Symptoms Of Bad AC Evaporator Coil : Location & Replacement Cost

ac evaporator coil

The AC compressor, condenser, refrigerant, and evaporator coil play an important role in the operation of the air conditioning systems of vehicles. Due to this, when we start the AC, we get cool air in the cabin of the vehicle. Among these parts, the evaporator coil is an important part of the vehicle’s air conditioner system. Without it, the entire air conditioning system is incomplete, and the air conditioning system does not work.

In this article, we will learn in detail about the AC evaporator used in the air conditioning systems of vehicles.

What is An AC Evaporator Coil?

The AC evaporator coil absorbs heat from the air and converts it into cool air, thereby circulating cool air in the vehicle cabin when the AC is on. Generally, the AC evaporator in the air conditioning system of vehicles is made of aluminum, in which fine tubes are connected to each other.

The evaporator consists of two pipes: the intake refrigerant and the outlet refrigerant. AC evaporators are usually fitted under the dashboards of vehicles. Due to this, when the AC is switched on, the cold refrigerant continuously passes through the evaporator coil. The air conditioning system of vehicles uses the AC condenser to replace the evaporator heating process.

Symptoms of Bad AC Evaporator Coil

If your vehicle’s AC evaporator coil is damaged, you will notice symptoms like hot air from the vent, AC not turning on, refrigerant leaking from the evaporator, hissing noise from the dashboard, or low cooling.

Now you will know the symptoms of a bad AC evaporator in detail, so that you can solve it in time on the basis of these symptoms.

1. Hot Air From Vents


Whenever the evaporator coil of your vehicle’s air conditioning system is damaged or leaking, you will feel the warm air flow from the vents even when the AC system is on. However, there can be many other reasons for hot air coming out of these vents. This problem requires you to examine the air conditioning system in depth.

2. AC Not Turning On

ac clutch not engaging

Whenever there is a leak or clog in the AC evaporator, then your vehicle’s AC system will have trouble starting. Because if the evaporator leaks, the entire tank of refrigerant will be empty. Due to this, the low-pressure switch will not allow the compressor to start when the refrigerant pressure is low and the pressure of refrigerant will be high due to clogged ac evaporator. In this situation, the AC high pressure switch will not allow the AC compressor to start.

3. Refrigerant Leak in Evaporator

leak evaporator

Leakage of refrigerant fluid can be observed when the AC evaporator coil is leaking. These leaks can normally be found in the middle of the evaporator or near the AC expansion valve. To troubleshoot this problem, it has to be investigated deeply, and after that, it can be fixed.

4. Hissing Noise Under The Dashboard

Whenever the evaporator coil of the AC system is leaking or clogged, when you turn on the AC, you may hear an unusual noise or hissing noise from under the dashboard. This noise will be different from engine noise.

Where is The Evaporator Coil Located?

In vehicles’ AC systems, the evaporator coil is often located under the dashboard in the blower fan compartment. From where the inlet air can be easily drawn by the blower fan.

evaporator coil location

How Does The AC Evaporator Work?

The AC compressor compresses the refrigerant and sends it to the condenser. The temperature of the refrigerant coming out of the condenser is lower than that of the compressed refrigerant, and after the compressed refrigerant fluid from the condenser passes through the expansion valve in the pipe, the pressure of the refrigerant decreases and expands.

Due to this, the temperature of the refrigerant reduces, and it passes through the thin tubes of the evaporator, due to which the evaporator of the AC becomes cooler. A blower fan is installed in front of the cooling evaporator. This blower fan draws air from the center of the evaporator.

This hot air coming from the back of the evaporator gets cooled while passing through the evaporator, and the blower fan throws this cool air into the cabin of the vehicle through the vent. The cooled refrigerant goes back to the AC compressor through the outline pipe of the evaporator. Once this process starts, it continues continuously.

Evaporator Coil Replacement Cost

The replacement cost of the evaporator coil in a vehicle’s air conditioning system depends on the vehicle model, brands and quality of the evaporator.

On average, the replacement cost of evaporator coils in vehicles can range from $800 to $1600. This estimated cost also includes the mechanic’s labor costs. The cost of a car’s AC evaporator coil and related parts can range from $650 to $1150 on average, and the labor cost to have the evaporator coil replaced by a mechanic can range from $150 to $450. Because replacing an AC evaporator coil is not an easy and quick task.

An independent mechanic’s labor costs may be more economical than those of a certified garage mechanic, and you will also need to fill in new refrigerant after AC evaporator coil replacement. For which you may also have to pay extra.


Q. Is an evaporator the same as a condenser?

Although the condenser and the evaporator look the same, there is a difference in the size and functioning of these two. The AC evaporator absorbs the heat and moisture from the air in the vehicle cabin. But the condenser takes out the heat of the refrigerant.

Q. How much does it cost to replace an AC evaporator?

The typical replacement cost of an evaporator coil used in a vehicle’s air conditioning system can range from $800 to $1600.

Q. Can I replace just the AC evaporator?

Yes, if only the evaporator of your vehicle’s AC system is faulty or leaking. Then you can enjoy the cooling of AC just by changing the AC evaporator.

Q. How do you fix a leaking evaporator?

If your vehicle’s AC system is leaking into the evaporator, then you should consider replacing it with a new evaporator coil. Because repair of evaporator is not effective to stop the leak.

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