Do you know how to recharge your car AC system? Did you even know that you needed to? Just like anything else on your vehicle, the air conditioning system can break down over time due to good old wear and tear. If your car isn’t cooling off as it should, it can wreck your summer road trips. Unless you’re heading out to one of these cooler destinations, you might want to get that cool air flowing again. Instead of investing in a new AC or paying for extensive repairs, first try recharging the system. A batch of fresh refrigerant can make all the difference. If you’re a dedicated DIYer, you might even be able to change it yourself following these steps.
Charge Car AC Systems with These Step-By-Step Instructions
- Locate the AC system low side port
- The low side port, or the low-pressure service port, is important because it’s the point where you connect to recharge the AC refrigerant. Its location varies by vehicle, but you can find it by starting at the compressor. There should be two tubes coming out of the compressor. The larger tube is your low side port, or your low-pressure line. That’s the one you need.
- Attach the refrigerant to the port
- Your recharge kit should come with a can and dispenser, as well as a gauge to determine the pressure. Before you attach the can and dispenser, be sure to determine the minimum and maximum pressure. You can then attach the refrigerant can.
- Turn the AC on and up
- Before releasing the refrigerant into the port, turn on the vehicle and turn the AC on to its max temperature. This will engage the compressor.
- Shake the can
- With it attached to the port, shake the can after three or four seconds. As you release the refrigerant, be sure to check the pressure so you don’t overfill the system. When it reaches the desired pressure, your AC should be recharged and good to go.
Recharging Your Car’s AC May Only Be a Bandage
If your car’s AC is not doing its job, that could be a sign of a refrigerant leak, but it could be a sign of something more serious. A recharge is like a Band-Aid – it will help keep you cool for now, but eventually, you’ll need to have your AC evaluated by a professional to be sure you don’t have to repeat this process and to ensure your AC will keep on ticking through this summer and the summers to come.
Overwhelmed by the Prospect of Recharging Your Car’s AC System?
Does all this sound a little overwhelming? Air conditioning repairs in homes and in vehicles are tricky and can be dangerous if not completed with care. If you’re mechanically inclined or determined to DIY it, following the steps above should help you get your AC back in shape. If you’re not excited by the prospect of learning to charge a car ac system, there’s no shame in taking it to an expert to recharge your AC. They can assess the root cause of the issue while you’re there.