If your car AC stops working, you will have to inspect the air conditioning system and recharge the air conditioner if required. Although you may have to use a refrigerant to get the air conditioner recharged, there are many other components of the air conditioning system that work together to blow cool air into the cabin. You could inspect and repair your car AC on your own, but since it’s a moderately complex task, you must watch online tutorials if you’ve never done it before.
Recharging the Air Conditioner:
There are two types of refrigerants that are used in car air conditioning systems, namely the 134 and the R12. Older vehicles require the R12 refrigerant. Since this is not readily available because of its ill effects on the environment, you will have to get the AC professionally repaired if you have an older vehicle. Make sure you read the owner’s manual to find out the type of refrigerant that’s used.
Also keep all your tools handy before working on the air conditioning system. Purchase an AC maintenance kit that has a pressure gauge and the 134 refrigerant. Most kits also contain a rubber hose.
After you’ve got all your equipment in hand, inspect the AC system. Look for refrigerant and oil leaks. If you have a leak, you will have to get it fixed instead of recharging the AC.
If there aren’t any leaks, read the instructions that come with the AC kit, and attach the rubber hose onto the pressure gauge.
Avoid inserting the pressure gauge into the refrigerant can before turning the gauge counterclockwise.
To avoid piercing the can accidentally, make sure you assemble the recharge kit before screwing the gauge into the refrigerant can. Since the refrigerant freezes tissues when it comes in contact with skin, you need to be extremely careful when recharging your AC system.
You will now have to calibrate the pressure gauge by turning the dial to the outside temperature.
Next, look for the low pressure port in the AC system to attach the pressure gauge to it. If you don’t know the location of the low pressure port, refer to the car owner’s manual.
Use a cloth to wipe the low pressure port before removing the cap that’s on it.
It’s now time to attach the gauge to the port. Turn the gauge clockwise till it stops turning and attach the hose to the pressure port. Look for the latching mechanism and secure the hose in place.
Then, start the engine and turn on the AC. Wait for a few minutes and note the reading on the gauge.
If the system needs refrigerant, remove the hose from the low pressure port, and turn the gauge counterclockwise so that it doesn’t pierce the can during assembly.
You now have to screw the gauge assembly onto the 134 refrigerant can and turn the gauge clockwise. It will now pierce the can. Fix the hose back onto the low pressure port and turn on the car engine and AC. After a few minutes, turn the pressure gauge counterclockwise and watch the pressure gauge reading.
After the system is recharged, replace the cap on the low pressure port and you’re done.
When purchasing an AC maintenance kit, look for kits that come with a pressure gauge and a rubber hose. The kit should also have instructions to help you complete the task without difficulty. Although most kits don’t contain safety glasses, it’s best to use a pair when working on your vehicle.