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Recharging & refrigerant (freon) for the auto A/C
Q: What's the problem with topping off an A/C system that's low on refrigerant?
A: The problem is that you can never tell how much refrigerant is in the system before you start to top it off. You test and diagnose A/C system using manifold gauges. They provide a pressure reading. That pressure reading is in no way related to the amount (weight) of refrigerant in the system. Therefore, you can never be sure of how much is already in the system. Above that, late model vehicles now have a full spec charge of just several ounces (as opposed to older applications that were between 3 and 4 pounds of refrigerant). If the total charge is 20 or 25 ounces, being 'off' by 4 or 5 ounces could be the difference between cooling and no cooling. You should always recover the refrigerant in the system, pull deep vacuum for at least 1/2 hour (to remove air and moisture) and recharge with the full factory specification refrigerant charge.

 

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Our list of FAQ's is growing, so please visit back often. If you can't find the right answer here, visit the auto A/C help and discussion board at the COOL ZONE. You'll get all the right answers to your questions about troubleshooting and diagnosing auto A/C systems.

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