AC system not delivering the goods? Replacement might be the answer.

The overall air conditioning system of a car is made up of many individual parts. There is no such thing as a single unit to describe a car air conditioner; it’s a closed loop made up of several components. So, if you’ve noticed some abnormal behaviour from your AC such as weak airflow, warm air rather than cold or odd noises, a component may have failed.

Depending on what has failed, you may be able to replace or repair a single component for a relatively low cost. Sometimes when a part like the compressor fails, it can circulate debris and damage other parts too. This might require an entire system re-haul which can be costly. To help you pinpoint potential costs, we’ve put together a guide on the air conditioning system.

Natrad has a huge range of replacement air conditioning parts for a variety of vehicles. Need something new? Find out more about how we can help with your air conditioner.

How much does it cost to replace a car’s air conditioner?

To keep things simple, we’ve created a breakdown of all the elements within the air conditioning system with a price estimate for replacement. While part costs are relatively easy to estimate, there are several other influencing factors on the final bill. These include:

  • Labour
  • Location
  • Availability
  • System requirements (such as a system regas to remove contamination and ensure the system has enough refrigerant)

To find out more information, you can ask your nearest Natrad store for a detailed quote.

What are the parts in a car’s air con system?

ac compressor

Air conditioning system parts include:

  1. Refrigerant: The lifeblood of the AC system. It changes from gas to liquid depending on which part of the system it is flowing through. It allows the system to change hot air to cold.
  2. Compressor: The beating heart of the system. It acts as a pump for the refrigerant and uses high pressure to circulate the substance to the rest of the parts.
  3. Condenser: As a heat exchanger, it works similarly to a radiator. It condenses the refrigerant from gas to liquid, thereby releasing some of the heat it carried.
  4. TX valve or orifice tube: The TX valve regulates the amount of refrigerant released into the evaporator. Some systems have an orifice tube which also does this, but cannot control superheat as a TX valve does. This is when the boiling point of refrigerant leaving the evaporator is measured.
  5. Evaporator: The evaporator cools down the air passing through it before being pushed into the cabin.
  6. Receiver drier: The receiver drier temporarily stores oil and refrigerant when they are not needed by the system.
  7. Heater core: The heater core is responsible for delivering warm air into the cabin, but this is achieved through coolant. It’s considered a part of the HVAC system but does not make use of refrigerant.

If you’d like to learn more about the technical side of things, you can read our guide to how the AC system works.

Cost breakdown of replacing AC components

To help clarify what costs you might be looking at, we’ve broken down the low to high end ranges of possible part prices. These numbers are purely indicative and depend on individual circumstances.

Compressor: Between $350 and $1500 depending on the application. For some industrial vehicles, it may cost more.

Condenser: Between $140 and $2,200. The higher end often applies to high performance or industrial engines.

TX valve: Between $16 and $184.

Evaporator: Between $60 and $2500. The higher range usually applies to high performance engines.

Receiver drier: Between $10 and $70.

Heater core: Between $96 and $930.

Now that you have a better idea of what you may be facing, it’s time to find your nearest Natrad store. The highly experienced technicians and workshops across Australia are trained in air conditioning system diagnosis, repairs and replacements. Contact your local workshop to organise an AC check and detailed quote if any repairs are necessary.

Natrad’s large range of air conditioning parts means that no matter what you need, Natrad can provide. Stores can supply excellent inspections, repairs, servicing and quality parts for your needs.