Car Air Conditioning Repair Overview
During most checks, a certified technician will do a system fan level check, they will read the PSI pressure to verify the Freon level, an output temperature check will be performed and the blower fan and the compressor will be examined thoroughly to see if its working properly. Belts and hoses will also be closely inspected to see if any signs of aging or potential failure are present.
To check for leaks, a fluorescent dye will be injected into the system to see if a leak is present.
The Air Conditioner Is Making Weird Noises
Your AC unit has a language all its own, and certain noises mean specific things.
- Screaming or a high-pitched screaming sound at the outside portion of your AC unit. The most likely problem is the compressor. Turn off the AC unit and call your technician.
- Knocking a sound in the outside unit is probably caused by something that fell into the unit like a stick, and its hitting the fan. Turn off the AC and call the professional.
- Metal on Metal this is in the outside unit and probably means the fan motor bearings have gone bad. The fan motor needs to be replaced.
- Gurgling its possible there is a refrigerant leak, or perhaps the drain line is gurgling as water goes through it.
- they get faster as time goes on, and its possible there is an obstruction in the fan.
- a sign of an electrical problem. Call your HVAC technician.
Cost Factor #: The Contractor You Hire
Who you hire to repair your air conditioner also determines how much you pay.
Our advice? Dont immediately write off a contractor who is more expensive than another. You see, higher-priced contractors typically offer higher-quality work, which means you wont run the risk of the same part breaking down in the future.
But dont judge a techs quality by their price alone.
Some questions to ask yourself before you hire a contractor include:
- Are they licensed and insured? If not, look elsewhere. If an accident happens on the job and the contractor is licensed or insured, youll be financially and legally responsible.
- How long have they been in business? If theyve been in business 10+ years, that means they have a good track record, so theyll probably be around for another 10 years or more. On the other hand, if the company has only been around for a year, theres no guarantee theyll be around a year or so later when you need them.
- Are they upfront with their pricing?If a contractor is wishy-washy about price, or they avoid giving you straight answers, watch out. As a homeowner you deserve to know upfront what your repair will cost.
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Can You Recharge Your Cars Ac
Recharging your air conditioning system is not a difficult task, but one that requires some research. It is crucial to make sure you know how to recharge it safely and properly.
First, you will want to confirm the type of refrigerant required for your specific vehicle. If youve confirmed that your vehicle uses R-134 or R-1234yf, or has been converted from R-12, you can purchase a recharge kit which will include the recommended refrigerant, dispensable from a pressurized can of approximately 12 ounces to 22 ounces and in most cases will contain a reusable recharge hose outfitted with an inline pressure gauge. This pressure gauge will assure the proper amounts of refrigerant are delivered by measuring existing levels and reflecting maximum levels realized for proper recharging.
Even though most cans do contain a charging hose, using a proper manifold gauge set is highly recommended and will get you more accurate measurements on your vehicles system. Instructions are included within the recharge kit to properly do this service yourself. Next, you will want to identify the low-side delivery point for the refrigerant on your vehicles system. Refer to your owners manual or online guides for your specific car for this information, or, you can read more about charging your AC system yourself here.
What To Do Next
Now that you know what to expect, youll need to decide on next steps. To make sure the problem is properly diagnosed, talk to your nearest Natrad technician. They can advise what issues may be existing in your system and what repairs will be necessary. Pricing and repair costs will be supplied in a detailed quote.
Natrads talented technicians are the cooling specialists and help find the right solution for your vehicle. Find your nearest workshop here.
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The Ac Unit Is Short Cycling Shuts Off Or Turns On Too Soon
Short cycling is when the air conditioner stops short of completing a full cooling cycle. There are a few possible reasons for this.
- A dirty air filter
- Electrical problems within the system
Try These DIY Solutions
- Replace the air filter and try again. If its still short cycling, go to the next step.
- Visually inspect the evaporator cell. If there is ice present, let it melt and then try again. If the short cycling continues, youll need some professional help.
How Are Air Conditioning Compressor Clutch Assembly Issues Diagnosed
The first thing a technician will test is power going to the compressor clutch. If the clutch will not engage, there may just be a lack of power from the compressor relay, and repairing the circuit may solve the issue. However, modern vehicles may route function of the air conditioning compressor clutch through the body control module or the HVAC electronic control module. In these cases, it is necessary to test the complete circuit, scan the vehicle, and determine if the controller is restricting power to the compressor clutch, or if there is a failure with that circuit. If there is power to the clutch, but the clutch will not engage, the clutch or compressor must be replaced. However, if there is no power to the clutch, yet the clutch will not disengage, the clutch or compressor will be replaced as well.
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How Much Does Car Air Conditioning Repair Cost
A cars air conditioner will have five main components: the refrigerant, which is designed to carry the heat the compressor, which draws in and compresses the refrigerant, moving it along the condenser, which expels the heat the expansion valve, which regulates the refrigerant flow and the evaporator, which will cool down the car by blowing the hot air from the inside of the car across the refrigerant. Unfortunately, some of these parts can go bad, ultimately forcing your air conditioner to either blow hot air or not work at all. Since it can be hard for a technician to find out where the leak is coming from, it can take up to an hour or so to know exactly whats going on.
Airflow From Ac Is Very Weak
AC problems are among the easiest to spot, knowing that your body can sense its inner workings almost right away. Just as apparent as temperature changes from your cars air conditioner, is in how the airflow feels. Is your cars AC unit not blowing air as vigorously as you last remembered it? Double-check your AC settings, and give it another feel. If your cars air conditioning unit is rushing in weak, or almost impalpable airflow, then its time to have your AC unit looked into.
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Auto Air Conditioning Repair Costs What Is Causing Your Cars Ac Unit To Need Repairs
So far in our auto air conditioning repair costs guide, weve taken a steady look into the tell-tale symptoms of AC problems. These easy to spot signs are clear enough indications that something is not right, and that you should make serious consideration to have them fixed. But, you might ask, what is causing these symptoms to appear in the first place. Naturally, they point out the fact that your cars air conditioning unit is suffering from one or more problems.
However, an AC unit is among the most complex parts of a car. As such, there are a myriad of parts that could be the specific point of failure within your cars air conditioning system. Some of these are easier than others to fix, such as the refrigerant. Some other parts, such as the compressor, can prove more complex. All of these components need to work harmoniously with one another, in ensuring that you can be kept cool and comfy in your car.
As we mentioned earlier, a cars AC unit is designed to last for a very long time. For the most part, key components will easily make it through 10 years. At most, regular service with your cars standard maintenance routine is painless enough. Although, eventual wear and tear, or poor care could result in some parts breaking down prematurely. So, for our auto air conditioning repair costs guide, here are some of the causes that will result in your cars AC system in failing.
When Should You Have The Ac Compressor Replaced
There are various common symptoms that there may be an issue with your air conditioner compressor. The first and most obvious sign is that the air conditioning itself isnt working properly, with little to no cool air coming out of the vents. Your local garage should be able to diagnose the fault for you, and isolate which component is causing the problem.
Sometimes youll find the vents are blowing hot air but not cool again this could be an issue with the compressor so have it checked out.
Another common symptom is a clicking noise coming from the engine. If the AC isnt being used regularly the seals and components can dry up as a result of insufficient lubrication. This can result in a loud clicking sound as the unit tries to function, which can lead to poor results from the AC unit. If you notice any unusual sounds coming from your engine, be sure to have it inspected.
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How Much Does It Cost To Put Freon In A Car’s Ac
The most common repair that needs to be done to a car’s air conditioner is to have the freon or coolant refilled. The refrigerant in an air conditioning unit is what allows the air conditioner to actually blow cold air. It changes its state from a gas to a liquid inside of the compressor of your air conditioner. The coolant then moves into the condenser where cool air circulates through to remove the heat that has been built up in the coolant when it changes state from gas to a liquid the condenser then moves the coolant over to an expansion valve where it returns from its liquid state back into a gas. This causes the cooling reaction that allows the air that is pulled into the air conditioner to blow out cool into the cabin of your vehicle. Little more complex and all that, but that’s the general idea.
There are a number of reasons why you could need more refrigerant in your air conditioner whether you have a leak somewhere, or there was moisture that developed in the line at some point and so on.
How Much Does Labor Cost For An Ac Compressor Repair
Depending on your car, labor prices can vary greatly. If you have a small vehicle where everything is hard to get to, AC compressor repair cost could go up. If you have a large SUV with plenty of room to work and doesnt require taking off multiple parts, AC replacement costs can be less expensive.
We have come up with some average labor times for different sized vehicles to give you a better idea of an AC compressor repair cost for you. See our article on A/C Compressor Replacement to get an idea what it will take to complete the job yourself. Our table below will help you negotiate a reasonable AC compressor installation cost.
Prices will vary depending on who your mechanic is and what prices they charge per hour. If you go to a dealership instead of a mechanic, prices will almost always be higher. If you need to go to a specialist, prices might be higher than a regular independent mechanic. Our table will give you an idea of how long it should take a mechanic to complete the AC Compressor repair and will give you an idea, based on your mechanics rate, how much it should cost.
|2007 Toyota Tundra 4.1 ~ labor hrs
|2007 Chevrolet Silverado 2.9 ~ labor hrs
|2007 Ford F-150 3.4 ~ labor hrs
|Included 1.4 hrs for recovery, evacuation and recharge of the system
|Range = 2.5 labor hrs to 7.5 labor hrs
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What To Expect When Youre Expecting
So heres the process:
The process can derail at any point. We might find a big leak on the day of the service. Or it could be that the AC system doesnt work even with the correct amount of refrigerant due to a stuck expansion valve or bad compressor. You cant test this stuff with an empty system. And its also possible that youll drive around enjoying your newly functional air conditioning for a week, only to have us tell you you have a leak during your one week visit.
What Is Recharging Your Ac
Your air conditioning system uses a special refrigerant called R134a to remove moisture from the air inside your car and deposit it outside. Over time, this refrigerant can escape, either through normal evaporation or through leaks that form in your system. Without refrigerant, the AC can no longer cool down the inside of your car.
Recharging the AC is simply the process of adding more refrigerant to the system so that it works properly again.
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How To Save Money On Ac Compressor Repair
As with most auto repair, you can usually save some money by ordering the parts online and performing the repairs yourself. Online parts retailers like NAPA, Walmart and Amazon mean consumers have access to car components far more readily than ever before, so if you do your research and feel comfortable working with your hands you can fix a lot of common problems.
If youve had the fault diagnosed as an issue with the AC compressor, the unit is fairly straightforward to remove . The main challenge for an amateur mechanic is the removal of the refrigerant not many people have access to the machine which performs this task. If youre determined to do this work yourself, find a mechanic willing to drain the refrigerant for you, then finish the job yourself.
The other way is to simply shop around for the best possible price for the work. You can compare rough costs for parts and labor online, and you can get several quotes by just calling around local garages for an estimate. While its worthwhile going for a low price, be sure to go with someone you trust or who has a good reputation.
What Are The Main Parts Of An Auto Ac System
Before we dive headfirst into talking about how to repair the AC system in a car and the auto AC repair costs, its important for you to know about all the different parts contained in your cars AC system. This will help you understand whats going on when you take your car to a shop to have your AC system worked on. Itll also help you make sense of the auto AC repair costs you might face.
The compressor is probably the first part that comes to mind when you think about your cars AC system. Its responsible for pressurizing the refrigerant in your AC system so that its able to cool air off for your car, and its also in charge of keeping the air in your system moving along. Its a part that youre going to have to repair if it ever goes bad on you and stops doing its job.
There are also several other parts in your auto AC system that make it go. This includes anAC condenser, an accumulator, a thermal valve expansion valve, and an evaporator. There are also a series of hoses that are used to keep your cars AC system up and running. In order for your AC system to work the way its supposed to, each and every part that we just mentioned needs to be in great condition and firing on all cylinders.
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How Long Does An Aircon Compressor Replacement Take
Once again, weve worked out the averages from our records.
Looking at those averages, an aircon compressor replacement should take between 1 and 3 hours. For larger vehicles or those with more complicated and restricted access, the job can take longer than if access is straightforward, and can be carried out without any additional issue.
Take a look at the figures our reports delivered. They should provide a little inside information into the variation from vehicle to vehicle.