Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Often Does an AC System Need to Get Recharged?

ac recharge

Your car’s air conditioning system is a lot like your home’s central heating and air, and even more closely resembles the system that keeps your refrigerator cool. It relies on refrigerant to operate – when the refrigerant gets low, the system won’t cool properly, and it might not work at all.

How often does an AC system need to get recharged?

First, understand that your system may never need to be recharged. While some amount of refrigerant loss is possible, even normal with some systems, it’s a minute amount, and it shouldn’t affect system operation. With that being said, most of us aren’t that lucky and you’ll find that your system begins to perform less and less as the years pass.

To get back to the question of how often an AC system needs to be recharged, the answer is, “it depends.” There’s no service or maintenance schedule here – you don’t need to recharge your air conditioning system every year, or even every two years. The best indicator that you need to recharge the refrigerant is when the system begins to cool less than it used to, but before it stops cooling completely.

When your system doesn’t blow as cold as it once did, you need to have it inspected. A mechanic will check the system for refrigerant leaks, and then perform an “evac and recharge” service (if no leaks are found – if they find a leak, the damaged components will need to be replaced). An “evac and recharge” service consists of connecting your car’s AC system to a special machine, which vacuums all the old refrigerant and oil from the system, and then refills it to the proper level. After the service is complete, the mechanic will test the system’s operation and verify that the air conditioner is cooling to the automaker’s original specifications (by measuring the temperature of the air produced at the dash vents).

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...


Related questions

Q: There was a temperature change in my car.

Hi there. The thermostat on the air conditioning is not functioning correctly. I recommend replacing the thermostat temperature scanner for your air conditioning system. The thermostat will determine when the blend doors are to activate and when the air conditioning...

Q: AC not working in car.

It is possible that the refrigerant may be low again or you may have a bad pressure sensor in the AC system. If there is low pressure, or the computer thinks there is low pressure due to a bad sensor...

Q: AC problems - 2010 Honda CR-V

Unfortunately, since many hands have been on the car opening and closing a sealed system, it is hard to say what your starting point is "now". That is, if in the course of discharging and charging the system, moisture was...