Just re-gassing or recharging an air con system with refrigerant gas can cost as little as $120 or so. However, a simple car air conditioning regas service seldom fixes a system that does not work properly.
The problem is that refrigerant is not used up in the way fuel is used up. Refrigerant gas remains in the air con system for as long as the system is leakproof. Therefore, if the system does not leak, the refrigerant gas cannot disappear.
So how does refrigerant escape from the system? There are many ways for refrigerant gas to leak, but here are the most common ones-
- through old, brittle rubber hoses
- through seals in pipe joints
- through pinholes in the condenser or evaporator
- through defective test or charging ports
- through defective pressure switches
In practice though, an average air conditioning system that is in a good condition should remain leakproof for about 3 years. Thus, when the system needs to be recharged, there is usually a leak present. Not fixing the leak means the new refrigerant will just leak out again.
This means that the price of recharging an air conditioning system must at least include the cost of an inspection to find the leak. In most cases, this inspection will take about two hours.
This labour charge is usually the starting point when an air conditioning service centre calculates the cost of repairing a climate control system. To this, they add the cost of faulty parts, as well as the cost of installing the faulty parts.
So, while a simple recharge can cost as little as $120, there is no telling what the final cost of repairing the system will be. Much of this cost depends on the make and model of the vehicle, as well as on your location.
Here are some examples-
- Replacing rubber high-pressure hoses can cost about $350
- Replacing a condenser can cost about $300 to more than $500
- Replacing an evaporator can cost about $600 or more, depending on the vehicle
- Replacing a compressor can cost anything from about $2000 to more than $4000, depending on the vehicle
Unfortunately, it can be expensive to repair car air conditioning systems. Therefore, to get the best deal, we recommend that you visit Find a Mechanic. Here you can find certified car air conditioning service centres near you that will give you price estimates that include all costs and charges.