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Should I Use a Recharge Kit on My Toyota's A/C?

Posted at Fri, Jan 1, 2021 9:00 AM

nowadays given the plethora of instructional videos and articles to be found on the Internet. There are some DIY solutions, however, that may not be the best to tackle on your one.

One such DIY fix is an air conditioning (A/C) recharge kit. While it might seem straightforward, it could also lead to more problems. Our experts here at Westbury Toyota have weighed in and given their input as to whether or not a recharge kit is something you should try on your own Toyota – and why turning to the experts first on this front is often a smart call.

It Is Very Easy to Use a Recharge Kit Incorrectly

People who are quite unfamiliar with the more intricate inner workings of a vehicle, as well as those who are new to DIY repairs, might not be aware of something that can have a serious impact on whether or not a recharge kit will work: A correct recharge of an air conditioning system needs to be done by weight as opposed to pressure. DIY recharge kits are typically only outfitted with a pressure gauge, which means that there is no way of knowing just how much refrigerant has been lost or how much it needs. Because of this, it is very easy to actually end up overcharging the A/C system.

There Could Be an Oil Leak or Lack of Oil

When an A/C system is working as it should, the refrigerant ferries oil throughout the system, which in turn lubricates all the relevant parts. If there are any leaks in the A/C system, the oil will leak out along with the refrigerant. If you have an A/C leak, adding refrigerant via recharging kit does not replace any oil that has already been lost. As a result, if you keep running your A/C after recharging but are unaware that there’s a leak, it can lead to internal damage that may result in costly repairs.

Outside Moisture Can Be Damaging to an A/C System

Whenever there is a refrigerant and oil leak, it is assured that air and moisture will get in. This is bad news for your A/C system, as outside moisture reacts with both the oil and the refrigerant. The end results of this reaction are both sludge and acid, both of which have negative effects on the system. The acid will eat away at all of the seals and internal workings of the system, while the sludge can seriously affect heat transfer. With both of these incidences, it leads to the A/C system working ineffectively and ultimately breaking down.

An A/C Recharge Kit Might Not Fix All the Problems

Inexperienced DIYers might check their A/C system and see that it is low on refrigerant and then reach the conclusion that using a recharge kit will be the solution, as recharge kits come with cans of refrigerant. As we have outlined above, however, low refrigerant is an indication of a leak. Adding more of it is not a permanent fix. The same goes for the leak sealer found in most recharge kits – while it may temporarily stop a leak, it is more than likely that it is not a lasting solution.

A Recharge Kit Is Not the Same as Professional Attention

Ultimately, a DIY recharge kit could be the equivalent of slapping a Band-Aid over a deep cut. It may offer you a temporary fix, but it is unlikely that it will be a permanent one. What is more, recharge kits could actually cause more damage due to refrigerant and oil leaks in the system, and when that happens you will be looking at expensive repairs in the near future. The best way to handle any issues with your Toyota’s A/C system is to bring it in for our Westbury Toyota technicians to look over. With their experience and know-how, they will be able to get your air conditioning working just as it should be in no time. Do not hesitate to call us to book an appointment if your Toyota’s A/C system needs some attention!

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