How to Recharge Your AC

A recent survey revealed that an estimated 77% of cars needed maintenance. This could be something as simple as changing a bulb or as complicated as fixing the air conditioning. Has your car’s air conditioner seemed weaker of late? If you have the AC on full blast, but it’s barely cold, then you might be due for recharging the AC system. Summer is almost here in full force, so get it taken care of soon. Here’s how it’s done.

Recharging the AC System

When you recharge your AC, it involves hazardous cooling vehicle fluids, so it’s best to let the professionals handle it. If you are curious about the at-home process, though, then read on.

First, you will need to get an AC dispenser, a meat thermometer, refrigerant, and safety glasses and gloves. Second, turn on your car with the air conditioning set to maximum. Third, find the AC compressor and determine if it is working.

The AC compressor is driven by the accessory belt and it converts the liquid refrigerant to gas. When the air-conditioning is on in your car, the compressor’s clutch should be spinning with the belt. If this part is not spinning, your compressor is either not getting the right amount of electricity, is broken outright, or has very little coolant. If the clutch is engaged and spinning, then you are likely just low on refrigerant. Either way, the next step is checking the pressure of the system.

The next step is turning off the engine and locating the low side pressure port. This typically has a grey cap and a large letter ‘L’ on the top of the cap. From there, attack the recharging hose to the low side pressure port. Before moving forward, check the pressure by turning the engine back on. Check your compressor kit for the pressure. If it reads under 40 psi, you need more refrigerant.

Now you thread the refrigerant can into the hose and begin recharging the AC system. Fill until it hits 40 psi, then put everything back in its place. Now you get to drive around in the glorious cold air of a freshly repaired car.

While this process might not seem all that difficult, it is important to remember that the liquids you are working with are dangerously cold. This type of work is better left to professionals. Besides, when you bring your car into our shop, we can take a look at your radiators and give you a comprehensive drive-ability diagnosis.

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