There are few things more irritating than hot air blowing in your face from a burning car on a hot day. The most popular and straightforward solution is to recharge the refrigerant in your car's air conditioner. This article will discuss AC recharge kits and why you should avoid using DIY A/C recharge kits.
AC recharge kits are available in a variety of pricing points and features. Some are a can of refrigerant with a hose and a gauge. Others include tools for diagnosing and repairing problems beyond low refrigerant pressure. You can even use some of them to troubleshoot and recharge household air conditioning systems. Choose these kits based on your mechanical talents and whether you'll need them for routine maintenance or a last-minute fix.
Whether in your home, your refrigerator, or your car, air conditioning systems all work in the same way. The system is entirely closed and sealed. That means the refrigerant in your system is in a never-ending cycle of gas to gas to liquid. This cycle will never end.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO RECHARGE YOUR AIR CONDITIONER?
All automobiles with working air conditioning should have their air conditioning system serviced regularly. It entails hooking your vehicle up to a machine that extracts refrigerant from the system while also putting the vehicle's system under vacuum, which dealerships or shops generally do.
It's done to ensure that the system is free of leaks and can maintain a vacuum for an extended period. The technician can detect leaks and maybe determine their source by doing so. It is critical because adding extra refrigerant to the vehicle would only provide a temporary repair if there is a leak through which the new refrigerant can escape.
If the system passes the vacuum test, the machine recharges the system with the exact amount of refrigerant it requires to run, and it is then tested for proper operation. It ensures that the compressor operates well to achieve the cooling level needed for your vehicle's make and model.
To perform this service yourself, you'll need to purchase the necessary refrigerant for your vehicle's manufacturer and a vacuum pump and manifold gauge set.
For later model cars, the most prevalent refrigerant is R-134a, which has been the standard since 1994, when cars using R-12 refrigerant were not phased out. Newer vehicles, which have only been on the market for a few years, now employ R-1234yf, a new generation of refrigerant that has only recently become available for DIY use. Many older cars, especially those that have never been maintained, may use R-12 and will need to be converted to R-134a.
WHEN SHOULD YOUR AIR CONDITIONER BE RECHARGED?
When choosing the coolest setting, the first symptom that an AC compressor isn't working properly is airflow that is warmer than typical. Air conditioners can lose refrigerant in modest amounts over time, but we should avoid rapid leaks.
While merely getting a can of refrigerant and charging your system can likely get your AC running again, it's critical that you pay attention to the system's proper pressure and don't overcharge. Some AC systems, particularly the newer R-1234yf systems, do not require a big volume of refrigerant – as little as 6oz. Also, overcharging the system might result in catastrophic failure.
You most likely leak if you have effectively charged the system but still experience warm air weeks later. Regular maintenance will prevent you from getting costly repairs in the future while keeping maximum cooling all through the life of your car because air conditioning systems have multiple connections where these leaks can occur.
Your air conditioning unit will most likely need to be serviced after 100,000 miles. You should be mindful that if your air conditioner's performance isn't up to pace, an AC recharge is almost certainly required, with an associated AC recharge cost.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO OVERCHARGE YOUR A/C?
Overcharging the air conditioning system by delivering too much refrigerant is possible. As a result, your compressor will not supply adequate cooling levels. Instead, it will provide warm air to your vehicle. That's why it's important to be cautious when presuming a non-functioning air conditioner is short on refrigerant, as this isn't always the case.
If you overcharge the system, you should take it to a mechanic to have it properly drained by an AC machine and serviced to the proper quantity.
REASONS WHY DIY A/C RECHARGING IS NOT ADVISABLE
The A/C system in modern vehicles is incredibly sophisticated, and using the wrong quantity of refrigerant might cause the system to malfunction. Furthermore, there are some critical processes that these DIY canisters can not assist you with. Instead, we always recommend having your A/C system recharged by expert technicians at our repair centre.
Doesn't Evacuate Old Refrigerant
Your car's A/C system needs to be recharged because the refrigerant gas that keeps it running will leak out over time. This process can take years, but every vehicle's A/C system will eventually need to be recharged.
When you use a DIY canister to add more, you can't be sure how much refrigerant is left in the system when you use a DIY canister to add more! It can result in the system being overcharged, resulting in serious damage. Instead, professionals will start by sucking out all the refrigerants from your vehicle's air conditioning system. It also eliminates any moisture that has gotten into the system, which can cause your air conditioner to malfunction. Then, once they've determined that your car's A/C system is completely clear of stale refrigerant and moisture, they may properly fill it with new refrigerant.
Won't Work On All Cars
R-134a refrigerant is used in the majority of DIY canisters. It's the type found in most modern automobiles. However, historic cars made before 1994 use R-12 refrigerant. Furthermore, many of today's newest automobiles employ the latest refrigerant, R-1234yf. You cannot mix refrigerant types, and using the incorrect refrigerant in your automobile will damage the air conditioning system! DIY A/C charging is not for you if you don't know which type of refrigerant your car uses.
Doesn't Measure By Weight
Most DIY canisters use R-134a refrigerant. Most modern automobiles use this type; however, classic autos built before 1994 were designed to use R-12 refrigerant. Moreover, several of today's newest cars use R-1234yf, the most recent refrigerant. If you don't know what type of coolant your automobile uses, DIY A/C charging isn't for you. You can't mix refrigerant types, and using the wrong refrigerant in your car might cause serious harm to your air conditioning system!
Won't Patch Most Leaks
Your car's A/C system may have developed a leak if it was operating OK one day and suddenly stopped blowing cold the next. That means a technician will need to find and repair the leak before you can refill the system with refrigerant. While some of the compounds in these solutions are designed to plug tiny leaks, larger leaks will continue to exist.
We think it's a good idea to entrust your car's A/C system to the professionals whenever it needs to be recharged. Professional technicians use specialised equipment to locate leaks in your vehicle. They'll take care of the leaks. If you use a DIY A/C recharge can on a car that leaks, all of that gas will leak. You'll have squandered your money.
AC RECHARGE KIT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Are AC recharge kits worth it?
The more advanced kits may be worth the money because they feature diagnostic capabilities. Even the momentary reprieve of cold air from the dashboard vents is priceless on a hot day. However, pouring refrigerant into a leaking or malfunctioning system will not solve the problem.
Is it possible to blend different types of refrigerants?
We should convert vehicles equipped with R12 systems to R134a. In theory, it's possible, but it's a horrible idea. R134a systems, for example, operate at a greater pressure than R12 systems. Injecting R134a into an R12 system could result in compressor seal leakage. R12 was outlawed in 1996 and hasn't been seen since.
How much does recharging your car's air conditioner cost?
When you consider that regular maintenance also increases the life of your compressor, your air conditioner will work at its best season after season. These expenditures are often not prohibitive.
A professional AC recharge varies from $150 to $300, depending on the type and type of your automobile. We recommend that this service be conducted on a vehicle every 100,000 miles. You should include this service in your car maintenance schedule due to refrigerant leaks that develop over time.
You can save money by doing it yourself and recharging your car's air conditioning, but expect to pay $40-60 for a quality recharge kit. It may be significant cost savings and more convenient than sending the car to the shop. Still, before pursuing the DIY route, it's crucial to understand exactly what happens when you have an AC service at a shop versus completing the job yourself.
Can I recharge my A/C on my own?
If you want to do the job yourself, you can buy air-conditioning regas kits, but we don't recommend it.
They're almost as costly as hiring a professional, and if something goes wrong, you could be stuck with a hefty repair fee.
Specialists will also have a greater understanding of how to check for leaks and other issues with the air-conditioning system and safety concerns. The refrigerant gas may produce painful freeze burns if it comes into contact with your skin or eyes.
How often should your air conditioner be recharged? When do you think it should be serviced?
Although most manufacturers recommend servicing your car's air conditioning every two years or so, many people wait until it stops blowing cool air before doing so.
It's unlikely to cause any harm, but failing air conditioning may make it more difficult to defog windows in the winter and cause the engine to work harder, consuming more fuel, so it's not worth putting off a system check.
What happens if I don't recharge my AC system?
Suppose you don't recharge the air conditioning system. In that case, it will lose efficiency over time, making the car uncomfortable in hot weather. It makes it more difficult to defrost the windows in the winter.
In the long term, not recharging your air conditioner is harmful, as pipes will crack and parts will seize up if it isn't used.
What other maintenance do I need to do for my AC?
The easiest approach to keep your air conditioner in peak shape is to utilise it all year long and have it recharged.
If you notice musty odours coming from the vents, replace the cabin filter regularly and consider an antibacterial clean.
BUY AN A/C RECHARGE KIT FROM HVAC SHOP
HVAC Shop is the best place to buy aircon recharging kits if you're an HVAC technician. A/C recharge kits are effective and helpful for temporary refrigerant leaks in your Air conditioning unit. We offer kits from some of the biggest HVAC brands in Australia and the world.
You may also use ac recharge kits for DIY, but we can't guarantee a complete and long-lasting fix to your refrigerant leak. Please get in touch with us today to know more about an ac recharge kit.