Should I Fix My Own Car AC? - Beck's Auto Center

Should I Fix My Own Car AC?

You’re driving down the highway and hit the rush hour stop-and-go. You roll down your window and lean out to try and see what could be the hold up, when the wind blasts you in the face like a hair dryer. 

It’s a scorcher out there. 

You roll the window back up and kick the air conditioning on high and settle in hoping for some chilly comfort. But what comes out the vents is much less than cold. It’s simply less hot at best, and certainly not cool with you. Now what?

First, Do No Harm

We have to face the fact that today’s cars are much more complicated than those we used to tear down for fun in our dad’s garage with our closest pals. 

Now, our various creature comforts—like our AC—come with a complicated assortment of hoses, belts, chemicals, and mechanical parts. Trying to repair a car’s AC without the proper tools and training can cause further damage to your car’s AC components, which could result in thousands of dollars in additional repairs, or personal injury. 

To prevent more money out of your pocket and/or trips to the ER, Beck’s Auto Center will be glad to give you some tips to get your car’s AC in working order.

Do Not DIY

The internet is full of inexpensive, really attractive “quick fix” solutions like DIY recharge kits that can quickly take a not-so-great situation to really bad in seconds flat. If your plan is to buy a DIY kit online and follow a couple of YouTube videos to get the job done, consider these 4 risks:

1. Bad for you, bad for the environment – The refrigerant in your car’s AC system is harmful to the environment and to you. Older cars used freon, and today, we know it’s nasty stuff—so dangerous it’s not even used anymore. If you come into contact with or inhale the gas, there’s a chance it could cause a variety of health problems—even death.

2. Incompatible refrigerant – Not all cars use the same type of refrigerant, and if you charge up your system with the wrong kind, you could be in for some dangerous chemical interactions that could cause personal injury or damage to your AC system.
3. Harmful stop leak additive – Although something called “stop leak” sounds like a quick and easy way to fill leaks in your system, it doesn’t always work out that way. Much of the time, it either doesn’t stop the leak, or it stops the leak…along with the rest of your AC system! Stop leak can end up clogging hoses, seals, and pumps, resulting in some expensive damage.
4. Overcharging the system – DIY kits don’t have the ability to properly measure the amount of refrigerant pumped into the system. Without the proper tools you can only measure pressure from one side. This means you could end up overcharging the system, which can land you in the repair shop anyhow. 

Get the Pros Involved

Now here’s the real reason to trust the auto repair pros: Even if you’re able to successfully recharge your AC and it’s blasting a fresh wave of arctic delight from your vents…how long will it last? Refrigerant doesn’t just evaporate—it leaks. If you just charge up the refrigerant, chances are you’ll be riding uncomfortably in the heat sometime again soon.

The hot air blowing from your AC is a job for an experienced auto repair shop in Lafayette, Indiana like Beck’s Auto Center! We have been helping people with auto repairs since 1972. Let us help you ride cool again. Give us a call at (765) 447-9459!

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