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Old 08-16-2013, 04:27 PM
 
598 posts, read 1,423,344 times
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brought my car to a mechanic shop for aircon repair coz it's blowing hot air only.. diagnostic was $30.. I got a call saying it only needs Freon.. they need to "drain" and replace it.. total cost including diagnostic is $199.

I guess the good news is the mechanic didn't "invent" other damages to jack up the price..
but changing Freon looks too expensive for $200.. but I don't know I haven't had this done before..

so anyone here with car aircon experience thinks this is a good price?


I don't want to post in car mechanic forum coz prices may vary in other states or cities..
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:06 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
35,936 posts, read 65,398,365 times
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What year is it? If it's older than about 1993 and it was really freon, you got a bargain. For later models using the R124A refrigerant, it's a bit high. Here I can get the check for $19.95, recharge for $125.
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
2,052 posts, read 5,242,367 times
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For just a recharge, that is a bit high. So why do they need to evacuate the system? Is there a major leak and did all of the refrigerant leak out, or is it just low? I assume it the newer (mid 90's+) R134a refrigerant?

Most cars take about 2-4lbs or so of refrigerant, and the R134a runs about $8-10 a can, which is almost a pound, so figure $30-40 cost for that, plus labor to install it and markup if it is empty. My Mustang takes about 30 ounces, or 2-1/2 12 ounce cans. To evacuate the system takes hooking up a vacuum pump to clean out all of the lines of regular air and moisture, and is the way to check the system for leaks if the system is empty. A good price for that would be $70 or so. But I would think they would only need to evacuate it if they are replacing AC parts, "O" rings, or seals, or if the system was totally empty.

FWIW, the cost of AC repairs is why I learned how to do it and borrow the gauges and vacuum pump from Autozone. I was quoted $1,600 to replace the AC system in my Mustang, and I did it myself for about $700.

Good luck on it.
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:44 PM
 
598 posts, read 1,423,344 times
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car year is 2009... when I saw receipt.. material is like $20.. labor was $170.. damn..

I don't really know if they "evacuate".. he said something like deep cleaning then adding Freon with dye..
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Sugar Land
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Absolute rip-off. That's what we call honest business


Quote:
Originally Posted by Brom View Post
car year is 2009... when I saw receipt.. material is like $20.. labor was $170.. damn..

I don't really know if they "evacuate".. he said something like deep cleaning then adding Freon with dye..
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:27 PM
 
833 posts, read 1,687,370 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brom View Post
car year is 2009... when I saw receipt.. material is like $20.. labor was $170.. damn..

I don't really know if they "evacuate".. he said something like deep cleaning then adding Freon with dye..
Time is by the book, if the book says 2 hours there you go. It is always a good idea to evacuate they system and do a full recharge. $200 for any repair out the door is not bad now a days. If you don't trust you mechanic try to find another one that you can think will be honest.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Tricity
47,522 posts, read 68,315,011 times
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That's why I never sit in an A/C waiting area, sip on coffee and watch TV, but I am watching the mechanics what they do and ask questions.
If they don't let me to do so, I find a place that does.
People are getting ripped off, because they do not watch what is done and believe anything they were told.
Also you should discuss the charges BEFORE the work was done, and shop around to compare. This was not an emergency fix, and you did had options.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Breckenridge
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That is high. 134a costs $3/lb. Yes, it really is that cheap. They say it costs a lot because they need a special machine to evacuate the system. Though this machine has probably been paid off for many years. Nothing you can do about the labor time since this is set by a computer system. Everyone uses the exact same one. I forget what the program is called.
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Old 08-17-2013, 02:06 AM
 
Location: Tricity
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^^^ I think labor charge varies from shop to shop. That's why you supposed to compare several places. Even time to perform a task varies.
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Old 08-17-2013, 05:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
^^^ I think labor charge varies from shop to shop. That's why you supposed to compare several places. Even time to perform a task varies.
Every shop charges a different amount of per hour which should be based on skill level and types of cars they service. There is a standard book time however dishonest shops may add time while a shop you are very friendly with will take time off if the book is off, book says 3 hours and it is simple and only takes 30 minutes they bring it down to an hour.
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