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Aftermarket AC Installation

What would be a reasonable price quote for an aftermarket AC installation for a 2007 Kia Sportage, manual transmission?


It would be more cost effective to wait until about the end of January, sell the vehicle when thoughts of A/C are kind of pushed into the background, and buy a Sportage with A/C.

It’s already August so why worry about it now.

The lack of AC doesn’t really bother me, but it might bother the newborn who will be here in a few months. We’ve heard everything from $1000 to $3500, and with that drastic of a difference, I want to know if the low end is just shabby work or if the high end is just sleazy mechanics.

I want to know if the low end is just shabby work or if the high end is just sleazy mechanics.

The shabby work will be what you get for $1000. The aftermarket A/C kits (parts alone) begin near $1000.

Aftermarket air conditioning systems are not generally as reliable or efficient as factory systems.

Where do you live? I know people who live in Western New York without air conditioning, and it hasn’t stopped them from procreating. If you live in the South though, it might be time to trade in your car for one with factory air.

It might be time to try this:

If you can live without AC your newborn can too. My kids were in elementary school before I had a car with AC. Save your money for other stuff the child will need. The $1,500-2,000 could be a good start on that college fund.

We do live in the South, and last year the temperature stayed in the 90s and even up to triple digits through the end of September. We don’t mind paying to have the work done - we got a great deal on the car, partially because of the lack of AC. Our biggest difficultly has been finding a mechanic willing to do the job - those price quotes are all from towns 2-3 hours away.

This is a perfect case of “There is no free lunch.” You got a good deal on the car because it doesn’t have air conditioning. If you want a car with good reliable air conditioning, you’re going to have to pay for it. There is no cheap aftermarket fix for this unless you want to cut a hole in the roof and install an electric air conditioner. If you do that, you will need either a generator or a high capacity inverter that is correctly directly wired to the battery.

A 3500 tab does not mean you’re dealing with a sleazy mechanic. If they quote you 2500 and then try to nail you with 3500 then you have a valid argument.

I’ve installed a lot of add-on A/C units (never on a Kia though) and I see no way in the world it could be done for a 1000 dollars; and it’s been a long time since I’ve installed a unit.

Unfortunately, you waded into this and will have to pay the consequences. You live in the South knowing full well what the heat and humidity is like and will have to pony up or suffer.
Temps in the 90s sound good to me. It just hit noon here and it’s already 102 here in OK.

I agree. I just spent $1200 getting the AC fixed and 134 retrofitted in the MR2. The only parts they had to replace (other than the 134 retrofit stuff) were the condenser and the drier. There’s no way you’re getting a whole AC system installed for a grand.

Actually, it might be possible to get air conditioning for $1,000, but it will be a roof mounted RV air conditioner, and you will need to find an alternating current power source, like a generator.

There’s no way it could be installed for $1000. I’d steer clear of whoever quoted you that.

The ductwork is, I’m sure, already designed to accomodate an AC system. But by the time a shop buys and installs the condensor, the evaporator, the compressor, the new front pulley to drive the compressor, the idler that’ll probably be required with the sddition of the compressor, the lines and brackets, etc. it’s going to cost you. The $3500 quote is probably closer to the truth.

If all parts were available from a salvaged car and known to be in good condition and a part time mechanic did the work at his home $1,000 is possible but in such an arrangement the outcome could be less than hoped for. In fact it would very likely be disappointing. Very di$appointing.

The brand new AC kit for my 1995 Civic(not equipped from factory) was installed in 1998 for $1000 by a Honda dealer at a good discount since it belonged in another car called a Del Sol. Typically they stated it was a $1300 job. They simply substituted some AC lines to make it work.

Does Kia offer such a thing?

No AC is miserable.

Most of the A/C installations that I’ve done on Japanese cars are comparatively simple when weighed against other makes. (My experience has been with Subaru, Honda, and Nissan)

We used to get anywhere from 4 to 6 hours labor for an A/C install, all dependent upon the make and model.
A VW Vanagon was an absolute PITA.