What You Need To Know About Adding Refrigerant To Your Car A/C

What You Need To Know About Adding Refrigerant To Your Car A/C

Placing refrigerant in the air conditioning unit of your vehicle has become much simpler in recent years, due to companies manufacturing recharging products which are easier to use. However, this is still a procedure which shouldn’t be done often, particularly if the car A/C is between five and eight years old. Below are some additional things you should know about placing refrigerant in the AC system.

Avoid Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant leaks are a leading cause of automobile malfunctions, particularly in the AC system. Therefore, adding a bit of refrigerant periodically is a great way to prevent this from happening. Before adding refrigerant you will first need to determine if it’s actually needed. The refrigerant level within the AC unit will influence the manner in which it functions.

When the AC system is leaking refrigerant, this means that the remaining amount available in the system is unknown. However, if the AC unit is not leaking refrigerant and you decide to place more refrigerant anyway, then it will become impossible to determine whether the system will continue functioning properly.

To detect a leak within your system, you will first want to measure the low and high-pressure areas. The reason for this is because as the refrigerant leaks it will impact the compressor’s performance while extending to the system’s pressure on its low side.

Understanding The Refrigerant

Refrigerant has a number of physical properties which require it to be measured in a specific way. For instance, it needs to be weighed. Specifically, in order to ensure that you have the correct level of refrigerant within the system, you will first want to evacuate everything inside it, until it becomes a vacuum which is totally empty. Then you can add back the specified refrigerant weight which is needed for your system.

The best method for doing this is to add it via a recovery machine. The advantage of using such a machine is that it will evacuate the whole AC system into a vacuum, which will save the refrigerant which remains while adding back the correct amount. This procedure is extremely accurate but because such machines are expensive this method can be cost prohibitive.

Single Use Refrigerant Can

An alternative to the recovery machine is a single use refrigerant can, which is much more affordable.  These can be purchased at most auto shops. They come with an attachment that will connect directly to the pressure port which is on the AC system. However, since you won’t be able to thoroughly estimate the amount of refrigerant which is being added to the system, you will want to add smaller portions, evaluate the air temperature coming from the vents, and then place more should you want the air to become colder.

When a leak is present it is essential to stop it so that when the new refrigerant is added it won’t disappear. This is why experts recommend using leak/conditioner so that proper cooling will occur and leaks can be sealed.