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If your car’s AC system starts running low on refrigerant, it may need a recharge. This isn’t a costly repair, and it likely won’t need to be done before you hit the 100,000-mile mark, but anyone who has had a car for a few years will need this done at least once.
For most cars, the cost of an AC recharge will be about $200 but can go as high as $280. It’s a simple procedure, but it can take a while to check everything out and ensure that there is no further damage, so expect to pay about $120 for the labor costs. You can pay as much as $160 for labor, depending on the kind of car you have. The parts will cost you somewhere between $80 and $120.
AC Recharge Cost Comparison
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$178-$315|
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$175-$330|
|Parts & Labour||12 months||$160-$364|
|Parts & Labour||24 months||$170-$310|
What Is AC Recharge?
Your air conditioning system requires a certain amount of fluid to keep it functioning properly. Without the right fluid levels, your system can overheat and experience pressure that can damage the other components of the AC system. An AC recharge simply means checking the current level of coolant fluid in the system and refueling it to get it to where it needs to be. This allows everything to operate smoothly, last longer and produce cooler air.
Benefits of AC Repair
By having your AC unit recharged, you will enjoy a system that works more efficiently, and that lasts longer. The air it produces will be colder, and you will protect the rest of your AC system and the surrounding car parts from overheating and other types of damage. You also enjoy the benefits of an AC system that works like it should every time, providing cold air when you need it and keeping your car comfortable.
What Is Done during an AC Recharge?
The technician will want to check for the source of the problem first. If you came to them complaining about some issue with your AC, they would perform a thorough check of the system to make certain that by recharging your unit they are taking care of all the problems.
Once the technician sees that the system needs a recharge, he will evacuate all the coolant from the system using a coolant recovery machine. He will have to take out most of the AC system to do that. Once the parts have been evacuated, he will replace them and remove all the air from the system. The new refrigerant will be installed and any damaged or worn seals will need to be replaced. If the unit has been leaking, then one or more seals are usually at fault.
When to Get an AC Recharge Done?
It’s no emergency to have your AC system recharged. You can even run it for a while before there is any serious damage, but you should get this problem taken care of sooner rather than later. Over time, the lack of refrigerant will put extra pressure on connectors and other parts of the AC system, causing them to break down and requiring extensive repairs and replacement.
The best way to know if your system needs a recharge is to check for leaks. If the refrigerant has been leaking for a long time, then you are likely running low on refrigerant.
You may also notice that your system isn’t working as well as it should. It may have trouble producing cold air, or it may make weird noises or overheat. These are signs that you need to have some repairs done.
How to Save Money on an AC Recharge
It can be very dangerous to deal with the AC refrigerant. This liquid can cause chemical burns, and it requires special equipment to handle. That’s why this isn’t considered a DIY job, and you should not try to save money by recharging the system on your own.
You can try to cut your costs by comparing rates between professionals, though. You may be able to get a good deal this way. The parts aren’t terribly expensive, so you aren’t likely to save money by sourcing your own or asking your technician to shop around. Also, keep in mind that a lot of service centers can handle this type of job, so don’t be afraid to try some of the cheaper locations that do very basic car repairs to handle it for you.
AC Recharge Cost Comparison
|Ford F-Series||$126 – $161||$77 – $120||$203 – $281|
|Chevrolet Silverado||$126 – $161||$77 – $120||$203 – $281|
|Ford Focus||$126 – $161||$77 – $120||$203 – $281|
|Toyota Camry||$126 – $161||$57 – $89||$183 – $250|
|Toyota Corolla||$126 – $161||$57 – $89||$183 – $250|
|Nissan Altima||$126 – $161||$57 – $89||$183 – $250|
|Honda CR-V||$126 – $161||$82- $120||$208 – $281|
|Honda Civic||$126 – $161||$82- $120||$208 – $281|
|Honda Accord||$126 – $161||$82- $120||$208 – $281|
|Ford Fusion||$126 – $161||$77 – $120||$203 – $281|