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Recharging your Air Conditioning: Where and how

When you press the air conditioner button but it isn’t cooling or heating as it should be, it may be a sign that you need to recharge your air conditioning unit.

Over time, it’s normal to have some leakage of cooling gas. Consequently, your car’s air conditioning system may become less effective.

In this article, we’ll give you some tips on solving this exact problem. Keep reading!


How does car air conditioning work?

Car air conditioning systems work as follows: on one side of the circuit is the compressor, which receives the gas at low pressure, compressing it into a liquid. The liquid then flows into the condenser, where the heat dissipates outside the vehicle.

Once it has gone through the condenser, the coolant flows into the evaporator located within the car cabin. The heat dissipates, and the evaporator cools.

It is important to know how your car’s air conditioning system works, which consists of three parts:

  1. The condenser;
  2. The compressor;
  3. The evaporator.

In short, the condenser and evaporator work as two radiators connected in one hermetic circuit.

That said, the following question arises: when does a car air conditioner need recharging?



When should you recharge your car’s air conditioner?

Your air conditioner should be charged every 2 years or every 40 thousand km driven.


What are the tell-tale signs that your car air conditioner needs recharging?

In addition to air failing to cool or heat up as it should, certain other signs also indicate that it is time to recharge your car’s air conditioner. Find out what they are.


1. An unpleasant smell inside your car

An unpleasant smell inside your car may be caused by a clogged condenser – one of the components within the air conditioning circuit.


2. Your windscreen fogging up

A leak in the air conditioning system leads to contamination within the system, allowing all the gas within it to escape.


3. Lack of pressure in the air produced

If the air pressure being pushed out of the air conditioner is weaker than normal, it may indicate low gas levels in your air conditioner.


4. Increased fuel consumption

If you’re seeking to save on fuel, you should be aware that recharging your car’s air conditioning system greatly impacts your car’s fuel consumption.

A substantial increase in fuel consumption could be an indicator that your air conditioning system is overworking itself due to low gas levels.

In some cases, these symptoms may be mistaken for a need to repair a car’s air conditioner. It is therefore important to remain vigilant and resolve the situation as quickly as possible.



What are the advantages of recharging your air conditioner?

Beyond providing hot or cold air, charging your car’s air conditioner gas provides numerous benefits to a vehicle’s overall performance.


1. Recharging your air conditioner keeps your car at the optimum temperature

When your air conditioning unit’s nice and charged, it makes it easy to maintain optimum temperatures within a vehicle and ensure that all passengers are kept as comfortable as possible.


2. Recharging your air conditioner improves air quality

A fully charged air conditioner makes it easy to ensure better air quality inside your vehicle.


3. Recharging your air conditioner provides for calm, safe driving

Keeping their vehicles at an ideal temperature allows drivers to focus 100% of their attention on driving, therefore avoiding road accidents.


4. Recharging your air conditioner defogs windows

On cold, rainy days, we’ll likely find our car windows fogged when we get into our vehicles. A recharged air conditioner makes it easy to defog windows quickly and effectively.


5. Recharging your air conditioner reduces cabin odours

The purified air produced by your air conditioning unit helps eliminate odours that may become lodged in your car carpets or upholstery.

Though it’s important for everyone, maintaining the cleanliness of your car’s interior is particularly important for those with allergies and respiratory problems, as air is purified by the air conditioning system.

Although it seems simple, recharging your air conditioner is something you can’t do at home, as doing so requires specific equipment such as an air conditioner recharging machine.


Where can you get your air conditioner recharged?

As such, you should seek out a specialised garage to recharge your car’s air conditioning unit.

So, how can you get your car’s air conditioning recharged?


Recharging your car’s air conditioner

To recharge your car’s air conditioner, the mechanic will have to perform three processes:

  1. Removing any left-over gases from the air conditioner;
  2. Running a leak test to prevent leaks;
  3. Lubricating the system and then recharging it.

When lubricating your air conditioning system, you should ensure that the following components are covered: the pistons and air compressor valves.


How long does it take to get your air conditioner recharged?

Although it sounds complex, the process is simple and quick to perform. It generally takes about 20 minutes.

To load gas into car air conditioning systems, the exact measurement is established according to the weight of the vehicle. Vehicle instruction manuals generally indicate the quantities required.


What care should you take when regassing your car air conditioning unit?

For car air conditioning systems to work efficiently, it is important to note the amount of gas used because:

  • If you add too little gas, the system won’t work properly.
  • If you add too much gas, the system is at risk of becoming overloaded.



Good car air conditioning maintenance is essential to extending a vehicle’s service life.


What care should you take with your car air conditioner?

In addition, you should adopt habits that improve its use and performance, such as:

  • Keeping your car running for a few minutes before turning on your air conditioner.
  • Avoiding starting your car with the air conditioner already on;
  • Unblocking your air vents, which are sometimes obstructed by smartphone accessories.

Now, the information you’ve been after: how much does it cost to recharge your car’s air conditioner?


How much does it cost to recharge your car’s air conditioner?

The price of recharging your car’s air conditioner can range from 40 to 120 euros, depending on your vehicle model and air conditioning system.


Which items does KROFtools supply for car air conditioner maintenance?

Own your own garage? Then check out the KROFtools catalogue for the equipment you’ll need to repair and recharge your customers’ vehicle air conditioning systems. Find out which ones.


Air Conditioning Test R1234YF


This air conditioning test allows mechanics to check the flow of cooling gas produced by your car air conditioner.

Click on the image to find out more about our Air Conditioning Test R1234YF (reference 8108).


Air Conditioning System Test Kit



An air conditioning pressure gauge can be used to replace a defective pressure gauge present in any device.

This tool can be used to run diagnostics, as it comes with two hoses: one high-pressure and one low-pressure.

Air conditioning pressure gauges are protected by an aluminium frame to ensure their durability.

Click on the image to find out more about our Air Conditioning System Test Kit (reference 8109).

Interested in finding out more about the world of all-things cars? Then follow us on Facebook and keep up with our daily content.


4 thoughts to “Recharging your Air Conditioning: Where and how”

    1. Dear Grill Repair Chicago,

      Appreciated your feedback.

      Keep watching our post on KROFtools blog and if you have any doubt don´t hesitate in contacting us on our through our social media.

      KROFtools team

  1. We appreciate you pointing out that the condenser being clogged might be to blame for the foul stench inside the car. My sister claims that her truck is giving off unpleasant odors. I’ll advise her to have the mechanic fix the truck’s air conditioner.

    1. Dear Iris Smith,

      We appreciate your feedback, and are happy to help.

      Keep watching our post on KROFtools blog and if you have any doubt don´t hesitate in contacting us on our through our social media.

      KROFtools team

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