Melanie Reiff
Updated on Nov 16, 2022
Your car’s air conditioning relies on a special refrigerant to keep blowing cool air. So if your car’s AC isn’t giving you cold air, it might be time for a visit to your mechanic for an AC recharge.
An AC recharge is a simple procedure, but it’s time-consuming, so labor tends to drive up the costs. You’ll usually be charged just over $200 for this service, though prices can vary.
Here’s a guide explaining what an AC recharge is and how it works, brought to you by the car insurance broker app Jerry.
The exact cost varies between different Saab models. For example, newer vehicle models are usually made with more expensive materials, so recent or high-end models will cost more, especially if your service requires a part replacement. Use the table below to estimate the cost for your own vehicle.
CarTotal Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostAverage Dealer PriceEstimated Service Duration

What is an AC recharge?

An AC recharge is the process of draining and refilling refrigerant used by your car’s air conditioning system. You’ll need this if your air conditioner isn’t producing cold air.
Many cars will see one AC recharge in their lifetimes, usually after surpassing the 100,000 mile mark, while others will never need this service at all.
It should be noted that requiring an AC recharge usually means there’s some sort of a breach in your car’s air conditioning system (usually a worn-out seal). The refrigerant is kept in an airtight system. If that’s leaking or venting, getting an AC recharge will be little more than a temporary fix.
An AC recharge will usually cost between $150 and $300, but typically falls in the $200 to $250 range. If there’s an underlying issue with your car’s air conditioner and it needs more extensive repairs, those can range from $150 to $4,000, depending on how severe the issue is.
Some cars built before 1995 used a refrigerant called R12, which is no longer in production. These cars will need a whole new air conditioning system installed. This can exceed the value of most of these older cars, so unless the car is collectible or has sentimental value it may not be worth it.

How is an AC recharge performed?

Here are the general steps a mechanic will take during an AC recharge:
  • The full air conditioning system is carefully inspected to see if there’s an underlying issue, especially the seals
  • Check the AC system’s refrigerant pressure
  • Remove various AC components for access
  • Use a coolant recovery machine to drain the old coolant from the AC system
  • Fix any broken seals that may have caused the issue
  • Reinstall the AC parts
  • Refill the AC refrigerant
  • Inspect the AC system for leaks
  • Test the AC to make sure it’s working properly
Please note, AC refrigerant is nasty, dangerous stuff. This is not a project for an at-home DIY mechanic. Leave this project to certified professionals.

Do I need an AC recharge?

The most obvious way to tell you to need an AC recharge (and possibly other AC repairs) is that your car’s air conditioner simply won’t work. If your car’s air conditioning is blowing out warm or hot air, you should take it to a mechanic for an AC recharge and whatever other service is needed.

How important is an AC recharge?

This is going to boil down (no pun intended) to how comfortable you are without a functioning AC in your car. If you’re getting on fine with your windows down or your sunroof open, there’s no rush to get an AC recharge or other AC repairs.
If the air conditioner in your car isn’t working and you suspect an AC recharge is necessary, leave the air conditioner off at all times. Running the AC with low refrigerant can damage other components and cost you more money.

How to find cheap car insurance

Need to save up some money to get an AC recharge or more extensive AC repairs? Jerry can help with that, by helping you save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year on car insurance!
Jerry users save an average of $887 per year on car, home, and renter’s insurance by comparing quotes from over 50 of America’s top insurance providers. And with impeccable customer service, a zero-spam guarantee, and lightning-fast service, it’s no wonder Jerry is now America’s #1 insurance broker app.
Here’s how it works. Download the Jerry app and answer a few questions. In just two minutes, you’ll be looking at amazingly cheap quotes for policies with great coverage. You pick the quote you like, and Jerry will get you signed up without needing to make phone calls. Jerry even cancels your old policy for you!
With Jerry, it’s never been quicker or easier to save money on car insurance. Download it today and see for yourself just how much money you’ll save each month and each year.
Keep in mind that your location is another factor that determines the final cost of repairs. Areas with higher cost of living will usually have more expensive car repair services, especially if there’s less local competition. Check out the table below for an estimate of what Saab drivers pay in different cities.
CityCarTotal Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostAverage Dealer PriceEstimated Service Duration
Jerry doesn’t just offer fair price repair estimates for Saab drivers! Our team of writers has collected everything you need to know for every car. Here’s how much the repair costs for some popular cars:
CarTotal Cost EstimateParts CostLabor CostAverage Dealer PriceEstimated Service Duration
The cost of repairs might vary depending on which Saab you drive, but there’s an easy way to save money for the services you need! Just download the Jerry app for help lowering your insurance premiums. In less than 45 seconds, Jerry collects all of your information from your existing insurer. Choose from competitive quotes from top insurance companies and Jerry takes care of the rest—securing your new policy and helping you cancel your old one upon request.
With an average annual savings of $887, Jerry can help you free up funds for the repairs your Saab’s needs.
The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.