Are Car AC Recharge Kits Environmentally Friendly?

Car AC Recharge Kits Environmentally Friendly

When your car AC starts blowing warm air or you notice the refrigerant level is low, it’s time to recharge the system. However, before you head to the store to buy a do-it-yourself recharging kit let’s take a closer look at these kits and find out what they are really doing for your car.

A a/c recharge kit for car is essentially a can of R-134a refrigerant, a hose and a pressure gauge. Many do-it-yourself recharging kits cost under $50. This is less expensive than the price of a full air conditioning system service at a garage.

Most recharging kits also include a leak sealer, which the manufacturer claims will help plug small leaks in your car’s air conditioning system. However, any type of leak in the system will still allow moisture to enter the system. This moisture, when combined with the chemicals in refrigerant forms a type of acid that can corrode and damage different components of your vehicle’s A/C system.

Are Car AC Recharge Kits Environmentally Friendly?

Using a DIY recharge kit can also lead to improper mixing of refrigerant. Many refrigerants are color coded, and the kits may mix different types together. This is unsafe and can damage the compressor clutch and other components of your A/C system. It can also cause a chemical reaction that releases hydrogen, which can create a flammable gas that can ignite when exposed to an open flame.

Many newer cars use a type of A/C refrigerant called R-1234yf, and these systems are incompatible with the DIY recharge kits that are widely available at auto parts stores. Additionally, most hybrid and electric vehicles use a different type of A/C compressor that requires a different kind of oil.

Most DIY recharge kits aren’t compatible with the A/C systems on older cars either. These older systems use a more volatile type of refrigerant, known as R-12 (Freon), which has been discontinued because it is harmful to the ozone layer. A licensed mechanic will need to retrofit your vehicle’s A/C system or replace the compressor and other components if you plan to use a DIY recharge kit.

Despite the advertising claims, a recharging kit can only provide a temporary fix for your A/C problem. If you have a leak, it will only fill up the system again, and it won’t fix the problem that caused the leak. If you have a big leak, it is best to visit a professional to have the leak repaired before adding more refrigerant.

When you bring your vehicle in for an A/C system repair, a licensed technician will first visually inspect the system to see where the leak is. If the leak is located, he or she will run a fluorescent dye through the system to better locate the leak and seal it. After the leak is sealed a licensed technician will reinstall the A/C compressor and other parts and test the system for any additional problems. This service is far more comprehensive than a simple recharging, and it can save you money in the long run.

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