Each year, all cars AC systems leak a little. This means you need to recharge the AC system. But before you do an AC recharge, you need to first test for any leak and test the systems function.
How Much Does It Cost To Charge Your AC In Car?
Note that there is no specific time when you should recharge your AC. But it vital to recharge cars AC system every 6-8 years for natural reasons, there is probably a problem with a leak somewhere. However, here is the cost to charge your AC in your car:
- An AC recharge cost is between $150 to $300
- The average price for the recharge is $50 to $150
- While the average price for the leak test is $100 to $150
But before you recharge, do the following:
- Ensure you do a leak test with the right equipment before you refill an AC system.
- Take your car to AC certified workshop with the right equipment only to do any work on your AC system.
- Make sure to replace leaking parts before an AC recharge.
How Do You Charge AC In Car?
For those who want to know how to charge AC in car, here are 7 easy steps to follow:
I want to explain how to use the AC charging kits due to the sensitivity of this procedures. Note that this is the most effective and safest option in when compare to trying to repeat the mechanic’s role at home.
Here Are Materials Needed:
- An AC dispenser with trigger and low side gauge
- A Meat thermometer
- Safety glasses and gloves
- A refrigerant
PLEASE NOTE: Ensure you always wear safety glasses whenever you’re performing work under the hood.
This is important so you don’t get any refrigerant on your skin as it freezes quickly and could be painful.
Procedure 1: Put on your AC. Then start your car and put the AC to High.
Procedure 2: Check if the AC compressor is engaging. Note that an AC compressor is a device driven by the accessory belt which converts the refrigerant from liquid to gas.
Remember that the compressor has a clutch at the end of it which should be spinning with the accessory belt whenever the AC is on high. Observe for these pulleys moving.
In case you notice the clutch on the compressor is indeed engaging, this means that likely the system is low on refrigerant, especially if the air is still blowing slightly cold. If so, then you will still want to move ahead with testing the pressure first before adding refrigerant.
But if the clutch is not engaging the compressor, it means the AC system is either very low on refrigerant, maybe there is an electrical problem, or the compressor itself has failed.
By adding more refrigerant after the pressure has been tested, it will give you the understanding to know which of these could be the cause.
Procedure 3: You should test the pressure. So to test the pressure, turn your vehicle off and locate the low side pressure port. Remember that the low side pressure service port is normally located on the passenger side of the engine bay. This will have a black or grey cap on it with a letter (L).
However, if you are having difficulty in finding it, try locating the two aluminum pipes which comes out of the firewall (That is the metal wall behind the engine) and then trace the larger-diameter pipe till you find the service port.
Procedure 4: Try attaching the recharge hose from the kit. So to attach the recharge hose, just place the quick-connect fitting which you can find on the end of the recharge hose.
But be careful not to pull the trigger at this time, because it will release refrigerant from the AC system into the atmosphere.
Procedure 5: Now restart the vehicle and monitor the gauge. Try restart the vehicle and ensure the AC is on the highest settings.
Start to monitor the gauge by looking at the AC compressor to engage the clutch.
After the compressor is engaged, but if the low side pressure is under 40 psi, then it is verified that the AC system is undercharged. Note that the reading should be as close to 40 psi as possible.
Procedure 6: Now thread the refrigerant can onto the recharge hose. Note that threading the can onto the hose will allow you to slowly top off the air condition system with liquid refrigerant.
After you have installed the can, just hold the can upright and squeeze the trigger for about 5 to 10 seconds to add the refrigerant to the system.
Once you release the trigger, examine the pressure gauge to ensure you are not overcharging the system.
You should proceed until you are as close to 40 psi as possible.
Procedure 7: Go inside your car and check the temperature. By the use of a thermometer, insert it into one of the AC vents close to the driver’s side, near the steering wheel, and jot down the temperature.
Remember that a fully charged system will blow air as cold as 28 degrees. Though this can vary slightly depending on ambient temperature as well as the whether your vehicle has been stationary.
However, if the pressure is over 40psi, it is considered high at low side pressure. Note that this can be caused by overcharging the system or once the compressor itself is malfunctioning.
But if the pressure is reading high, then it is time to seek the help of a professional mechanic, as repairs may be necessary.
Once you follow these procedures, then you have successfully charged your AC! Now your AC should be running colder.