Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: How Frequently Should I Have My AC System Recharged?

asked by on

How frequently should I have my AC system recharged?

A: The refrigerant in an automotive AC system ...

The refrigerant in an automotive AC system circulates through a sealed system. It is designed to be totally leak-free and usually is. Many vehicles are driven for years and years without needing any refrigerant added to the AC system.

However, because AC systems have various connection points where hoses meet, vehicles vibrate and flex, and seals are not perfect, leaks can develop. Sometimes the leak is so small it can take a year before enough refrigerant has leaked out to result in a noticeable decrease in cooling performance. Larger leaks can leak out much faster. Various methods are used by technicians to locate the leaks so they can be fixed.

So the answer to your question is, “It depends”. When the temperature of the air coming out of the vents is warm, not sufficiently cold, or a new clicking sound is cycling on and off, an AC system inspection is recommended to be done by a certified mechanic. The correct method of repair for a vehicle with low refrigerant is to locate and fix the leak, then recharge the AC system.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Air conditioning pressure doesn't change when clutch is engaged.

If your expansion valve was stuck in the open position then you may not see much, if any, change in pressures. Before replacing the expansion valve I would recommend you remove the compressor inlet line and turn the compressor by...

Q: Problems with the Driver's Side Blend Door Actuator

Turning the actuator to full cold will not find the problem since the actuator internal sensor is bad and cannot control the motor and then will default all the way to heat. You can replace the actuator and run the...

Q: Overheating, drop in oil pressure when coming to a stop

I would start by checking the thermostat. If this is not working correctly, the car will quickly overheat. Driving may temporarily keep the temperature down due to wind circulation, however once you are stopped this goes away, especially if the...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.