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I have a 2006 Commander 5.7L Hemi with 130,000 miles. The a/c evaporator needs to be replaced. Can anyone tell me if the dealer's estimate is fair?
$408 parts ($370 for evaporator, $38 for freon) I found evaporators much cheaper online in the $150 range
$850 labor (they charge by the job for evaporator instead of their $110 hourly rate)
I plan to call around for other estimates but thought I would get opinions from the Forum first. Is pulling the dash & steering column something so unique that a Jeep Dealer should do or could any competent, qualified mechanic do the job just as well? Any assistance is appreciated. I need my a/c for Summer. :)
 

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Also have a 2006 Commander. A/C has been faulty since summer of 2011. Took jeep to 4 different mechanics..all charged with freon..looked for leaks..checked compressor..etc, none could find anything wrong "under the hood". The last place I took it to this year said he thought it might be the evaporator but wasn't 100% sure. Long story short, took mine to dealership yesterday and they finally took dash off and said it was definitely the evaporator. Going to end up costing total of $1350 for parts, labor, etc. The only reason we took to dealership was because no one else was able to find what was wrong. I'm sure it's definitely cheaper to have someone other than dealership do the work, but not sure how much I would trust someone else taking the dash apart, especially if they don't specialize in jeep products. Good luck, hope you get it fixed soon. I live in an area of high summer temps and humidity, so to me, it's worth the money to get it fixed.
 

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Our dash is supposed to come off real easy I thought from looking into various dash related mods.


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I have a 2006 Commander with a 3.7L V6 - getting quotes of $1,200.00 - $1,650.00 for the repairs needed to the evaporator core...A) How can I be sure that part is the issue? B) Honestly, how hard is it to replace the evaporator core myself? I'm pretty capable with car repairs - do I really have to remove the dash? C) If I go that route - is there anything else that I should do (or have done) as long as I have the dash removed? D) Is there ANYTHING that I can do to "rig" it temporarily? It's got over 155,000 miles - and lots of things are starting to go wrong...if I can get another 2 - 3 months out of it - I can just purchase a new vehicle...I'd hate to put $2,000.00 into it, when it's not even worth that much (it needs 4 tires too).

Thank you everyone for any feed back...David
 

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Sorry for the replies 5 months late, found the thread doing some research for a similiar job.

Our dash is supposed to come off real easy I thought from looking into various dash related mods.
The "Dash" as in the front surface where the instrument cluster, radio and air vents are, does come off easier than other vehicles.

The "Dash" as in the whole dash assembly, to include the upper, lower and inner portions, needed to be removed to gain access to the Evaporator, NO, its NOT any easier than any other vehicle, meaning its really hard, at least in a long and tedious job.

vfrdavid said:
Honestly, how hard is it to replace the evaporator core myself? I'm pretty capable with car repairs - do I really have to remove the dash?
I haven't done this job on a Commander, from what I can tell it is just as difficult as any other vehicle.

Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to this job, the only way to get inside heating/cooling blend box well enought to remove and replace the evaporator is to remove all the dash components around it. The fact quotes for the job from multiple sources are all over $1000, pretty much confirms this fact.

If you are capable, and have the time and patience, you should be able to do it. Bag & Tag (put the attachment hardware for a piece in a zip lock sandwich bag, mark it or tape it to the part), lay out each part neatly as it comes out. You often need a punch to remove the pin that holds the steering wheel connector from the steering column, that will have to come out.

The AC portion gets difficult. Once you open an AC system, you need to vacuum down the system to remove any air, that is expensive tools. BUT, you can replace all the parts and bring the system to an AC pro and have them service it properly after doing the job and save a lot of money.

If you open the system and expose to air for more than a few minutes, and that includes the air in the system that will be there before you vacuum it down again, you should replace the Drier/Accumulator in the AC. The AC shop can do that with the servicing, if you want, I always worried if I replace the drier/accumulator myself, and bring it to AC shop, it will sit a whole day before they get to it and the desicant in the Drier is being used up exposed to the air and humidity in the lines. If the shop replaces the drier/accumulator before service, then its gets vacuumed down (air and humidity removed) as soon as its installed. Probably double the bill of servicing to do it this way, but would better protect your AC system IMHO.
 
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