How much does it cost to fix the air conditioner in your car?

4 minute read Published on Mar 23, 2024 by BrokerLink Communications

Woman turning on car air condition system on dashboard in car panel.

If you’re wondering how much it costs to fix the air conditioning (AC) system in your car, then you’ve come to the right place. Ultimately, the cost of fixing your car’s AC varies, as it depends on what the cause and extent of the problem is. Continue reading to find out more about car AC repair costs and how your car insurance can cover you.

The cost of fixing your car’s air conditioner

The most important thing to remember is that AC repair costs can vary significantly between cars. This is because not only do problems differ in complexity, with some requiring more labour or more expensive parts to fix, but mechanic fees vary depending on where you live. As a result, fixing your car’s air conditioner could cost as little as one hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.

Typically, cheaper AC repairs include air conditioning system inspections, refrigerant recharges, air filter replacements, blend door actuator replacements, temperature sensor replacement, electronic control module replacement, and condenser fan replacements.

These types of repairs could cost you less than $450. A level up from this, you have compressor clutch replacements, condenser replacements, and compressor replacements that can cost over $500 and up to $1,000. Perhaps the most expensive type of AC repair is when you have to replace multiple parts in your air conditioning system or when you have to replace the entire AC system.

Paying for a broken AC system

You're not alone if you are concerned about the cost of an AC repair or replacement. Thankfully, you might not be on the hook for these costs. For example, if you have a warranty that hasn’t expired, then you might be able to have your AC system fixed by the manufacturer at no charge. AC warranties are sometimes referred to as bumper-to-bumper warranties.

In addition, if the cause of the broken air conditioner was a car accident or another incident of damage relating to your car, then you might be able to file an insurance claim to help cover the costs.

Signs that your car’s AC system needs to be fixed

If you suspect something is wrong with your car’s AC system, it’s worth taking it to an auto body shop for inspection by a mechanic. A few of the telltale signs that there might be something wrong are as follows:

Your AC system is blowing warm or lukewarm air

If your car’s AC system is turned on, but your vents are blowing warm or lukewarm air, then something is definitely wrong. Further, if the strength of the airflow coming out of your AC system is very weak, then you might be dealing with an AC problem.

You notice a mildew smell or burning odour

If you notice a strange odour, especially one that is musty or mildew, it could result from a leak that has resulted in mould growth in your car. Another possibility is that you notice a burning smell from the ventilation system, which could indicate a problem with your air conditioner.

You hear loud, clanking noises

If you recently started hearing loud, clanking or thudding noises, it may be a sign of a problem with your car’s air conditioner. When compressors or compressor clutches break down, they often make these kinds of noises.

You see water or moisture leaking from your AC vents

A fluid leak is never good, including if it involves your car’s air conditioning system. If you notice water or another type of fluid leaking from the vents or dashboard in your car, take it to a professional as soon as possible.

Causes of air conditioner breakdowns in cars

A few of the most common causes of air conditioner breakdowns in cars include:

  • Failing compressor or compressor clutch
  • Low refrigerant levels
  • Refrigerant leak
  • Clogged or blocked condenser
  • Faulty electrical system

Tips for maintaining your car’s AC system year-round

A few pieces of advice to help keep your car’s air conditioner in tip-top shape are as follows:

  • Take your car to a mechanic on a yearly basis to undergo maintenance (learn more about summer and winter car maintenance)
  • Change your air filter regularly, as these can become dirty and clogged, impacting your car’s performance
  • Turn your AC system on its highest setting and run it for at least 20 minutes once per week

Should I have my car’s AC system repaired or replaced?

If you’ve discovered a problem with your car’s AC system, you might wonder whether to repair or replace it. A mechanic is the best person to ask about this as they can inspect your car and give you an honest, objective answer on the best course of action.

Generally speaking, AC replacements are more expensive than repairs, but they could save you money down the road, depending on the extent of the problem and how old your AC system is.

If cost is a significant concern, contact an insurance broker at BrokerLink to see if your insurance provider can help pay for your air conditioning maintenance.

Contact BrokerLink

Many drivers in Canada are on a budget, meaning they don’t have all the money in the world to spend on their vehicles. Unfortunately, some vehicle repairs are necessary, and that includes AC repairs. If left untreated, a minor leak could turn into a major problem. Thankfully, you might not have to pay for the cost of AC repairs on your own.

In some cases, your car insurance provider could help cover the expenses. There are many types of auto insurance out there, some of which could result in compensation for air conditioner issues. Some of the most popular types of auto insurance coverage in Canada include:

If you need help finding a policy, reach out to BrokerLink today. A BrokerLink insurance advisor can offer you a free insurance quote, which will give you a clear idea of how much car insurance costs per month in Ontario.

Plus, if you have other car-related questions or want advice from an expert, give us a call today. One of our licensed brokers would be happy to offer you tips for driving on icy roads, explain what steps to take if you’re trapped in a vehicle in the snow, and offer insight into how snow tires protect winter drivers. Don’t hesitate to contact BrokerLink today! We can be reached by phone, email, or in person at one of our 200+ insurance offices across Canada.

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