2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee a/c issues


I have a 200 Jeep Grand Cherokee. For the last two summers, I have had to charge the a/c. This summer I was told that it looks as if the evaporator needs to be replaced and that is where the a/c leak is. I was quoted a price which seemed way out of line.

Can anyone give me a ballpark figure as to what this should cost?




Ever heard of a “heater core?” That thing that leaks antifreeze into your car and onto your carpet when it leaks? Well the evaporator core is it’s opposite twin brother; meaning they look alike but do two totally different things. The evaporator is the part of the A/C system that cools the air in the cabin. The refrigerant passing through the evap. makes it cold, air blows through it, viola!

The problem is that the evaporator core wasn’t exactly designed with ease of removal in mind. The A/C system has to be discharged, and then the firewall practically has to be shredded. On my car, replacing the evap actually requires cutting through the plastic casing with a knife. =-/

The orifice/expansion valve and accumulator/receiver dryer will have to be replaced because the system will almost certainly be opened for three hours. Then once it’s all closed back up, it has to be evacuated and refilled, then leak tested to insure that the evap core isn’t gonna blow (especially since that would ventilate the refrigerant right into the passenger compartment.)

Two to three hundred for parts, probably two to three hundred for labor, and about a hundred fifty worth of evacuation, recharging, flushing, etc.

Best of luck.


PS: How did they pin it down to the evaporator?


They pinned down the problem with dye in the refrigerant. The place that found the leak wanted 1400 for the job. I found another for 850 and they will check to be sure that is the problem.


That sounds reasonable… as reasonable as A/C repair gets anyway.

Be sure to ignore star882 as he posts 95% bad information and anyone this forum will back me on that. But he is right on the point that if the system only leaked then it won’t need flushing.



Ditto Big Riviera’s comments.
Since they’re using dye, how did they determine the evaporator is leaking? It’s sealed in a plastic case other than the 2 hose fittings.

Was dye running out of the evaporator drain hose with the water?

Before giving an expensive evaporator diagnosis, my opinion would be that an electronic sniffer should be used to probe the drain hole outlet with the fan off and the dashboard vents with the cabin fan on low speed. (Refrigerant has a tendency to settle is the reason for that) Dye may work well on some things that can be thoroughly inspected visually, but it’s pretty questionable on evaporators.

I would get some more opinions without mentioning any evaporator problem and see what happens. Find a shop that uses a sniffer and see what happens. Ask them to allow you to watch; they should not object to this I would think. Note when you hear that sniffer beeper going off. (You WILL hear it, no doubt about it.)
Your vehicle is 8 years old and often that is when compressor shaft seal leaks occur, and that is not near as major a job as an evaporator.