Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Car AC condenser cost to replace

Car AC condenser replacement cost

Shop price to replace car AC condenser

The cost of the AC condenser itself can run from as little as $200 for aftermarket units to as high as $400 for OEM dealer condenser. The rest of the cost is labor and refrigerant.

If the shop is replacing the condenser as part of another repair, the cost may be lower since the system is already evacuated.

What is an AC condenser?

The AC condenser receives hot high pressure refrigerant vapor from the AC compressor. The AC condenser is mounted in front of the car’s radiator so air can flow through the unit and remove heat from the refrigerant. As the hot high pressure vapor is cooled by the airflow, the vapor condenses and transforms from microchannel condensera hot high pressure vapor into a warm high pressure liquid. Once the transformation is complete, the high pressure liquid is pushed to the evaporator inside the cabin where the cooling process begins again.

What causes an AC condenser to fail?

Impact— Since the AC condenser sits upfront right behind the grille, rocks and road debris can damage the delicate fins, causing a restriction in the flow of refrigerant or a puncture that causes the refrigerant to leak out. A punctured AC condenser can’t be repaired, it must be replaced.

Failure of another component— If an auto AC compressor suffers a catastrophic failure, it can throw debris into the AC condenser, causing it to clog. Modern condenser can’t be flushed due to the extremely its small passages. Attempting to flush a modern condenser will only cause it to restrict flow even more

Can you replace an AC condenser yourself?

Yes. But first you must pay a shop to remove all the refrigerant from the system. Once it’s empty, removing the old condenser is a simple job of disconnecting the two lines from the condenser and receiver/drier and replacing it with a new unit. You can purchase a new condenser from rockauto.com. Once installed, evacuate the system, add 1-oz of the correct AC oil and then recharge with refrigerant.

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Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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