Signs Your AC Needs to Be Recharged

Virtually all modern AC systems operate by using a compressor to pressurize and circulate refrigerant and oil through the system to produce cold air. AC systems operate using two different sides, the high side and the low side. The refrigerant starts out as a gas in the low pressure side of the system, and is converted into a liquid in the high side. The constant circulation of refrigerant through the high and low pressure sides of the system is what keeps the vehicle cool.

Because AC systems are pressurized, they must be completely sealed to function properly. Over time, these pressurized systems can eventually develop leaks. Once any sort of leak has begun, they will eventually cause enough refrigerant to leak out to the point where the AC will no longer be able to produce cold air. Once the refrigerant and pressure level of an AC system drop too low, it must be recharged with pressurized refrigerant before it will function properly. Usually an AC system will begin to display a few symptoms when it needs to be recharged.

1. Loss in cooling capability

The most obvious symptom that a vehicle needs to be recharged is that there will be a noticeable loss in the overall cooling capability of the AC system. The AC system operates by circulating pressurized refrigerant, so if the amount drops too low it will eventually begin to affect the operation of the system. You may notice that the air is not blowing as cold as it was before or is not blowing cold air at all.

2. AC clutch fails to engage

With the AC control is set to maximum coldness, you should be able to hear the familiar clicking sound of your AC clutch engaging. The clutch engages with a signal from the AC pressure switch, which reads the pressure level of the system. When the level drops too low, the pressure switch will not activate, and therefore the clutch will not engage. Without the AC clutch engaged, the system will not be able to circulate even the low amount of refrigerant it may have and the system will not work at all.

3. Visible signs of refrigerant leaks

A more serious sign that the car needs an AC recharge is that there will be visible signs of refrigerant leakage. If you spot any signs of a greasy film on any of the AC components or fittings, or any pools of refrigerant underneath the vehicle, then this is a sign that a leak has developed and refrigerant is being lost. The refrigerant will continue to leak until the system no longer functions.

Because the need for a recharge indicates a loss of refrigerant, there is likely a leak somewhere in the system that may need to be addressed before having this service. For this reason, if you suspect your system may need a recharge, first have the AC system inspected to ensure that the AC recharge addresses the problem properly.


Schedule Car AC Repair
Service Area

$216.03 - $230.03

Price range for all vehicles
Average rating from 444 customers who received a AC Recharge.

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

Excellent Auto Repair Ratings.

4.2 Average Rating

Auto Repair

Service Hours

7 AM - 9 PM

7 days a week

Phone Number

Phone Hours

Mon - Fri / 6 AM - 5 PM PST

Sat - Sun / 7 AM - 4 PM PST

Address

We come to you at no extra charge

Guarantee

12-month/12,000-mile warranty

Service Area

Recent Car AC Repair reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Car AC Repair Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

444

Rating Summary
419
19
0
2
4
419
19
0
2
4

Peter

42 years of experience
1301 reviews
Peter
42 years of experience
Buick Enclave - Car AC Repair - Goodyear, Arizona
Had a problem with AC in our 2010 Buick Enclave. Being on a fixed income and not wanting to spend a lot of money on a used car I went shopping. I found reviews on YOURMECHANIC that were very good at reasonable prices. During this pandemic it was also comforting that they do the work at my residence. The AC in the car started blowing hot air on a 103 degree day. I contacted YOURMECHANIC and they were able to get me scheduled in about 3 working days. Pete showed up and isolated the problem. Made the necessary repairs and recharged the system. During the entire process he kept me informed what the suspected problem was what he did to fix it and showed me the results, which were superb. He went through his check and recommended that at the next regular maintenance we replace the brake pads. He sent me an instant quote. Most places in the past I only get to talk with the service writer. Today I was with the mechanic the whole time and he was able to explain in layman terms what the problem/fix was. Very refreshing. Originally, I picked YOURMECHANIC because of price. After today it will because of the entire package of price, expert mechanic, convenience and customer service!
Honda Odyssey - Car AC Repair - Gilbert, Arizona
Peter is great. He answers ALL my questions. He even gave me guidance via text when I was debating what to do about other repairs. I hire him for most repairs that can be done outside of shop.

Edmundas

16 years of experience
30 reviews
Edmundas
16 years of experience
Ford Thunderbird - Car AC Repair - Winter Park, Florida
Very knowledgeable, willing to help with ancillary functions, very professional. Explained the details of his findings.
Nissan Altima - Car AC Repair - Oviedo, Florida
Edmundas was extremely professional and went above and beyond expected -- espcially in providing all data and current state of my vehicle. The expereience was great and I would recomend Edmundas to all of my associates. Thank you!

Braxton

10 years of experience
203 reviews
Braxton
10 years of experience
Chevrolet Silverado 1500 - Car AC Repair - Orlando, Florida
On time, courteous, didn’t sell me something I didn’t need, quick and a/c is working great! Would call him again and recommend.
Hyundai Sonata - Car AC Repair - Orlando, Florida
He was great even though it was a repair that could not be done he was helpful about giving me the info I needed

Tien

22 years of experience
903 reviews
Tien
22 years of experience
Honda Accord - Car AC Repair - El Cerrito, California
Tien was very competent, explaining everything that he did and the reasons for it. He was clearly well qualified, quite apart from being friendly and receptive to questions.
BMW 328i - Car AC Repair - Oakland, California
Real nice guy. Called in advance to say he’d be slightly late. Imagine being late in Bay Area traffic! Clearly new his stuff. Would highly recommend.

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