Car AC Evaporator Replacement Cost [Labor & Parts]
Although your car’s AC evaporator may not seem like the most essential part, it certainly makes a difference in your comfort when driving and riding.
Replacing an AC evaporator takes a malfunctioning car air conditioner and returns it to its optimal flow. It can make the difference between warm air and cool air flowing out of your vents when you turn on the AC.
On average, it costs around $975 to replace a vehicle’s AC evaporator, where parts make up around $635 of that cost, and labor represents around $340 of the total.
This replacement job can cost as little as about $850 in some cases, and the higher end of estimates is closer to $1100.
Note, also, that these estimates are based on the average cost of replacing this part when comparing different types of vehicles. The average also compares auto labor costs across the nation, as well as fluctuations in service costs.
In this guide, we’ll break down the costs associated with a car AC evaporator replacement, including parts and labor.
We will also compare costs by looking at different makes and models, service features, and other factors that contribute to the overall replacement cost. Continue reading to learn what you can expect when you take your vehicle in for this service.
Cost Breakdown for Replacing a Car AC Evaporator
While replacing an AC evaporator proves to be pretty pricey, regardless of the type of vehicle you own, not all car owners will face the same prices.
First, let’s look at the average cost of parts associated with this job (the AC evaporator). We’ll compare estimates for several popular vehicles makes and models.
Then, we’ll look at the average cost of labor associated with replacing an AC evaporator. Labor costs will vary quite a bit depending on where you live in the US and whether or not you do the labor yourself.
In general, though, labor typically costs less than the cost of the AC evaporator part itself.
Average Cost of a New AC Evaporator – Parts Guide
We’ll compare the price of AC evaporators by looking at averages for different types of vehicles, and then by comparing price quotes for several different parts on the market.
Average Cost of AC Evaporators by Vehicle
In the following comparison table, see how the price of AC evaporators differs based on the type of vehicle – whether you have a luxury ride, a standard sedan, a pickup truck, or otherwise.
|Vehicle Make and Model||Average Cost of a New AC Evaporator|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee||$945|
It would seem from the table that luxury style cars, such as the BMW 328i, require more expensive parts than more standard models of cars. For example, the Toyota Corolla (sedan) has long been a popular choice among car buyers.
The average cost of a new AC evaporator for the Corolla is around $1400 less than the cost of the same part for a BMW 328i.
Further, larger or more heavy-duty vehicles, such as the Ford F-150, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Chevrolet Suburban, seem to require more expensive evaporators, as well.
This is likely due to the size of the vehicle and the amount of AC power it requires. For example, the Chevrolet Suburban is a much larger vehicle (SUV) than a Toyota Corolla. Thus, it makes sense that its AC evaporator costs more.
Price Quotes for AC Evaporators
Below, we’ll look at some price quotes for AC evaporators that are either universal fits or specified to some more common car models on the market.
- Vintage Air® 671400-VUZ – Gen-IV Magnum Evaporator Kit – Sold by CARiD, this evaporator is non-vehicle specific and is listed with a cost of $727.70.
- Universal Underdash AC Air Conditioning Evaporator Kit + Duct & Vents Fittings – This evaporator is listed on eBay. Its description states that it’s meant for smaller cars and trucks, Jeeps, street rods, and custom projects. Sold from new, it’s $500.
- Evaporator Assembly – Ford (BC3Z-19B555-T) – This evaporator is specified for many Ford models, including F-150s and Super Duty trucks. It’s sold by TASCA PARTS and is listed at $641.11, with an MSRP of $980.28.
- Genuine Air Conditioning Evaporator – Sold by Advance Auto Parts, this AC evaporator is sold for $864.90 from new.
Average Cost of Installing a New AC Evaporator – Labor Guide
Aside from the cost of the AC evaporator itself, you’ll likely have to pay for professional labor to install it. Unless you DIY this project, going to an auto body shop and getting the part replaced will be your best option.
On average, the labor costs of a car AC evaporator replacement are around $340. Costs of labor for this job can range as low as about $550, though, and they can range as high as $700 in some cases.
However, know that labor costs will differ based on how complicated the AC parts are in your vehicle. Costs will also differ based on several influencing factors, which we’ll explain later.
Car AC Evaporator Replacement – Associated Repairs
Since one of the leading causes of replacing an AC evaporator is a leaking evaporator, you may find that your car requires associated repairs or part replacements.
Bad AC line seals, bad connections, and/or a defective heater core can all cause the evaporator to malfunction. The average cost of replacing these associated parts is as follows (cost of parts alone):
- AC line O-ring seal replacement – $5
- AC refrigerant line replacement – $450
- AC heater core replacement – $225
What Factors Will Affect the Overall Costs?
Although the average cost of replacing an evaporator is closer to $975, there are several factors affecting the cost for different car owners. Namely, you will find fluctuations in the replacement cost based on:
- Whether or not parts cost more or labor costs more
- Whether or not you pay for professional labor
- Costs of auto labor where you live
- The age of your vehicle
Differences in the Cost of Labor vs. Parts
First, you will find that the cost of labor differs from the cost of parts, in most cases. While some car models may present evenly split costs for parts and labor, the AC evaporator is a fairly expensive part.
Thus, parts typically cost more than labor for this job. However, you may have a car model that has a higher cost for labor than parts.
For example, we can look at the Chevrolet Suburban (SUV) model. The cost of labor when replacing the AC evaporator is almost $300 more, on average than the cost of the AC evaporator itself for this particular model.
If this is the case, then DIY installation may be beneficial to you, as opposed to paying for professional labor.
As long as you are knowledgeable and safe with the installation, you can save a lot of money, considering that this replacement job typically takes around seven hours on average.
Auto Labor Prices by Location
It’s no secret that the average costs of auto labor vary across the country. Certain states, such as California, have consistently higher prices for taxes, labor, and other essentials.
On the other hand, midwest and central US states tend to have lower costs of auto labor. Compare average costs, based on CarMD research, below:
| State || Average Auto Labor Cost || Average Auto Parts Cost || Average Cost of Parts + Labor |
The Age of Your Vehicle
Car owners may also find differences in the cost of replacing an AC evaporator based on the age of their vehicle. Older vehicle models may need parts fitments that cost more money because they aren’t made as often anymore.
On the other hand, you may find that newer vehicle models have parts fitments that cost more because they are made from the newest, top-of-the-line materials.
Long-Term Costs of AC Evaporator Replacement
Car owners should be aware of the lifetime costs of certain maintenance needs, such as AC evaporator replacements.
While it’s not likely to need to repair this part even once, let alone more than once, leaks can still occur. Generally, the evaporator goes bad because of one or more moisture or leak issues in the AC system.
So, if you have bought a pre-owned car, you may not be aware of the parts you’ve acquired with your purchase.
A few bad seals and AC line connections can lead to leak issues, which when left unattended, can lead to an evaporator that needs to be replaced.
Overall, the cost of replacing a car’s AC evaporator averages near $975, where parts make up about $635 of that cost, and labor makes up about $340 of that cost. You will likely only have to replace this part once in your car’s lifetime, if at all.
You can save money on this replacement by installing the evaporator yourself, but the part is still going to be several hundred dollars when you buy it new.
Costs will vary depending on where you live, the model of your car, and other factors. Attending to a bad AC evaporator early on will prevent you from incurring extra costs for related repairs.