Educated, thrifty customers are our best clients.
While the individual components can be quite technical, car air-conditioning systems are pretty straight-forward. The diagram below shows the main components.
Diagram of an auto's Air Conditioning Parts and System
Auto Air Conditioning Repair
Auto air conditioning system problems can range from a leak in a hose (which is inexpensive to repair) to replacement of one or several components. The compressor is the most complex and expensive of these. The typical air conditioning repair bill runs in the $80 to $130 range. Some are less and others can be considerably more.
Air Conditioning System Inspection Process
To identify the problem, we:
- evacuate and store any refrigerant remaining in the a/c system.
- create a vacuum in the system to see if there is a leak. If the system can maintain the vacuum over the test period, the leak may be so small that all that might be required to get the system cooling again is to "top-off" the refrigerant.
- If there is a noticeable leak, then the system is repressurized and special dyes and detectors are used to identify the leak's location. Approximately 25% of the time, the leak is in a hose which is relatively simple and not very expensive to replace
- Other fairly common problems may be a bad expansion valve or a clogged dryer (or both)
- Larger components include the condenser (which is a smaller air conditioning radiator in the front of the main radiator) and the evaporator located inside the dash in the passenger cabin.
- The compressor is the main active component that compresses the refrigerant and pumps it through the system. It also includes a "clutch" that engages and disengages the compressor. Compressors are involved in about half of auto air conditioning problems. Replacement options for a compressor include:
- Original equipment from the manufacturer "OEM" (most expensive).
- New after-market replacement parts (available mostly for domestic cars).
- Re-manufactured compressors (least expensive).
- Sometimes, the auto air conditioning system's problems require replacing a number of components.
We encourage you to comparison shop
We know from experience that you will find our service better and our prices lower than dealers, other chains or independent shops. So, we encourage you to compare our prices with other shops. We're confident you'll be back!