by: sujeet prasad in turlock ca, CA.Posted: January 30th, 2012 02:01PM
Make: 2008 toyota tundra 2/4Model: tundra
Shop: midas
Is this the right quote
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AC repair
Amount: $170.00
Posted by: No AC in Florida in Orlando, FL.Posted: August 25th, 2011 07:08AM
Make: CadiModel: Barritz
Condenser turned off due to low coolant. Took it in for coolant charge(r12) and was told there was a slight leak in condenser but they put a can in anyway. By next day the compressor stopped again assuming the can had leaked out. I don't want to put over $1000 in parts into air due to age of car. I would love to find the local Joe, around the corner auto shop that "The Auto Tech in Orlando, FL" suggested above, but there don't seem to be any local repair shops that can work on cars with the old freon. The big shops of course want to go for the big bucks and replace the work, rather than work on seals etc to get ac running . One mechanic suggested converting it to R134 then using some kit for leaks but another said absolutely not. I don't see any point in paying for an estimate to find out exactly whats wrong with it either, until I find a shop that I feel I can trust to do just what's needed and help minimize the costs.
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Possibly ripped off...
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: ALoneStarTexan in Houston, TX.Posted: July 27th, 2011 10:07PM
Make: SaturnModel: LS1
Shop: Firestone
Bought a 2000 Saturn LS1 in March, everything was fine until last month when the AC died. It started blowing hot.
We took it to Firestone in Spring, TX where they charged us $129.00 just to look at it. They gave us a call about 4-5 hours later to tell us the total cost to repair would be $1,400.00 because, In their words "You can't just replace one part in a Saturn, When one part dies, You have to replace the entire system."
I paid $2,200 for this car, Don't get me wrong, I got a great deal on the car and love it but I'll be damned if I'm paying more then half of what I paid for the car in the first place just for the AC.
I'll sell it first.
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Replace Air Compressor
Amount: $541.94
Posted by: DavidM in Farmville, NC.Posted: July 26th, 2011 03:07PM
Make: 2002 ChryslerModel: Concorde Ltd.
New AC compressor ($256.49), new accumulator (44.78), expansion valve (39.71), oil for unit (15.00), 2 cans 134a freon (40.00), replace 2 values (8.59). Labor was $105. Total cost $541.94.
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Changed Compressor/Condenser/Drier
Amount: $850.00
Posted by: iSnoop in Houston, TX.Posted: June 14th, 2011 05:06AM
Make: SaturnModel: Vue 3.5L
Shop: Toni's in Texas
My car was involved in an accident before I bought the vehicle.
I noticed since I bought it 2 years ago that the AC was not working right. It would be ok before Summer and sometimes when I put freon, it would work for a while. But when u drive it, u can feel the compressor was not kicking in.
I eventually took it in where Toni replaced the compressor with a brand new China-made compressor (1 yr warranty), condenser and drier (lifetime warranty). And he vacuumed the A/C system before putting in new freon. All for $850.
I initially thought the amount was high until i read how much some of you were paying.
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AC Hose, Pressure Test & Freon Refil
Amount: $330.00
Posted by: The Russian in Manalapan, NJ.Posted: June 9th, 2011 03:06PM
Make: NissanModel: Altima 2005
Shop: GF United Auto
AC wasn't working, when it got to 98 degrees outside I decided to get it fixed. Went to a local shop owned by Russians (am Russian myself), total for AC hose, pressure test, freon refill and service came out to less then what others have posted. I guess I got a good deal. Still expensive though.
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ac not blowing cold air
Amount: $100.00
Posted by: DEELO in SALT LAKE, UT.Posted: May 22nd, 2011 01:05AM
Make: 97 lincoln conModel:
Shop: did it my self
i was on vac in vegas my ac went out took it to pep boy they told me a bunch of crap .that i needed a new comp,orifice tube, reciever drier, and recharge system it would cost me $3700.00 i told them who did they think i was thier mother they could bend over and screw . i took it to a small shop in utah the service tech told me i could fix the problem my self and he didnt charge me a cent .do ever trust pepboys for any of your car repairs they are crooks . I AM THANKFUL TO THE SMALLER SERVICE SHOP AND WILL NEVER SHOP AT PEP BOYS AGAIN .. THEY WOULD RIP THE PANTIES OFF THIER MAMAS ASS IF SHE LET THEM ...FOR REAL .......
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AC Repairs
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: The Auto Tech in Orlando, FL.Posted: May 5th, 2011 11:05AM
Make: AllModel: All
Shop: Mine
Hello all,
Just to bring some light to those of you that talk like you know what you are saying and those that have been pocket raped. I am an AC tech with over 15 years of experience working in all makes and models, and not all are a pleasure to work on. Some are easy to work on, some are totally cramped and almost impossible to work on. There will be big names like pepboys, western auto and other films that with pleasure tell you "oh, the repair for your vehicle's AC is a total of $650.00 plus $385.00 for parts. This is due to the fact that an AC job could take from 15 minutes to 8 hours or more, and big companies like that will not risk to tie up a tech for that period of time when they can have him doing brakes and oil changes that he can perform in few minutes while the company gets paid the full flat rate amount for that job. The poor tech still goes home with only eight hours of work paid no matter how many labor hours he produced on that day. Very good techs can easily produce as much as 20 hours of labor in a single day. My point is, take the risk if that is what you want to call it, and go to your local Joe in the corner shop, they will must likely treat you better and most of the time will re-check your car if other problems arise with the same system for free or for a fraction of the price. Basically, you can repair your car twice or three times in the same Joe tree shade shop for what you would pay at Pepboys, dealers and big names shop. By the way, ASE certified doesn't mean, they know everything, it means the spent a couple of thousand dollars on some courses to be able to work on those big shops. I have seen ASE cerified techs that would look for spark plugs in a diesel engine.
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AC Hose Replacement
Amount: $467.00
Posted by: Will in SC in COLUMBIA, SC.Posted: April 7th, 2011 03:04PM
Make: NissanModel: Altima
Shop: Local
Paid $467 to have a leak diagnosed, hose replaced and unit recharged with freon.
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A/C Condenser and Receiver/Dryer unit replacement
Amount: $510.00
Posted by: a user in Toronto, MI.Posted: February 10th, 2011 02:02PM
Make: NissanModel: Maxima
Shop: Tiger Auto
A rock struck the A/C condenser causing all of the R134a refrigerant to leak out to the point the safety switch won't allow the compressor to cycle on. I didn't really care about not having A/C for 08 or 09 but 2010 was really hot so I had the system leak tested at no charge (For free since I knew the guy) and damaged A/C condenser replaced as well as the receiver/drier since the system was open to oxygen and moisture. System placed on a 45 minute vacuum down to 29 inches then recharged with 1.5lbs of R134a and 4oz of oil.
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A/C Compressor replacement
Amount: $950.00
Posted by: LindaF in Canada, ME.Posted: December 11th, 2010 06:12AM
Make: HondaModel: Odyssey 2000
Shop: local
Replacing compressor + compressor oil + refrigerant = $950.
When asked if the car can run without A/C compressor the mechanic told me that not for this make/model. Doesn't matter if you use it or not, without it car can't run. There is no way to bypass compressor on Honda Odyssey ;-( Thus costly repair of something that we almost never use. We live in Canada. No need for cool air :-)
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the quality of compressor made in China
Amount: $1.00
Posted by: philips in Shanghai, IN.Posted: November 5th, 2010 07:11PM
Make: made in ChinaModel: all kinds of
Shop: China
someone can give a comment about the quality of compressor made in china?
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2008 Lancer AC Compressor
Amount: $2,500.00
Posted by: Cliff in Alpharetta, GA.Posted: October 27th, 2010 02:10PM
Make: MitsubishiModel: Lancer
Shop: Rick Case Dealer
HOT summer in GA, AC Compressor was shot and NOT covered by new car warranty? $2500 OTD estimate for repair. Will not do, instead selling the car.
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air conditioning
Amount: $360.00
Posted by: Barbara Hemsworth in Columbus, OH.Posted: September 24th, 2010 08:09AM
Make: 2006 SAABModel: 93 4-door
Shop: Nolan Car Shop
I spent a total of 360 but not all at Nolans. He said there was a leak in the valve that you use to put in the freon. He gave us the old part and charged us 171.00. In 5 days it's blowing hot air again. I don't think that the part was bad but he has a price of $49.95 for vac and charge. I think he just made up the story about the part to justify charging me $171.00.
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External Resources:
  1.  auto.howstuffworks.com/automotive-air-conditioning3.htm
  2.  www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/609/recharge.html#q2
  3.  www.summitracing.com/search/part-type/air-conditioning-kits
  4.  www.epa.gov/appdstar/pdf/maccppfinal.pdf
  5.  www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/609/recharge.html#q1
  6.  www.driverside.com/auto-library/whats_involved_in_servicing_your_cars_air_conditioning-517
  7.  www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/609/wantknow.html#q1
  8.  reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-57478304-48/a-c-pro-recharge-kit-a-diy-fix-for-aging-car-...
  9.  www6.montgomerycountymd.gov/ocptmpl.asp?url=/content/ocp/consumer/air_cond_repairs.asp
  10.  www.firestonecompleteautocare.com/maintain/acservice.jsp
  11.  www.midas.com/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx
  12.  www.meineke.com/services/acondition.aspx
  13.  www.sears.com/nbsp-air-conditioning-system-recharge/p-09051022000P
  14.  www.ase.com/Landing-Pages/Car-Owners/Find-a-Repair-Shop/Shop-Locator.aspx
  15.  autorepair.iatn.net/
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