Adding refrigerant to your air conditioning system has gotten much easier than it used to be thanks to companies that produce easy to use recharge products. While adding refrigerant to your air conditioning system isn’t something you should have to do often, it isn’t unusual if your car is older than 5-8 years. Refrigerant leaks are the most common causes of malfunctions in automotive air conditioning systems today so adding a little refrigerant to make up for what has leaked out is a good thing to know how to do.
The first question to ask when you plan on adding refrigerant is if you’re sure your system needs more refrigerant. The amount of refrigerant in your air conditioning system plays a large role in how the system performs and functions. Due to the physical properties of refrigerant, the only accurate way to measure how much refrigerant is in your system is by weighing it. This means that the only way to be sure you’ve got exactly the right amount of refrigerant in your system is to first evacuate everything from the system making sure it’s at a vacuum and completely empty, then add back in the specific weight of refrigerant required by your system.
If your system has a refrigerant leak, then you’ve already got an unknown amount of refrigerant in your system. However, if your system doesn’t have a refrigerant leak and you choose to add more refrigerant to your system, then you’ve unnecessarily added an unknown amount of refrigerant and made it impossible to tell whether your system will work properly.
If you want to prove your system have a leak, the best way is to measure both the high and low-pressure side of your system. When refrigerant leaks out of your system it can affect the maximum pressure your compressor can reach as well as the pressure on the low side of the system.
Once you’re sure you’ve got a leak, it’s time to add refrigerant. The best and most accurate way to add refrigerant to your system is using a refrigerant recovery machine. A refrigerant recovery machine can evacuate your entire air conditioning system to a vacuum, save whatever refrigerant you have left, then add back in the appropriate amount of refrigerant. This process is very accurate, but due to the cost of a refrigerant recovery machine, this can be an expensive process.
A much less expensive option is to use a small single-use can of refrigerant that you can purchase at any of your local auto parts store. These single-use cans often have the appropriate attachment to connect straight to the low-pressure port on your air conditioning system. Since you can’t accurately estimate how much refrigerant you are dispensing into your system, it’s important to add small amounts at a time, check the temperature of the air coming out of your vents, then add more if you need it to be colder.
Since you already had a leak in your system, it’s also important to stop the leak so your newly added refrigerant doesn’t disappear so it’s important to add Red Angel A/C Stop Leak & Conditioner to your system after it is cooling properly to seal any leaks and make sure your new refrigerant keeps your system working properly.
You can find Red Angel A/C Stop Leak at any of our partnering auto parts stores like:
- Advance Auto Parts
- Bennett Auto Supply
- CarQuest Auto parts
- NAPA Auto Parts
- O’Reilly Auto Parts
- Pep Boys
- Fast Track
- Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts Specialists
- S&E Quick Lube Distributer
- DYK Automotive
- Fisher Auto Parts stores
- Auto Plus Auto Parts stores
- Hovis Auto & Truck Supply stores
- Salvo Auto Parts
- Advantage Auto Stores
- Genuine Auto Parts stores
- Bond Auto Parts stores
- Tidewater Fleet Supply
- Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts
- Any Part Auto Parts
- Consumer Auto Parts
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