top of page
Mechanic Locations

Auto Mechanics | Blog | Car AC Refrigerant Low

Low Car AC Refrigerant (Freon)?

The gas used to refill or recharge your vehicles AC is refrigerant (traditionally Freon, phasing out). AC refrigerant for your vehicle serves two main purposes:

  • cool the interior cabin air 

  • sustain pressure for AC airflow

Low refrigerant means your AC won’t cool the air inside the vehicle cabin like it used to. No refrigerant and your whole AC system may be compromised and no longer kick in because of low pressure.

A car AC recharge fixes the most common car AC problems. If you think your vehicle is has low refrigerant schedule service or tell us the problem with you car AC and request a quote from our mechanics.

A few considerations concerning AC refrigerant:

Freon vs Refrigerant

Low Freon means your car won't cool your cabin as usual. The new Freon gas for AC recharge is Opteon. Freon is not the gas but rather a brand with a host of refrigerants. Freon was phased out to protect our ozone layer. And due to climate change, the ozone friendly Freon is phasing out. Opteon is the next generation refrigerant. But no worries, we stay on track of correct refrigerant to cool your vehicle.

Is It OK Driving With Low Refrigerant?

For short distance driving and for the short term, it is safe to drive with low refrigerant. However, the longer you drive with low levels of refrigerant in the AC system the more likely it is to cause damage to the AC compressor. Refrigerant serves two purposes, cool your interior and lubricate the seals in your AC system and compressor. A lack of lubrication in any system, including AC is never a good idea.

When To Recharge Refrigerant?

Auto makers for modern vehicle's on the road today do not necessarily have a suggested maintenance schedule to recharge the AC. Generally, when you notice a difference in the air quality and coolness of the air coming from the vents will alert you to recharging the AC. Keeping a look out for leaks will also go along way in protecting the AC system in your vehicle. Stop by for an AC system inspection.

How Much Does It Cost To Recharge AC

Recharging the AC on your vehicle generally depends on the amount of refrigerant needed.

The average cost to refill a vehicle’s AC refrigerant is $110 - $170. Prior to an AC recharge, we inspect your AC system to ensure there are no leaks. Our mechanic will detail the results of your AC inspection should repairs, if any, be required before topping up refrigerant.

For an accurate AC recharge estimate, schedule an appointment to check your car's air conditioning refrigerant level and get an accurate price or request a quote.

What's The Difference Between Car AC Recharge vs Repair?

If you car AC needs a recharge of gas (refrigerant) your likely to experience:

  • Cool air when it should be cold

  • The air is not as cold as usual

  • Warm air coming from the vents

  • Stale air coming from the vents

If your car AC needs repair - for instance a blower motor, you're likely to experience:

  • AC works sometimes

  • AC fan only works at certain speeds

  • AC doesn't come on at all

If the problem is more serious for instance an AC compressor repair, you're likely to experience all of the above plus:

  • Noises from under the hood

  • Squeal sound from AC compressor belt

  • Grinding sound from the compressor

In any case a quick diagnosis of your car, truck or SUV AC unit will pinpoint the exact problem to fix, whether it's a simple AC recharge, repair or replacement.

Whatever problem you're having with your car's AC, keep in mind if your AC needs refrigerant frequently, the compressor might be leaking refrigerant. With low refrigerant, irreparable damage to the compressor may result costing you a complete AC compressor rebuild or replacement. If there is indeed a compressor leak, we will diagnose the system to ensure your AC recharge does not go to waste. If your car, truck or SUV is free of AC gas leaks, we will go ahead and top up the AC refrigerant refill.



How to know when your car ac refrigerant is low

bottom of page