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How much for AC recharge, or can it be DIY?

This is a discussion on How much for AC recharge, or can it be DIY? within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I have a trip to AZ scheduled soon and my A/C decided to quit on me the other day. Can ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    How much for AC recharge, or can it be DIY?

    I have a trip to AZ scheduled soon and my A/C decided to quit on me the other day. Can this be fixed in my driveway with stuff from Autozone or will I have to take it to the shop to get it done? What's a reasonable price to pay at the dealership?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lunatikgixxer's Avatar
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    Bat mobile black
    2000 Trans am WS6 M6

    go to autozone buy a can of AC freeon, its like 20-25 dollars and read instructions on the bottle. Its very very easy

  3. #3
    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    Phantom Black Metallic
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    If you plan on doing this yourself, buy a leak testing kit. Has dye, blacklight and amber glasses so you can inject the dye and find the leak. If the leak is where the lines meet the compressor/condenser, then you can buy replacement O-rings. If the lines are bad, then you will need replacements. If the condenser is bad, then you have to replace that which involves separating the condenser from the radiator. If any parts need to be replacing, before you remove ANYTHING in the A/C system, it will need to be evacuated. Let us know if you need anything else.

  4. #4
    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    1999 Formula WS6 M6-sold
    2001 Silverado Z71

    You can DIY, but you can also do more harm then good if you overcharge the system and blow up the compressor.
    Our shop charges $150 to recharge w/ tracer dye. That charge includes pulling all remaining freon out, sucking the system down to a deep vacuum, and recharging with the exact amount of freon needed. It also includes the time to inspect the system for leaks the next time the car comes in (hopefully within about 500 miles so the dye is visible/not washed off.)
    Lowest I've seen is $75 recharge. Not sure whats included in that, but I suspect they might upcharge if the freon requirement is higher then a certain amount.

  5. #5
    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    04 2500 4x4 crew cab

    Careful you dont get that dye on your clothes, and then transfer it to something else, like the wifes drapes, or the interior of your car. I have to recharge my system every year. No biggie, buy the big can, read the instructions. I usually do it in the parking lot of the auto place in ten minutes. Save the nozzle, and next year it's cheaper.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lunatikgixxer's Avatar
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    Bat mobile black
    2000 Trans am WS6 M6

    be careful not to get that stuff in your eyes either if you do it yourself.. It can damage them pretty good

  7. #7
    Stockitie Stock Stock 95camaroZNC's Avatar
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    Take it to a shop, i took a class this summer on automotive AC, dont try and do it yourself.....

  8. #8
    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunatikgixxer View Post
    be careful not to get that stuff in your eyes either if you do it yourself.. It can damage them pretty good
    Yeah like forever.. agree

  9. #9
    Electrical Engineer KMdef9's Avatar
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    Custom Swirly Black
    2001 WS6 M6

    If it only needs a recharge, I would do it your self. They sell a can of it with a trigger nozzle making it easier. I think it's about $40. If your system discharges in a few days, you have a pretty severe leak, and I honestly would take it to a shop if I were you.

  10. #10
    Single Malt rbob93's Avatar
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    Sebring Silver
    2000 CamaroSS

    AC & refrigeration systems are a sealed system.
    Any AC or refrgeration system that needs a re-charge has a leak....PERIOD.

    There is no magic in a can that will cure the leak.

    Leak must be detected & repaired.....Then system MUST be deep vaccumed to remove air & moisture that entered the system.

    Charging a system with a can with a hose on it sends your system to an early grave.
    All to save a few bucks, you spend 3X's as much or more.

    If you want to DIY, AutoZone will loan vaccum & gauges if you buy supplies from them.
    Yes, gotta have a deposit......You also have to know what you are doing for a proper repair.

  11. #11
    Senior Member wileyCoyote's Avatar
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    blue
    1999 TransAm

    hmmm, ...well my a/c blows "cool", but not "cold", ...i think it used to get a bit colder?? i wonder if i should have it looked at, or just wait until next summer? sounds like it's best left up to the pros?

  12. #12
    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    If you don't have the finances, save for when you do and have the system checked/repaired. I have had 3 cars prior to the GTO which didn't have A/C. I wouldn't advise driving in the heat with no A/C. Especially on hot days with thunderstorms. Car will become an oven very quickly.

  13. #13
    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    Pay to fix it right today or pay far more to repair it later the choice is yours..
    A/C systems require care and proper maintanance just as any other automotive system or it's componets..
    I have had many vehicles over the years, even retro-fitted my z34 for R134a.
    Personally have never had a car equiped with A/C that was'nt functioning.
    As Rbob stated above, if you're losing refrigerant than there is something wrong with the system,
    leaks, lack of use, poor service schedule, ALL can contribute to A/C system failure..
    Fans, hoses, condensors', etc, are all part of the system and need to work effectively to promote proper operation.
    NO, just because the defrost setting runs the pump is'nt enough,
    the system must be set to "on" so that the entire system gets some use from time to time,
    and is allowed to fully cycle, not just kick on and off as with the defrost setting..
    The lubricant used in A/C systems also conditions various seals and the like.
    Lack of use is as much a contributer of systems failure as neglect..

    Many of my vehicles have been known to get so cold they throw snow flakes on ocassion, on a factory charge as well..
    The old addage, "use it or lose it", applies here..
    Just my .02..
    Last edited by Smittro; 08-05-2011 at 04:12 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Took it to the dealer yesterday. $200 bucks for the basic service and diagnostic. Turns out... just needed a recharge. They let it run for an hour and a half and used the dye to look for leaks. Found none.... Guess I'll be using the A/C from time to time (just don't need it much here in WA, especially since it's a convertible).

  15. #15
    Smiles for 9.5 Years cammed goat's Avatar
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    Good to hear everything has been resolved.

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