Table of Contents
Freon is one of the core components in the air conditioning systems of many older cars, and will need to be replaced on a regular basis to keep the AC functioning properly.
Freon replacements costs between $187 – $261 at most garages, with the freon itself costing between $57 – $120.
Freon Replacement Cost Comparison
Below are some sample costs to have the freon replaced at some of the leading garage chains in the country. These costs should be used as a rough estimate, as costs can vary depending on the car you own and the parts required.
|Parts & labor||12 months||$167 – $275|
|Parts & labor||12 months||$171 – $261|
|Parts & labor||12 months||$175 – $230|
|Parts & labor||12 months||$172 – $275|
|Parts & labor||12 months||$40 – $150|
|Parts & labor||12 months||$35 – $180|
What is Freon?
Freon is a Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gas which is liquid when confined, but immediately turns into gas at room temperature. Just like many CFC gases, Freon has been used as a coolant in refrigerators and AC systems for both homes and cars. Freon never existed as a gas until 1930, when it was invented by two chemical engineers. Freon was manufactured to replace many of the coolants of the time that were discovered to do more harm than good.
Freon then became the new refrigerant and coolant, and was written as R-22 on the appliances it was used in. But there was a problem with this new refrigerant as well; it caused more harm to the ozone layer than good in our homes or industries. When it combusted, R-22 produced a gas called HFC-23 which researchers found had a direct link to ozone layer depletion alongside other adverse effects it caused on humans.
After 2003, there was no more Freon operated ACs in a bid to alleviate the damaged caused to the planet. This means that anyone with a Freon AC in their car had to get a replacement as soon as possible. One other aspect to consider is the AC Freon replacement cost that one is likely to incur.
When Should Freon Be Replaced?
Any AC system that was manufactured after 2003 probably runs on the safer CFC gas known as Puron. Freon-based air conditioners are quickly being phased out, though it doesn’t mean you cannot use your vehicle air conditioning as it is. There are still plenty of Freon replacement service stations around to seek whenever your car AC is running out.
It’s important to regularly replace your Freon coolant in the AC. It ensures your car continues to heat or cool efficiently, while at the same time ensuring your air conditioning system lasts longer. It will also save you a lot of repair pains in the long run—in case the system gets totally worn out and your visits to the garage become frequent.
One other thing you should consider is switching to an AC system that operates on the new HCFC gas, Puron. After signing of the Montreal Protocol, the United States of America banned production of Freon based cooling systems from 2010 onwards. There is still a petition to wean off all Freon based cooling systems by the year 2020.
What does this mean for your current pre-2010 car cooling system? It means AC Freon replacement costs may begin to skyrocket as demand starts to outstrip supply. Moreover, less and less garages will be able to service vehicles running on pre-2010 cooling systems. While it may be a number of years away, it may be worth considering a complete overhaul and install a Puron based cooling setup which will be less expensive to refill and service.
What Is Done During Freon Replacement?
Here is a step by step process of what happens during Freon replacement:
- A refrigerant dispenser will be attached to the can of Freon
- The engine will be turned on and the AC set to maximum
- The mechanic will check the pulley on the compressor to ensure its functioning properly
- The refrigerant fill port will be unscrewed and the dispenser attached
- The mechanic will then gradually recharge the AC using the Freon
It’s important to note that Freon gas is highly flammable and quite toxic when it burns. Thus you should never try to replace the gas yourself if you have no training in CFC gas handling.
Always seek a professional who is certified to handle Freon based cooling systems for cars. They will know how to take out the compressor refill the gas and replace it in a highly controlled environment.
The same care must be observed when completely replacing an old air conditioning system for the new Puron based ones. Your preferred technician should not only be trained in Freon replacement, but they also need skills in Freon disposal.
If you are going to sell your old Freon AC as scrap to yard dealers, ensure that the CFC gas compartment was replaced using the care required. The yard owner may need to see documentation proving this, otherwise they will refuse to pay for your old cooling system if the Freon compartment wasn’t properly removed and disposed.
How to Save Money on Freon Replacement
The Montreal Protocol is already making the sale of R-22 expensive, thus harder times are coming for those still using older AC models. Nonetheless, there is always a loophole to exploit, thus even in the hard times a cheaper solution always suffices. One of these options is by purchasing your R-22 gas online at a cheaper deal.
Another option to try is purchasing R-22 wholesale from online websites as well. The old trick of buying goods in bulk still works here, and you definitely pay less for a dozen cans than you would for three cans. Wholesale buying also ensures you have backup supply the next time your car stops blowing cool air.
Are you thinking of replacing your old cooling system for the new and efficient Puron AC? There are rebates going around for those switching to Puron based air conditioners. As the government look to reduce the number of cars using Freon coolants, they are rewarding those running Puron efficient ACs; one replacement decision could earn you a tax deduction from the government. Other States in the US also offer tax relief on property as a rebate for ‘going green’.
Sample Freon Replacement Costs
Below are some sample freon replacement costs for some of the most widely owned cars in the country.
|Ford F-Series||$110 – $141||$77 – $120||$187 – $261|
|Chevrolet Silverado||$110 – $141||$77 – $120||$187 – $261|
|Ford Focus||$110 – $141||$77 – $120||$187 – $261|
|Toyota Camry||$110 – $141||$57 – $89||$167 – $230|
|Toyota Corolla||$110 – $141||$57 – $89||$167 – $230|
|Nissan Altima||$110 – $141||$57 – $89||$167 – $230|
|Honda CR-V||$110 – $141||$57 – $89||$167 – $230|
|Honda Civic||$110 – $141||$57 – $89||$167 – $230|
|Honda Accord||$110 – $141||$57 – $89||$167 – $230|
|Ford Fusion||$110 – $141||$77 – $120||$187 – $261|