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Receiver Dryer Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your receiver dryer replacement? Use Jerry’s GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your receiver dryer replacement.
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John Davis
Expert Automotive Writer
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to replace a receiver dryer?

The average cost to replace your receiver dryer is $320-$405. Keep in mind that this is just an estimate. The exact cost for a receiver dryer replacement may differ based on your vehicle's make and model.
How long does it take to replace a receiver dryer? A certified mechanic generally takes about 1-2 hours to replace your receiver dryer. Your mechanic will first inspect the air conditioning system refrigerant and receiver dryer to determine if it’s damaged or faulty, then proceed with a complete replacement if needed.
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need for a receiver dryer replacement and how much do they cost?

The receiver dryer is a single component of your car’s AC system, and if it breaks, it’s generally the only part you’ll need to replace. However, if other cooling system components are damaged, your mechanic may replace them.
The average cost for a new receiver dryer is between $153 and $195.
You may also need to purchase new refrigerant oil (PAG oil) for your receiver dryer, ranging from $15 to $100 for a bottle, depending on the size and brand.
You can purchase receiver dryer parts for your car from auto parts stores like AutoZone, NAPA Auto Parts, and Advance Auto Parts, as well as online retailers such as Amazon and RockAuto. Three of our recommended brands for receiver dryer parts are Four Seasons, UAC (Universal Air Conditioner), and ACDelco. However, the best part and brand for your receiver dryer replacement will vary based on your vehicle’s year, make, and model.
When it comes to replacing your car’s receiver dryer, OEM parts are generally recommended, as they’re higher-quality and manufactured to your vehicle’s specifications. Properly fitting parts is important for optimal cooling system performance and to prevent future problems. However, if you can find an aftermarket part that’s high-quality and fits seamlessly, you may be able to save some money without compromising performance.
Most automotive stores—or stores that sell automotive parts—will carry aftermarket replacement receiver dryers. You can also find them through online auto parts stores like AutoZone, NAPA Auto Parts, and Advance Auto Parts, along with Amazon and RockAuto. However, you may have to contact your local dealership if you're looking for OEM parts. 

Where can I get my receiver dryer replaced?

Finding a reputable repair shop to replace your receiver dryer can be tricky, especially if you don’t have a trusted auto repair shop or mechanic in your area. Luckily, Jerry's
GarageGuard™
has your back. It can help you compare costs from over 2,500 trusted car repair shops in the US. 
Jerry's GarageGuard™ even helps you compare fair price estimates* from each shop using their actual hourly labor cost, determine if you need to budget for additional fees (and if it’s included in the service cost), and provide reviews from real customers to help you choose the best shop for your cooling system repairs.
Check out some of our vetted shops below and download the app to compare car repair quotes in your area.
118 Reviews
Action Auto Services

Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$95
138 Reviews
RepairSmith - Austin
address
(Remote Truck Service), Austin, TX
177 Reviews
54th Street Auto Center
address
415 W 54th St, New York, NY
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$191
155 Reviews
1 Stop Auto Services
address
469 Crescent Blvd, Camden, NJ
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$40
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace my receiver dryer?

Here are some of the steps a mechanic will take when replacing your AC receiver dryer:
  • Remove the AC system refrigerant
  • Disconnect any electrical connections from the receiver dryer
  • Disconnect the lines from the receiver dryer
  • Remove AC receiver dryer
  • Install the new AC receiver dryer
  • Add oil to the receiver dryer
  • Replace the pressure line O-rings
  • Reinstall the lines and electrical connections
  • Vacuum and recharge AC system
  • Test the AC system to ensure it’s in good working order

What happens if I don’t replace the receiver dryer?

Not replacing your receiver dryer when it shows signs of wear or damage can damage important components of your vehicle. If the receiver dryer is worn, damaged, or inoperable, it can lead to system clogs (condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator), abnormal system pressures, and poor cooling system performance. Low performance can put extra pressure on other system components, especially the compressor, and could cause it to seize. 

What is an AC receiver dryer?

Your car’s air conditioning can be split into two parts: high-pressure and low-pressure side. The low-pressure side keeps your refrigerant in a gas state, while on the high-pressure side, it’s a liquid.
As the refrigerant circulates through the air conditioning system, the air conditioner receiver drier filters excess moisture and debris/contaminants. It’s comprised of three parts:
  • Container
  • Desiccant sack
  • Inlet/outlet
The container temporarily holds oil and refrigerant when less of it is needed. The desiccant removes excess moisture and debris from the refrigerant. The inlet/outlet keeps the refrigerant flowing.

How do I know if my receiver dryer needs replacing?

A/C receiver dryer failure isn’t exactly common, but when it happens, it’s often due to clogging.
Your mechanic should replace the AC receiver dryer whenever your A/C system is worked on, or at least every three years.
You might need to replace your car AC receiver dryer if:
  • You hear strange sounds while your AC is on
  • You notice inconsistent temperatures in your car while driving
  • You notice a mold or mildew odor when your AC runs
  • You see refrigerant leaking
Even though your car can run without a working air conditioning system, if you need to replace your AC receiver dryer, it’s not something you should put off for long. Since its job is to filter out excess moisture and debris from the refrigerant, postponing too long could damage other parts of the system, costing you more in the long run.

How often should the receiver dryer be replaced?

Much like an air or oil filter, the AC receiver dryer is a disposable component of your car’s cooling system. Its purpose is to filter and protect the AC system against moisture damage.  Your car’s receiver dryer contains desiccant pellets that absorb incoming moisture. Once they’ve absorbed a significant amount of moisture, they’ll no longer be of use, and the receiver dryer will need replacing. 
Unless the AC unit is constantly running in your car, the receiver dryer should be replaced every two to three years. After that point, the desiccant pellets will have deteriorated and can start to break down, which could clog the expansion valve and potentially damage the AC compressor. Still, having it inspected during
routine car maintenance
is a good idea. 
As a general rule of thumb, the receiver dryer should be replaced when your AC system is serviced

Can I replace my receiver dryer myself?

Unfortunately, a DIY project to replace your receiver dryer at home isn’t an option. Before the receiver dryer can be removed and replaced, you’ll need to recover the refrigerant from the cooling system, which can only be done by a professional using an evacuation machine.

FAQs

Not every car has a receiver dryer. Depending on your vehicle make and mode, you may have a receiver dryer or an accumulator. Cars with a thermal expansion valve tend to have a receiver dryer, while accumulators are found in vehicles with an orifice tube.
As with any other filter in your vehicle, the receiver dryer must be replaced regularly. Depending on how often you run your AC unit, it should be replaced every two to three years or when the AC circuit has been opened. It’s a good idea to install a new receiver dryer when the compressor is replaced or if you notice any symptoms of a bad receiver dryer.
The average repair cost for an AC receiver dryer is around $320-$405.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.