Car AC Recharge Kit Fix Leaks in the System

A car’s air conditioning system needs a specific type of refrigerant in order to create cold air. Recharging the system will replace a small amount of this liquid, but it’s important to make sure the AC recharge kit has the right refrigerant for your car in order to avoid damaging the compressor and other components. It’s also important to use the proper pressure gauge in order to prevent overcharging and wasting refrigerant.

Most auto parts stores sell manual recharge kits that include a can of refrigerant, a coupler and a hose with a gauge. These kits usually provide a chart that indicates the correct pressure to charge the system at depending on the ambient temperature. A good rule of thumb is to check the pressure on both the low and high side when recharging the system.

However, a a/c recharge kit for car isn’t necessarily the best way to repair any leaks in your vehicle’s cooling system. In fact, these kits may actually make things worse. The most common problem is that the refrigerant in these kits is typically R134a, while many classic cars built before 1994 use an older type of refrigerant called R12.

Can a Car AC Recharge Kit Fix Leaks in the System?

Mixing these different types can cause major problems and damage the compressor, condenser and other parts of your car’s AC. In addition, these kits often contain a stop leak sealer that is supposed to plug any leaks in the system. While this can temporarily plug some leaks, it will also gunk up the hoses, compressor and pump of your car’s AC, leading to further problems. In fact, many auto shops will refuse to work on a car that has had stop leak added to the system.

Another problem with these kits is that they don’t evacuate the system before adding the new refrigerant. This can leave a significant amount of water behind in the lines, which will eventually hydrolyze and form harmful acids that can deteriorate rubber and damage metal parts. Adding refrigerant over this water will only mask the problem until the leaking and other issues get out of hand, potentially costing thousands in repair bills in the future.

A professional can diagnose a broken AC system by visually inspecting it and running a fluorescent dye through the lines to better see where the leak is coming from. They can then use the proper tools and equipment to seal the leak or replace the damaged part, saving you both money and the headache of dealing with a non-functioning or overly expensive AC system in the future.

Taking your car into a shop is a safe and smart decision that will keep your vehicle’s cooling system in peak working condition for years to come. And if you do need to refill the refrigerant, an ASE-certified mechanic will ensure you have the correct refrigerant and the correct pressure for your car’s AC system. And don’t forget – when you buy a professional recharge, you can add a stop leak product to the can for additional peace of mind.

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