Does Your Air Conditioning Need Recharging?

Nothing’s worse than getting into a hot car only to realize that the AC is blasting warm air into the cabin—it makes for a miserable ride, particularly on hot summer days. One of the most common car AC issues is that the system is low on refrigerant due to a leak. Read on to find out about recharging your automotive AC to keep it running smoothly all summer long.

The importance of refrigerant

Your car’s AC system works through a process that compresses and expands refrigerant gas, which is converted into a liquid and then switched to a gas, resulting in a significant change in temperature. This draws hot air from the car’s cabin and pumps it back in as cold air through the vents.

Without refrigerant, this process won’t work at all and will result in hot car air conditioning. Fortunately, recharging the AC could be enough to fix this problem and get your system back to normal.

The loss of refrigerant

A well-functioning system does lose a bit of refrigerant over time. It happens at a very slow rate, and the AC system will continue working well, at least for a while. Eventually, there may not be enough refrigerant in the system to continue operating. Another possibility is that there is a larger leak that needs to be addressed. Read on to learn why this is a situation that warrants a visit to a trusted mechanic.

Don’t top it off

Some people with a DIY streak may head down to the auto parts store to pick up refrigerant—but any modern car’s air conditioning system is precisely calibrated and needs the exact right amount of refrigerant to properly operate. If you want to do a recharge, you need a set of professional-grade auto mechanic AC gauges with exact measurements. If you accidentally overcharge the system, it could result in thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.

Also, it’s worth noting that different cars use different kinds of refrigerants. Older cars from 1994 or before are equipped with refrigerant that isn’t used nowadays due to environmental regulations. Putting the wrong refrigerant in your vehicle will usually cause car AC issues.

How often does refrigerant need to be recharged?

There isn’t any set time for how frequently you should have this service task performed. Some need it annually, while others can go on the same refrigerant for many years. But rest assured that if the car’s AC is blowing hot, you should have it checked out by a trusted auto-service technician.

If you’re having hot car air conditioning issues, then check out Qwest Automotive Service. We are a family-owned and -operated auto mechanic known for honest, up-front customer service. Our professional and friendly team can work on vehicles of all makes and models. Our scope of service capabilities includes everything from brake work, oil changes and computer diagnostics to suspension work, exhaust repairs and front-end work. So call us right now to learn more and set up your first appointment!