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Can I Recharge My Car’s AC If It’s Been Damaged in an Accident?

Recharge My Car’s AC If It’s Been Damaged in an Accident

Having your car’s air conditioner working properly is important when the temperature outside is hot. Unfortunately, sometimes the AC system can stop working and you’ll need to have it recharged or repaired. Many auto parts stores sell DIY refrigerant car ac recharge kit that claim you can fix your car’s air conditioning with a few simple steps. Many certified San Diego auto mechanics warn against using these kits because they can lead to further damage and may not solve the underlying problem.

A common myth is that your AC unit needs to be recharged regularly. Your AC system will eventually lose refrigerant over time due to aging seals, but it’s not necessary to charge the system every year or even every two years. The most important sign that your AC is low on refrigerant is when it stops blowing cold air.

Most professional automotive technicians use a complete set of manifold gauges to ensure that they are adding the correct amount of refrigerant gas to your AC system. This includes both the high and low side pressures. It is possible to get a general idea of how much refrigerant you need from the chart on the packaging of the refrigerant you’re purchasing, but it is recommended that you ask your local auto repair shop about their specific recommendations.

Can I Recharge My Car’s AC If It’s Been Damaged in an Accident?

It is also not a good idea to mix refrigerant types. Your car’s air conditioning system was designed to use R134a refrigerant and if you are using a recharge kit that has a different type of refrigerant in it, it could cause damage to the compressor or other components. Many professionals will refuse to work on a vehicle that has the wrong type of refrigerant added into it.

Another reason not to use a DIY recharge kit is that they often do not evacuate the system of contaminants and moisture before refilling it with refrigerant. This will lead to a buildup of moisture and contamination, which can then damage the AC compressor or other components. Professional technicians always vacuum the system before charging it to remove any contaminants and moisture from the system before recharging it with refrigerant.

In addition to the dangers of mixing refrigerant types, recharging your air conditioning with a kit that does not include the proper vacuum equipment can be dangerous. The kits usually have a can of refrigerant with compressor oil and leak stopping compound in it, but most modern cars require the use of R134a only. Using a can of R12 in your car’s AC system could damage the compressor and lead to costly repairs.

If your car’s AC isn’t blowing cool air or if you’re noticing a loss of refrigerant, bring it into the Chapel Hill Tire service center to see a certified professional auto technician. They can visually inspect your AC system for signs of a leak and if necessary, run fluorescent dye through the system to more easily find where the leak is located. Once the source of the leak is identified, it can be repaired or replaced and your AC will be back to normal.


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