The national cost for an ac refrigerant line replacement with CarAdvise in 2024 is between $20 and $51 with an average of $25.

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What is an AC refrigerant line?

An AC refrigerant line carries liquid or gas refrigerant throughout the air conditioning (AC) system, from one component to the next. These lines are usually made of aluminum or rubber, although they could be composed of copper on some older vehicles. The AC refrigerant lines must be capable of handling high pressures; some automotive AC systems operate at more than 300 psi on the compressor outlet (“high”) side.


How is a an AC Refrigerant Line Replacement done?

Many refrigerant lines run throughout your vehicle’s engine compartment. They lead from the AC compressor to the condenser to the receiver/drier to the evaporator and back. If you drive a van or SUV with rear AC, refrigerant lines probably run along its underbody or through body panels as well. The specific steps taken to replace an AC line depend on your vehicle make and model. They also depend a good deal on which line needs replacement; some AC lines are more difficult to access than others. In general, a technician will take the following steps to replace an AC refrigerant line:

  • Using an AC recovery machine connected to the high and low side service ports, evacuate the refrigerant from the system
  • Remove any components that block access to the refrigerant line
  • Disconnect the line at each end and remove it from the vehicle
  • Install the new refrigerant line, taking care to avoid bending or kinking the tubing
  • Replace any components removed for access
  • Using the AC machine, evacuate the system of all air and moisture
  • Allow the system to remain under vacuum for up to 30 minutes
  • Charge the system with the type and amount of refrigerant specific to your vehicle
  • Start your engine and test the system to verify the repair
  • Some vehicle manufacturers require that the AC receiver/drier be replaced whenever the system is opened up to the atmosphere. The same might also be required in order to validate the warranty on the new AC compressor. It is also essential that, per federal law, the refrigerant evacuated from the AC system be captured in an approved container. The technician performing the service must be specially trained and certified to do so.

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National average cost of a an AC Refrigerant Line Replacement
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How do I know if my vehicle needs an AC refrigerant line replaced?

If you notice that one of the aluminum AC refrigerant lines running through the engine compartment or other area of your vehicle is kinked, crushed, or corroded, chances are that the line needs to be replaced. Sometimes you can hear a hissing sound if the line begins to lose pressure. Otherwise, when a line is damaged and allows refrigerant to escape, you may notice one or more of the following signs of AC system failure:

The air coming from the vents is not cool when the AC system is engaged

Your AC switch does not light up when you turn it on

The AC compressor clutch will not engage

The AC light blinks on your dashboard

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Other questions customers ask

How long do refrigerant lines last?
The lifespan of an AC refrigerant line will vary. The driving conditions and environment to which an AC line is exposed will make a difference. A vehicle driven or stored near a humid saltwater coast will likely see an earlier demise of its AC lines than one in a dry inland environment. On average, you can expect AC lines to last 15-20 years.
What hose goes from the compressor to the condenser?
Connecting the AC compressor to the condenser is a tube called the “discharge hose” or “high side” hose. Made of rubber and aluminum, this AC line is capable of handling the high pressure and heat created by the AC compressor.
Why is my air conditioning not blowing cold air in my car?
If you do not feel cool air coming from the vents when the AC is engaged, one or more of several issues could be the cause. Most common among them is the need to recharge the system with refrigerant that has escaped. Unfortunately, if your AC system needs to be recharged, then there is likely a leak that requires a repair or component replacement.

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