Asking how much it costs to fix your car's air conditioning is like asking how long a piece of string is... It depends on where you take it and what needs to be done to repair it.
The first step to finding out how much it costs to fix your car's air conditioning is to learn how it works. Auto air conditioners consist of five major components:
- A refrigerant which carries heat.
- A compressor that draws the refrigerant, compresses the substance and moves it through the system.
- A condenser that expels heat.
- An expansion valve to regulate the flow of refrigerant.
- An evaporator or drier that cools the air by blowing warm air in the car's interior over the refrigerant.
Many hoses connect the various parts, and pose challenges in terms of potential leaks, contaminations or compressor failures.
An auto air conditioning compressor is usually the one item that malfunctions in the system. This crucial part of your AC can be expensive to replace, as you will have to pay for the part as well as for labor, which varies depending on your car and on the auto shop you choose to handle the repair. Repairs can cost more if you have a small car which makes it harder to access parts.
So How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Car's Air Conditioning?
If your air conditioning is not working as it should, it's a good idea to check whether your drive belt is really loose, or whether you have a blown fuse. If that's not the case, you can expect it to be one of the common air conditioning problems.
Air Conditioning Leak - Estimated cost of repair: $50-$200
It's no secret that leaks are the number one reason why people bring their cars in for air conditioning repairs. The challenge is that leaks can occur anywhere in the system where refrigerant moves through pipes and components.
Thankfully, this is also the most inexpensive problem to fix, as it usually only requires replacement of worn hoses or faulty gaskets.
Compressor Failure - Estimated cost of repair: $500-$1000
A compressor circulates refrigerant through your air conditioning system. It transfers heat from the inside of the cabin to the outside environment surrounding your car.
Modern air conditioning systems contain a magnetic clutch which engages when you enable your air conditioning system. If compressor components become worn out or if the clutch fails, it will require costly repairs.
Air Conditioning System Contamination - Estimated Repair Cost: $300-$2000
If your car's air conditioning system is serviced using equipment that has been exposed to different refrigerants, it may become contaminated.
R-12 is a refrigerant used mainly in older cars, while R134a is a more environmentally friendly refrigerant that has been used in newer cars since approximately 1994. Strangely, the two refrigerants are completely incompatible. It is crucial to avoid exposing one to the other when it comes to air conditioning servicing.
If your air conditioning unit has been exposed to or contaminated by the wrong refrigerant, it will have to be flushed completely and recharged. The compressor, evaporator, dryer and condenser will have to be replaced.
Let Nationwide Auto Transportation ship your vehicle to the repair shop to have your air conditioning unit repaired or replaced.
See also Help When Your Car Breaks Down
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