What is the shelf life of an AC car recharge kit?

AC car recharge kit

Over time, your car air conditioning system will eventually run low on refrigerant gas. A few bucks spent on a do-it-yourself ac recharge kit can get you cool again in less than an hour. But these kits come with some serious risks.

Do-it-yourself recharging kits often contain refrigerant that is incompatible with your vehicle’s electric compressor. This may lead to overcharging the AC, which can damage components and cost thousands in repairs. Also, recharge cans are designed to make it easy to overfill the AC system, since they feature a gauge that only reads pressure on the lower side of the system.

Another problem with a/c car recharge kit is that they don’t remove the old refrigerant. Refrigerant must be purged from the air conditioning system before it can be charged with new refrigerant. This step is important to ensure that the air conditioning system operates properly. Many DIY recharge kits skip this step, causing the system to operate improperly or even leak.

What is the shelf life of an AC car recharge kit?

A popular myth is that you should let the hot air out of your car before turning on the air conditioning. This is because it’s supposedly safe to do so and will prevent you from being poisoned by the carcinogen benzene that is emitted by plastic in the dashboard and upholstery. The truth is that letting the hot air out will not prevent you from being poisoned by benzene; it will simply delay your exposure and allow the system to work for longer.

Recharge kits also use a special type of refrigerant that has a sealing agent added to it. As the refrigerant runs through your cooling system it will seal any leaks in the AC. Unfortunately, these seals can wear out and clog your air conditioner’s system, causing the car to overheat.

Licensed mechanics can repair leaks in your air conditioning system much more quickly and effectively than a do-it-yourself recharge kit. A professional can visually inspect the system for a leak and, if needed, can run fluorescent dye through the cooling system to locate the source of the leak. Once the leak is repaired, a licensed mechanic can refill your air conditioning system with the correct amount of refrigerant and restore the proper pressure in your AC.

Recharge kits aren’t as bad as they sound — but they still shouldn’t be used. If you’re going to use a kit, find the refrigerant that matches your car’s system and follow the instructions. Your owner’s manual should have the details of the refrigerant your vehicle requires, or you can look at an under-hood sticker for more information. The only reason to use a DIY kit is if you’re not comfortable bringing your car to a licensed mechanic for the repair. And be sure to check the refrigerant pressure after you’re done. If the pressure is too high, you may blow a hose or ruin your compressor, costing you thousands in repairs. A licensed mechanic will test the pressure on both sides of your AC before charging it, ensuring that you won’t overcharge the system and damage your vehicle.

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