Have you noticed that your car’s air conditioner (AC) is struggling to keep the cabin cool? If you’re uncomfortable riding in your Chevrolet Equinox or Silverado on hot summer days in Plano, Texas, you may need to recharge the AC. You can perform this task at home, but it requires several steps. You might find it easier to bring your vehicle into our service center to have one of our well-trained professionals do it for you. Read below as our service experts here at Huffines Chevrolet Plano share this straightforward guide on how to perform an AC recharge.
How Do You Recharge Your Vehicle’s AC?
Before we get into the details of what you need to do to recharge the AC in your car, truck, or SUV, it’s important to understand how an AC system works. An accessory belt powers the compressor, which converts the refrigerant from a liquid into a gas. If the system works properly, the clutch at the end of the compressor should spin with the accessory belt. You can turn the AC up to high to check whether this is working correctly. If the clutch isn’t spinning, it could be because the refrigerant is low.
The next step is to check the pressure in the system. You’ll need to turn your vehicle off and locate the low-side pressure port, which is usually on the passenger side of the engine bay and has the letter “L” on its cap.
If the pressure is low, you can connect the hose from your recharge kit. Just push it down over the port until it clicks into place. Then, turn your vehicle back on with the AC on high. You should monitor the gauge to see when the clutch engages. The system doesn’t have enough charge if it measures below 40 psi.
If it’s low on refrigerant, the next step is to attach the refrigerant can to the hose. Once you’ve done that, you can pull the trigger for five to 10 seconds to top up the refrigerant. If the pressure isn’t low, you should take your vehicle to a reliable local dealership to have a professional inspect it since another issue could be causing it to perform poorly, and you don’t want to face a long, hot summer here in Plano without it working properly.
What Other Air Conditioning Problems Should You Consider?
One important thing to keep in mind is that even if you successfully recharge the AC, this will only be a temporary fix. Refrigerant shouldn’t ordinarily leak from the AC since it’s an airtight system. Low pressure is a sign of leakage, so you’ll need a technician to inspect and repair the system to achieve a permanent solution. This type of repair is quite complex, so only a professional should attempt it, especially since AC refrigerant is toxic if it releases into the atmosphere.
There may be other problems with the AC, especially if the refrigerant pressure is fine. One potential issue is that the clutch may have broken, preventing the compressor from functioning as it should. In this situation, replacing the clutch is the best solution. Any good Plano service center can handle that for you during an auto repair appointment.
Another area where problems can arise is the condenser, which is in front of the radiator. The condenser is responsible for turning the gas back into liquid refrigerant. But difficulties can emerge if dirt or debris from the cabin or an external source obstructs the condenser. You can clean the condenser at home using a garden hose. Or a mechanic can easily take care of it for you as part of a full AC maintenance appointment.
You also need to keep an eye on the engine’s fan and fan belt. If your car’s engine has an electric fan, it should always run when the AC is on. One warning sign to watch for if the fan isn’t properly working is if you notice the air from the AC increasing rapidly in temperature when your car is idling. The same rule applies to mechanical fans. You should also inspect the fan belt for any sign of damage. If it has cracks, replacing it before it snaps is essential.
Why Get Professional Auto Servicing for Your Vehicle’s AC System?
While you can perform many of the fixes for the AC problems we’ve talked about at home, there are times when you’ll need a professional auto technician to get to the bottom of the issues your vehicle is having. If you’re scheduling a service appointment in Plano, it’s well worth checking out whether the dealership has any special incentives on its service options. You might find reduced rates on AC maintenance or the parts you need to fix a problem. These incentives can help you save money while keeping your car in top condition.
During an AC service appointment, the technician will inspect all the system’s parts, including the compressor, hoses, condenser, clutch, and accessory belt. Even if the AC system is working well, your service technician may suggest flushing its refrigerant, an essential preventive maintenance measure you should schedule every two years or so. It can help prevent contamination of the AC system and allow a technician to check it for small leaks you may not immediately notice when you check it yourself.
Why Have Huffines Chevrolet Plano Service Your Chevrolet’s AC?
If you’re looking for a reliable service center near Dallas to take care of your AC repairs, Huffines Chevrolet Plano should be your first stop. Our expert GM auto technicians are familiar with the most common AC repair tasks and can also handle other common maintenance jobs, such as oil changes and tire rotations. We also have a well-stocked parts department with all the original equipment manufacturer components necessary for successful maintenance. Feel free to contact us today if you’d like to know more about our services or to make an appointment.