Air Conditioning Prices:
There are two types of refrigerant gasses currently in use in passenger vehicles. R134a which has been in use since the late 1980's and R1234YF which started to be introduced in 2014/15 on all new vehicles.
The days of cheap air conditioning recharging have gone, for the foreseeable future.
Last year, R134a retail price to us was £10.00 per kilo plus VAT, this year its £54.00 per kilo plus VAT and that's the "old style" refrigerant. Most older air con systems contain between 650g and 1200g of gas, you do the math!
The new gas (R1234YF) which most recent vehicles are fitted with, retails at £140.00 per kilo plus VAT. Whilst the newer air con systems work on slightly less gas (typically 400g up to 650g) there are exceptions where dual systems are involved (high end 4x4s for example).
It is not acceptable to just shove gas into an air con system that has none left in it. If there is a leak, it will not stay working for long, leading to more expense and disappointment. So, every system that presents as being empty will have to have a Nitrogen leak test to try and establish the systems' integrity. More time, more expense. IF a leak is found (and its not always found), air con parts are very expensive and often time consuming to fit. I am sure you are all getting the picture. Air Conditioning may become a luxury once more!
And why is all this happening? Put simply GLOBAL WARMING.
Pre 1986, R12 refrigerant was used and it was not good for the ozone, having a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of over 2400 if I remember correctly. Then came R134a which had a GWP of 1300 and now we have R1234YF with a GWP of virtually zero. Therefore, losses of the gas into the atmosphere (and ALL air con systems leak at some point) will not adversely affect global warming - simples!
We have had to re-think our pricing policy, so there will be a fixed labour cost for a air con recharge of £40.00 plus vat. Then the cost of gas needed to bring the system up to the correct refrigerant level.
£ 0.17p per gram for R1234YF
£ 0.12p per gram for R134a
If your air con system has no gas left in it, then we will stop the charging process and advise you that a leak is suspected and offer you a Nitrogen pressure test to try and establish if there is a leak. You will not be charged more labour but a Leak test fee of £25.00 plus VAT for the Nitrogen test.
If we find a leak and you have the work done here, that leak test fee will be refunded/not charged.
Should we not find a leak, we will proceed with the air con recharge and test the system is working correctly. You would, therefore, be charged:
£25.00 plus VAT for leak test
£35.00 plus VAT labour
Gas used per gram as listed above.
If, despite the re-gassing of the air con system, it fails to operate correctly, we are fully qualified to identify and repair any issues found with our normal labour rate and cost of parts applied. Quotations are always given BEFORE any work is undertaken.