fleet maintenance in mn

How Much Does It Cost to Fix the A/C in a Truck?

Truckers need their A/C to be functioning optimally at all times. There’s no telling where you may be taking your next load, and you could find yourself in an entirely different climate, where driving with the windows open just won’t cut it. Nothing’s worse than turning up the fans, cranking your A/C up all the way, and not feeling any cold air, or worse, getting just enough to remind you what you’re missing. If you’ve recently started having issues with your A/C, or if it’s been out for some time, it may be time to get it into a shop for repairs. But the primary concern for many drivers is: how much will it cost?

This can be a complicated question, and it can have a lot of variance in it, depending on the specifics of the situation. We’re going to look at just what components make up your A/C system, and what can go wrong with them. We’ll also dig into the breakdown of the costs associated with repairing the air conditioning in your truck. Finally, we’ll see just what it may cost you in total to get your A/C repaired.

 

What are The Costs Associated with AC Repair?

When looking at the repair costs for the A/C system in trucks, it is important to understand what costs go into A/C system repairs. There are four general categories for the costs: the parts needed, the labor to put them in, additional materials needed, and any fees related to disposal or storage of the waste refrigerant.

Parts

The parts needed for your repair can range from just a few dollars, for small fittings or seals, to several hundred dollars. There are several large components and countless individual parts that make up your A/C system, so the cost of the parts that are needed can be a big variable. The most costly component of an A/C system is usually considered to be the compressor.

Labor

The cost of the labor needed to remove faulty components and reinstall new parts can be a significant variable in the cost as well. The cost of the labor will vary based on where you get the work done. Small businesses are usually the most affordable shops, while truck stops tend to be a bit more expensive. Dealerships are where labor costs will be highest, and in some cases can top $200 per hour.

Materials 

Materials are things needed to properly install and operate your A/C system but are typically considered to be consumables. Things like refrigerants and gaskets are considered to be materials. Usually, at a relatively minor cost, the most expensive materials are chemical agents, like refrigerants.

Environmental & Disposal Fees

Another cost that will affect your total repair cost will be the local and state fees and costs associated with disposing of used hazardous materials in a safe and eco-friendly manner. These are fees that you will need to pay no matter where you go to have your air conditioning worked on, and aren’t a variable, just a component of the final cost.

 

Main Components of Your Truck’s A/C Unit

One of the best ways to understand repairs and potential costs for your truck’s air conditioning system is to understand all of the components and how they each work to make the system function. While the list of parts can be extensive, the following can be considered the primary components of the A/C unit, and when one or more fails it can mean the system no longer works.

Refrigerant

The refrigerant is a chemical that is pumped throughout the A/C system and is a unique gas that has exceptional thermal transfer abilities. It can change its attributes when it becomes compressed and this is what gives the air conditioning system its ability to remove heat so easily.

Compressor

The compressor is the pump and pressurizing component that pressurizes the gas coming from the low-pressure side of the A/C system, and it is the beginning of the high-pressure side of the system. After the refrigerant is compressed, it’s sent to the condenser.

Condenser

The condenser takes the highly pressurized liquid and helps it condense into a liquid, generally by running the gas through coils that help transfer the heat away from the gas. The gas then returns to a liquid state, which allows the system to remove ambient heat more effectively.

Drier

The drier, also referred to as the accumulator, is a canister that is designed to remove moisture from the air. This will sometimes include a sight glass to ensure that it is functioning. The drier is the reason that an A/C system puts out dry air.

Evaporator

The evaporator allows the refrigerant to flow through tubes, and the blower motor blows air across these tubes, cooling the air and sending it into the cabin.

Air Filter

Air filters are a necessary consumable component of the A/C system, and are located in multiple places. There is an inline air filter for the air conditioning in most cases, as well as an air filter that filters the air sent into the cab of the truck.

 

How Much Does It Cost to Fix The A/C in a Truck?

The overall cost to fix the air conditioning in your truck will depend on a number of variables.

One of the biggest variables is going to be how much labor is needed. Since the labor cost can be 25% to 50% of your repair cost in some cases, making sure that labor is utilized effectively is key. In most cases, you’ll need to pay for anywhere between 1 and 4 hours of labor for issues related to air conditioning. Labor prices can run from $65 to around $100 per hour, with the most extensive jobs talking about 4 hours of shop time.

The price of the parts will also come into play. If there is a leak in the system and a hose or fitting needs to be replaced, the cost of the parts will be relatively minimal. On the other hand, if the compressor needs to be replaced, that can cost an average of $400 to replace.

Many people consider a compressor replacement to be a “worst-case” scenario, so it makes sense to plan on that for an average cost to repair. If your truck needs a new A/C compressor, it will generally require approximately $450 for parts, $100 to $200 for refrigerant and waste-handling fees or disposal costs for any refrigerant left in the system, and approximately $250 for labor. The total cost to fix your truck’s A/C can be $900 or more for serious repairs.

 

Superior Mechanics and Customer Service at Blaine Brothers

If your truck’s air conditioning recently stopped working, or if you’ve been struggling without air for too long already, it may be time to let Blaine Brothers take a look at it. Our team of expert technicians can help get your issues quickly and accurately diagnosed, so you don’t have to worry about wasting time or money. Reach out today and make an appointment to get that air blowing cold in your truck once again!

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763.780.5130

10011 Xylite Street NE
Minneapolis, MN 55449

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218.879.6681

1325 Hwy 45
Cloquet, MN 55720

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715.688.2404

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Columbus, MN 55025