If you think your A/C isn’t as frosty as it used to be, but it’s still blowing cold, the system may need to be recharged. While manufacturers used to use a type of refrigerant known as R-12, or Freon, researchers have found it is a leading cause of ozone depletion. As such, it’s illegal to use Freon in vehicles built after 1994. Now, manufacturers use R-134a to keep things cold in the cabin.
While you can technically recharge your vehicle’s refrigerant yourself, it’s best left to a qualified professional if you’re not confident in vehicle maintenance. All refrigerants have a tendency to displace oxygen, which means if you accidentally evacuate the system, the stuff could literally push the air out of your lungs. Not fun.
Once you take your car in, technicians will measure the amount of pressure in your system, and if it’s low, they’ll add enough to get the reading within your manufacturer’s specifications. They will then run your car for a few minutes with the A/C on high and use a special thermometer to measure the system’s output. If it’s not within the necessary parameters, you may have a leak somewhere in your system.
An air conditioning compressor is usually driven by your vehicle’s serpentine belt, and as it spins, it pressurizes the system’s refrigerant. Simply put, it’s this change in pressure that cools the air coming into your cabin. An A/C compressor spins at a dizzying rate, and the more you use the cool side of your thermostat, the more likely it is to eventually fail or leak. One of the main differences between R-12 and R-134a is that the new refrigerant requires supplementary oil to be added to the system to make everything function. R-12 did not. If your compressor has run low on oil, it’s possible the interior seals have failed and you’ll need a new unit. Unfortunately, compressors aren’t cheap.
3740 E 5th Ave
(Building in the Rear)
Columbus, Ohio, OH 43219
Get In Touch