Can I recharge a failing AC myself?

One of a driver’s most dreaded fears is that their AC will suddenly start blowing warm or even hot air. This problem usually seems to strike during the hottest part of the summer, too. Is this an issue that you can troubleshoot yourself and solve with a few simple steps? Or should you leave it to the professionals and call your local mechanic right away?

Do it yourself: AC recharge and measuring kits

You can recharge your failing AC yourself with the help of an AC recharge and measuring kit. Sold at most local auto and body shops, these kits include a pressurized refrigerant (most often known as Freon) and a pressure gauge that is designed to help you monitor how much Freon is in the system. The kit will also include a detailed instruction manual with instructions that will walk you though the process, step-by-step.

If it’s your first time to recharge the AC on your own, ask your local auto shop to direct you to an all-in-one kit. These kits feature a simpler design and consist of a can of Freon and a pressure gauge all in one. The all-in-one kits are created for the consumer who has little or no previous experience with an AC.

A professional perspective

While an AC recharge and measuring kit is a valuable and convenient resource, this do-it-yourself tool can be expensive and many varieties are intended for professional use only. If you don’t have any experience servicing your car or feel unfamiliar with auto parts in general, ask a professional for help to ensure properly performed maintenance and repair to your AC.