A/C hose costs $320?!?

Hey, all.

I have a 1999 Subaru Legacy Outback. The air conditioning stopped working a while ago. While I was content to drive with the windows open in the hot weather, my wife would like to have some coolness in the summer drives.

Mechanic decided I needed a new a/c condenser. Nope. It was the line between the condenser and the dryer. The problem? The line costs more than the condenser! And that’s only where I can find it. Anyone have a fix for a corroded, high pressure liquid air conditioner line?

You need to replace it with the proper part. It is under high pressure and needs to be designed for the task. You could try to find one used. However, I think you are going to have to pay if you want it fixed properly.

The condenser, a one foot by two foot radiator-looking heat exchanger designed to handle the same high pressure, costs $125-$260 aftermarket.
So, why does a bent hose cost 2.5 times more than the condenser?

Is this a hose or a hard line? There is very little movement between the condensor and the dryer so an aluminum line would be appropriate. Have you talked to an A/C specialty shop about bending and flaring a line to fit your situation?

I’m not familiar with that model but many current AC systems use hose “assemblies” that often include several connections and various lengths of tubing and hose and receiver-driers. There was a time when bulk hose and barbed flanges were available to be fitted in place of the OE lines but those days are just a fond memory. In my earliest efforts at working in my driveway in high school I recall buying an under dash add-on AC for about $100 and installing it in an old Ford for $25 labor. And R-12 was about 50c a can.

Many A/C hoses are expensive and unfortunately, that’s just the way it is. Some are a 1000 dollars and more.

Many hoses can be repaired so that’s something worth looking into.
Some parts houses (NAPA and O’Reillys do it here) can repair or manufacture a hose.

Diesel engine repair shops usually have the special tool and permanent crimp clamps. You could purchase a length of refrigerant hose (sold by the foot) and have the shop do the hose change. I’ve had this done once before in a pinch; 15 bucks, clamp and all.

There are also replacement fittings that use barbs to hold the hose in place. With a couple of fittings and a length of hose one could put a hose together with nothing more than a screwdriver. (I’ve done this countless times)
Using a sealer on the fittings is a good idea and I’ve always used white Teflon paste, which is made by Permatex now and is not referred to as Teflon on the container. It’s available at most parts stores. Hope that helps.

Take the old hose into a GOOD parts store and they can probably make you one for far less…

If only one end of the line is bad, NAPA used to have a repair piece for the hard metal line. I use one to fix the high pressure fuel line on a 98 Oldsmobile that had the same kind of fitting.

can you successfully remove the hose? I believe caddyman is correct, a GOOD auto parts store can make it if they have the specific fittings.

before you disassemble it, ask stores around you if they have the fittings.