March 16

How Do I Know When I Need My A/C Recharged?


If you’re driving and you notice your air conditioner is starting to get weak or completely failing, it may be because of low refrigerant levels. Understanding how to spot when your vehicle’s A/C needs to be recharged can help you take care of the issue before it gets worse. Prepare for the summer months by learning about your A/C system and knowing when you need it recharged.

How Your Vehicle’s A/C System Works

Image by Mpho Mojapelo is licensed with Unsplash License

The last thing you want to do is go for a drive on a hot day and find out your car’s A/C system isn’t working at full strength. The refrigerant, Freon, in your A/C system is essential for it to function correctly. If you don’t have enough Freon, your car can’t circulate cold air throughout the cabin effectively. Your air conditioning system uses a combination of high and low pressure to distribute cold air throughout the vehicle. Freon starts out as a liquid on the low-pressure side of the system and converts into a gas on the high-pressure side.

This system keeps your vehicle cool by continuously circulating the refrigerant through the low- and high-pressure aspects of the A/C system. If leaks develop within this system, the pressure levels or the levels of Freon may start to lessen. This can develop over time, and as your A/C continues to weaken, it may eventually fail. These leaks can not only be detrimental to your air conditioning system, but they can also negatively impact your gas mileage since your A/C system has to work harder to function.

How To Know When To Recharge Your A/C System

Here are some warning signs that can indicate it’s time to recharge your air conditioning system:

You Notice Warm Air Blowing Out of Your A/C System

One easy way to tell that your vehicle is low on Freon is if your air conditioning system is blowing out warm air instead of cooling off the cabin. If you’re only slightly low on refrigerant, the air may feel room temperature. The A/C system in your car functions by circulating pressurized Freon, so when there isn’t enough of it, it impacts performance and doesn’t cool the air effectively.

You See Noticeable Refrigerant Leaks

A more serious sign that your A/C system may be leaking is visible refrigerant leaks. These leaks typically look like a small puddle of greasy, thin liquid under your vehicle. You may also notice it around the compressor under the hood of your car or inside your vehicle’s cabin. If you detect leaking anywhere in the interior or around the outside of your car, head to a dealership as soon as possible. If you’re in or around McKinney, Texas, schedule an appointment with the factory-trained technicians in our service center.

You Don’t Hear the A/C Clutch Engage

When you turn on your vehicle’s A/C system, you’ll hear a click that indicates the system’s clutch is engaging. When your car doesn’t have enough A/C refrigerant, it’ll prevent the clutch from engaging effectively. The clutch can’t engage without enough coolant to pressurize the compressor.

You Notice a Strange Smell Coming From Your Vents

Your A/C system shouldn’t omit any scents, so if you notice a strange smell, this may be a sign that there’s something wrong with it. This odor may mean that there’s mildew in your air conditioning system, and there are a variety of things that can cause this. Regardless of why it’s happening, it’s essential to resolve it before it continues to affect your A/C system, so make sure to schedule a service appointment to have a technician check it out.

How Often Should You Recharge Your A/C System?

You won’t need to recharge your vehicle’s A/C system as often as you may need to complete other maintenance services, like tire rotations or oil changes. You’ll find the manufacturer-suggested maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual since A/C systems can vary between makes and models. However, if you understand the signs and can tell when your A/C system has a leak or is low on refrigerant, you may decide to schedule a service appointment before the manufacturer-suggested deadline.

How Does an A/C Freon Recharge Work?

When you come in for your service appointment to recharge your A/C, a factory-trained technician will check your system’s gauges and pressures. This allows them to identify any potential leaks and make the necessary repairs to your car’s A/C system. After making the repairs, they’ll refill the system with the necessary amount of refrigerant.

They may need to take apart the components of your A/C system to repair its leaks, and they’ll make sure the system has no moisture or atmospheric air before recharging it by pulling the A/C system into a vacuum. Then, they’ll confirm the duct temperatures and pressures to ensure it functions properly when you hit the road.

Save on Service at Huffines Hyundai McKinney

At Huffines Hyundai McKinney, we prioritize high-quality service and small-town friendliness. We know how important it is to get the service your vehicle needs, like having your A/C system recharged, which is why we’re proud to offer service coupons so you can stick to your budget while taking care of your car’s maintenance. They can help you cover your other service needs as well, including oil changes, brake inspections, and tire rotations. You can count on our team of friendly, knowledgeable technicians to help take care of your vehicle and get you back behind the wheel as soon as possible.

The next time you need to make a service appointment in McKinney, Texas, head to Huffines Hyundai McKinney. While you’re here, you can even browse our selection of new and used vehicles to check out what’s in our inventory. If you find a model that interests you, our sales team will help you check out the features it offers and take it for a test drive. No matter your maintenance or car-buying needs, at Huffines Hyundai McKinney, we’re here to help.


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