Should You Use an A/C Recharging Kit? | Good Works Auto Repair

Should You Use an A/C Recharging Kit? | Good Works Auto Repair

Savvy consumers are always looking for ways to save money. After all, you work hard for your money … why spend more than you have to?

When it comes to auto repairs, however, spending wisely often looks a little different. In our experience, the best way to save money on auto repairs is by following a preventative maintenance schedule that catches small problems before they become big ones.

In contrast, some vehicle owners wonder if they can save money by doing their own repairs. Take your A/C system, for example … is it wise to use a DIY A/C recharging kit to get your system running properly again? We don’t think so, and here’s why.

Why NOT to use an A/C recharging kit

When your A/C system stops blowing cool air, you’re typically frustrated and want to get it fixed as soon as possible. Before you head to the local auto parts store for an A/C recharging kit, however, consider this:

A/C recharging kits aren’t compatible with every car. If you have an older make and model, or a very new one, the refrigerant in these kits may not be compatible with what’s in your vehicle. Mixing the two is not a good idea and many auto repair shops won’t want to service your vehicle if you’ve put in the wrong refrigerant.

Adding more refrigerant may not solve the problem. If your A/C system is very low on refrigerant, it’s evident that there is a leak. Simply adding more refrigerant doesn’t fix the leak. Because of this, moisture and air may be getting into the system, increasing the potential for further damage.

Refrigerant should be added by weight, not by pressure. Unfortunately, an A/C recharging kit only comes with a pressure gauge and no way to measure exactly how much refrigerant should be added. This can result in overcharging and damage to your A/C system.

Stop leak sealer may cause more damage. Most DIY A/C recharging kits come equipped with a stop leak compound. While this is intended to plug leaks in the system, it may not successfully do so. Furthermore, it contaminates the refrigerant in your A/C system. When you end up taking your vehicle to your local auto repair shop, they may charge you extra for filtering out the stop leak compound so they can run the refrigerant through their recycling machine.

Professional A/C service is best

While there may indeed be some Do-It-Yourself auto repairs that you can handle, fixing your malfunctioning A/C system is probably not one of them. Instead of using a DIY A/C recharge kit, we recommend having your vehicle serviced by a trained mechanic at a trustworthy auto repair shop. Keep your cool with professional A/C service today!


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