Over the years, I have encountered a lot of issues with cars and their air conditioning system. The most common problem with car owners is that their air conditioning system encounters what we call as loss of charge or low levels of refrigerant. While it is a common issue in many car owners, I have also encountered my fair share of owners who have an overcharged AC system. In this post, I will be discussing the importance of freon and how we can determine if there is too much freon in car ac system.
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Importance of Freon
Not a lot of people know this, but freon is a trademarked term for the refrigerant. Refrigerant is made of different chemicals that turn liquid when it is exposed to cold or compression but remains in a gaseous state at room temperature.
Refrigerants are essential as it keeps a certain compartment of our vehicles to be cool and within comfortable temperatures.
One thing I notice with others is they think freon is being used up by the car, but the truth is, it is constantly being cycled through the AC system, so there is little to no need to recharge your freon unless there is a leak.
Troubles with Too Much Freon, Overcharged AC Symptoms
I can easily determine that an overcharged AC system is the work of an amateur technician who lacks experience and knowledge with regards to freon and car AC. It is very easy to make such a mistake, and I have done so in the past. There is a serious consequence of this issue. This is the main reason why I always tell my regulars to seek professional and reputable technicians when it comes to their car and the AC system.
I wouldn't want any freon leaks since it can pose a health risk knowing it is made up of different chemicals. However, learning the ways of detecting too much freon in car AC will surely help you in determining whether you should come and visit an auto-technician. Now, what are the symptoms of an overcharged AC system?
One sign that I always look out for when it comes to troubles with too much freon is the high temperature when the air conditioning is turned on or if the air conditioner begins to blow hot air. The compressor is overburdened by the fact that there is too much refrigerant in the system, so it begins to work harder to move the coolant and cycle it within the system. This causes the compressor to get overloaded and starts fuming hot air instead.
Another system that I notice with too much freon is it starts to put too much pressure on the system. Since the compressor is filled with liquid refrigerant, it strains the compressor and compromises the lubrication of the system. The result is a pool of oil, and your system is down for some fixing. Extra refrigerant is also mechanically damaging to your car, bringing your insurmountable amounts. I usually end up replacing the entire system if this happens.
The only way to determine an overcharged AC system aside from the symptoms presented is by having it checked by a professional. If the source of the issue is the high levels of refrigerant, I often advise the car owner to have the excess amount to be drained to restore it to its normal level or have it replaced entirely. Once that is done, I will then check the entire system for any damage that may have happened that the overcharged has done. This is why it is very expensive to restore the AC system and can take a lot of time for us to work on.
How To Discharge Car AC
Knowing how to discharge AC is something that I highly advise for people who do not want to spend too much on the repair. But will these steps fix an overcharged car AC? We'll find out by learning how to discharge your AC with these steps.
The very first thing that you need to do when discharging your AC is to determine first if the system uses pure refrigerant. One way of doing this is through a refrigerant purity tool. This tool is used to connect to the service port and takes a sample of the refrigerant. Most cars have pure refrigerants, but some do not, so it is always better to be safe than sorry.
After testing the purity and have determined that it is indeed using pure refrigerant, an air conditioning service machine is connected by using high and low-pressure port caps. Connect the red line from the machine to the high port and use the blue line to the low port.
This will create a vacuum that will remove the refrigerant from the system. If the car does not use pure refrigerant, a filter is added to prevent other substances from entering the machine. If the refrigerant is pure, removing it is the optimal way to go.
This is where it gets interesting. Normally, when I turn on the machine, there is pressure from the machine. This means that it is doing its job; however, if I don't feel any pressure that could easily mean that there is a leak and it will need some fixing.
If all goes well, the machine will continue to discharge the AC and pull the coolant out. When the pressure reaches zero, the AC is now fully discharged. It is time to move on to fixing the rest of the issues regarding the AC system of the car.
A lot of people also ask me about the proper disposal of refrigerants. As you may know, the refrigerant is detrimental to both humans and the environment. It is illegal to dump it in the sewers or remove it on your own. I suggest that you take your car to a shop so it will undergo the proper procedure and the disposal of the refrigerant is also safe for the environment.
Always keep in mind that knowing too much freon in car ac will help us in dealing with an overcharged AC system. This is one of the best advice that I can give to most car owners. Feel your car's needs and see if there is something wrong with and let us be the ones to solve it for you.
James is a certified auto technician specializing in commercial vehicles. With 30 years of experience under his belt, James has encountered almost every type of automotive issue there is! Besides his day job at the repair shop, he is also an amateur race car driver.