• You could not do it yourself and the price of the machinery to do it is very expensive. depending on where you live, there may be regulations on the recovery of old freon too. Now that the a/c works it will be an extra strain on the engine and will seem sluggish when driving with the a/c on, noticable more when going uphill... In So. Cal. costs about $100-125 to recharge a/c. However, freon should never have to be refilled, so there may be a leak that they fixed. I don't think you were overcharged.
  • First off, Freon is R-12. Modern cars do not use R-12. Home refrigerators no longer use Freon. Nobody uses R-12/Freon. Working with R-12 requires expensive special equipment and the training to use it. Venting Freon into the atmosphere can earn you a hefty (five-digit) fine. Modern cars use R-134. Most older cars that originally used R-12 have been converted to R-134. If the only thing you need to do is recharge an R-134 system, then you can do it yourself legally, easilly, and ridiculously cheaply. As for the $150, that is approximately what three garages tried to charge me before I found out that I could do it myself in minutes for under $15. However when you account for the fact that garages mark their parts up considerably and charge big bucks for labor, it IS about right. While the job is simple, the car will be sitting there running for QUITE a while as you just wait for the refrigerant to go from the can to the car. Maybe an hour or more if the charge is really low. $30 for parts plus ( 1.5 hours times $80/hour ), well.....

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