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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. 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 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.
  • 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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Replace the A-C
Amount: $1,900.00
Posted by: Demodex in EDINBURG, TX.Posted: June 18th, 2019 01:06PM
Make: 2007 ToyotaModel: Corolla
Shop: Pueblo Tires
Where I live, a person can't exist without a working A-C unit in the car. I tried, but finally decided I needed to do something. Someone recommended Pueblo Tires, and I'm glad they did. They're replacing the whole thing for $1900 parts and labor, and I'm also replacing my tires since they're almost six years old. I feel like I am dealing with some honest mechanics for a change. That's a good feeling.
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2 Hours Diagnostics $144
Amount: $144.00
Posted by: honda drriver in CAmpbell, CA.Posted: July 26th, 2018 04:07AM
Shop: Stevens Creek Honda
It's a weekend during a heat wave so of course my car AC stops working. The AC light went green when I turn the air dial, but no air came out, so I figured it was the fan. After poking around the Internet, I figured I should just take it to a dealer.
Anyway, it turned out a cable had come loose so just tightening it fixed the problem, although they claimed it took them 2 hour of diagnostics to figure that out.
They charged me $160 with 10% off for a "mature car" discount (cars over 90k miles have a coupon on their website). Seemed pretty steep to me, but at least the prices for the other work was good, and the 2 hours did also include fixing some other small items (like replacing a knob that had broken).
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Average cost
Amount: $1,396.00
Posted by: One hot soul in Greer, SC.Posted: June 22nd, 2018 08:06AM
Shop: Firestone
Compressor on Ford Expedition 2004 went out, compressor, dryer, and labor.
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AC not blowing hot
Amount: $448.00
Posted by: MATTHEW VAUGHN in MCKINNEY, TX.Posted: June 10th, 2018 01:06PM
Make: NissanModel: Altima 2007
Shop: Firestone
AC is not fixed still blowing hot air. $450.00 totally ripped off by Firestone, they added the coolant and said they tightened the hose and did a test total rip off the car is not fixed. Please please please do not use Firestone.
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1998 Honda Accord Air Conditioning
Amount: $1,400.00
Posted by: madge in Sugar Land, TX.Posted: June 3rd, 2018 04:06PM
Make: HondaModel: Accord LX
Shop: First Tire & Auto - Greatwood
They replaced the air conditioning in one day of giving me a quote. Not sure if I paid a reasonable price or not but the service was performed well.
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Complete AC kit work done on a 2006 Ford Freestyle
Amount: $970.00
Posted by: Susan Hetrick in AZLE, TX.Posted: May 28th, 2018 07:05AM
Shop: Private mechanic
He did a awesome job as far as I am concerned. It took him a long day to fix it .Temps were hot and he was in a non air conditioned shop.
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2004 chevy Tahoe belt repair on AC
Amount: $220.00
Posted by: K Robinson in Apex, NC.Posted: May 25th, 2018 09:05AM
Make: ChevyModel: Tahoe
Shop: GMP Automotive
Replaced AC tensioner belt, and refreshed refrigerant
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2007 camry a/c condensor leak
Amount: $2,600.00
Posted by: robert martin in Mobile, AL.Posted: March 10th, 2017 10:03AM
Make: toyotaModel: camry
Shop: palmer's (dealer)
Said my condenser was dead/leaking. to repair was $2,600 most of which was labor because they have to tear the dash apart
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Replace lines in my Toyota
Amount: $1,100.00
Posted by: Keith 5352 in Upper Darby, PA.Posted: August 17th, 2016 08:08AM
Shop: Havertown
Need to replace all my lines and tubes for my ac unit. Is this seem like a fair price for parts and labor.
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Insulation of a new AC Compressor in a car
Amount: $490.00
Posted by: Earl McDowell in Brooklyn, NY.Posted: August 17th, 2016 04:08AM
Shop: Auto Repair Shop
Is that a fair price?
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A/C 1998 subaru legacy wagon
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: barbara koch in TOWSON, MD.Posted: July 18th, 2016 09:07AM
Make: 1998 subaruModel: legacy
no a/c good car has 105,000 miles just need last kid to use for senior year college. just did brake job tires.... blowing hot air tried charging did not work do not want to spend a fortune have appointment with a/c car shop this week How much??? looking for best advice.
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Diagnostics and Refrigerant Recharged
Amount: $141.00
Posted by: Debbie Lai in Sebring, FL.Posted: July 10th, 2016 07:07AM
Make: HondaModel: Civic
Shop: Tire Kingdom
2009 Honda Civic: They tested with dye and no leak noted, recharged and told to run a/c on high to force to see if there is a change in temperature and if so there may be a leak. Bring back if needed and they'll run extensive leak tests.
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2004 Ford Taurus
Amount: $215.00
Posted by: Handlegrip.. in Las Vegas, NV.Posted: September 12th, 2015 02:09PM
Shop: Me auto care
Air conditioner speed working. Compressor would not even kick on. Freon got to low. They did Lube and dye to check for leaks. Remove and replacedo what freon was in the system.
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AC do-it-yourself
Amount: $394.00
Posted by: If they can do it I can in Lorton, VA.Posted: August 20th, 2015 08:08PM
Make: FordModel: Mustang
Shop: Tree in driveway
Replaced all O rings,flushed system, brought vacuum and manifold gauges $99 dollars, accumulator $28.00, O rings $10.00 Amazon. Compressor $130.00 had Pep Boys coupon, eBay liquid line $28.00, Advance Auto 134a oil and refrigerant $ 50.00, flush kit $19.00 and dye $10.00. Misc $20.00 gloves etc. Advance and Pep Boys takes 20-40% off if ordered online. If you borrow the vacuum and gauges subtract $99.00.
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A/C Repair
Amount: $1,300.00
Posted by: Stu in Harker Height, TX.Posted: July 23rd, 2015 12:07PM
Shop: Precision Tune-Harker Heights,TX
A/C finally gave out on my old'99 Ram 1500. Would cool when it wanted to, and not so much sometimes. The shop found a small leak at a service valve, and a pressure switch, then recharged the system. $300 Not bad for cool air. But it shortly stopped working again. The shop determined it was a bad compressor ( and other associated components ) Add $900. Ouch. But Texas summers require A/C, and the nice folks at the shop made the experience tolerable, and my old truck inhabitable. Overall not to bad, based on other comments here. My Precision Tune shop has done a lot of work for me, and I have always been satisfied
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ML320 2002, AC repair, Ontario
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: a user in Burlington, Other.Posted: May 2nd, 2015 12:05PM
Make: MercedesModel: ML320, 2002
There was nothing wrong with system only Refrigerant needed to be added; two capsules, cost me $100...
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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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