Why You Shouldn’t Recharge Your Car A/C Yourself

In the hot, desert climate that is synonymous with living in Arizona, having air conditioning in the car is vital. When the temperatures start to rise, you rely on your air conditioning to blow out consistently cool air to keep you and your passengers comfortable. Whether you’re driving from Phoenix to Scottsdale or Gilbert to Glendale or just down the road to the local grocery store, when your air conditioning stops blowing cold air you need to fix it and fast. Before you reach for a can of refrigerant to attempt to recharge the air conditioning yourself, find out why this sort of repair is best left to the professionals.

Refill or Recharge

You may have heard the term of recharge. So, what is it? A recharge is simply replacing any refrigerant that has leaked out of the air conditioning system. Because the system is sealed, if your vehicle is low on refrigerant, there is most likely a leak. When the vehicle is low on refrigerant, the air will not be as cold as it once was. Refrigerant and oil flow within the system through a series of seals, hoses, and various other components. If a leak is present, refrigerant escapes allowing for air and moisture to enter the system. When moisture is combined with refrigerant, it can severely damage AC components.

Why You Shouldn’t Take Matters Into Your Own Hands

Sure, DIY projects are great and can save you some money when you’re in a pinch. Still, performing your own recharge could be dangerous, resulting in injury to yourself or others or you could damage your system -- costing you more money in the end.

Note: Though recent reports have claimed that this procedure can be completed at home, it is still considered a professional repair due to the use of hazardous liquids. A certified technician is trained to properly handle such repairs and dispose of any hazardous materials.

Here’s why you should take extreme caution: 

    • Refrigerant or Freon is extremely flammable – Do not use near open flame.
    • Risk of injury – Avoid contact with skin and eyes at it freezes immediately and is very painful if touched.
    • Risk of Releasing Refrigerants into the Atmosphere – Not only is this dangerous, it’s also illegal. Violators could face jail time or hefty fines.

Perhaps the worst that can happen is overcharging. If the system is overcharged, you run the risk of damaging the compressor or blowing an air conditioning hose. Testing the system can indicate if the system has been overcharged. The low side typically operates between 35 – 45 psi (pounds per square inch) whereas the high side typically operates anywhere between 200 – 400 psi.  If the pressure on the low side is over 45 psi, it could indicate the system has been overcharged or there is a possibility that a component is faulty.

Call on The Experts

Professional Air Conditioning Technicians are equipped to handle air conditioning recharge services with ease. Their expert, commercial equipment allows them to test both the low and high side pressures. Their specialized tools are also able to turn the system into a vacuum, to remove all the air, moisture, and contaminants. Unfortunately, DIY kits test only the low side and while these kits are able to recharge the system, it does not allow for removal of air and moisture that have entered the system from a leak. Finally, a technician is able to replace the system with pure, clean refrigerant from a quality source.

If your air conditioning isn’t producing cold air, save yourself the hassle and inconvenience of having to recharge your air conditioning yourself by calling upon the experts at Sun Devil Auto. Our ASE Certified Technicians are well-versed in air conditioning evacuations and recharges along with repairs such as replacing compressors, fans, and hoses. We understand that no one has time for the aggravation of being without air conditioning in the summer. That’s why we offer our No Appointment Necessary, Guaranteed 30-Minute or Less, Air Conditioning Performance Inspection. Stop in to any of our valley-wide locations for an inspection today. Then, get back to the life you enjoy living in the Grand Canyon State, with your cool and comfortable air-conditioned car or truck.