Are There Times I Should NOT Add Refrigerant to my Automotive A/C?

Quite simply, yes!

FJC has been providing quality air conditioning products, tools, equipment and refrigerants for over 25 years, and while we love to help DYIers save money, we would be negligent in our duty if we didn’t advise that there are certainly times an A/C tech is a preferred option.

In most cases we advise to visit a tech/mechanic after charging your system and not seeing the expected result:

  • For example, if you have filled your A/C system, but find the charge does not last, your A/C system has a leak.  While small leaks can be effectively treated with one of FJC’s Stop Leak products, (Part #s 9140, 9165, 618), leaks that are so large as to deplete your refrigerant within a week or two will require a trip to the mechanic.  In the long run, this  option will be less expensive than adding refrigerant every couple of weeks—AND it’s better for the environment.
  • Another consideration is if you’ve just added refrigerant and your car is not blowing cold, you may have overcharged the system .  An overcharged system will not function properly, can seriously damage your compressor and other components, and is potentially dangerous. In terms of cooling, it  presents much in the same way as an undercharged system.   Another possibility if your system is blowing warm after a charge is that your compressor is damaged and not working properly, you may have a blown relay or fuse, defective sensors or a stuck blend door.  Whether its from an overcharge, or a mechanical issue, it’s best to have an A/C professional take a look at, and rectify, the situation for you.
  • A further consideration is to be absolutely sure you understand exactly what is in the product you are adding to your system.  For example, hybrid and electric vehicles MUST NOT have any oil/lubricant introduced into their A/C systems. Most of the cans of refrigerant you’ll find in a retail shop include at least a lubricant, which could critically harm your system, and even cause severe electrical injury.  Therefore, if you own a hybrid or electric vehicle, be sure to only add what we call “straight” refrigerant—refrigerant with no oil or dye added.  FJC does offer straight refrigerant in cans and cylinders—Part #s 690 (R-134a cylinder), 695 (R-134a can), 696 (R-1234yf can), 697 (R-1234yf cylinder).

Always check the manual of your specific vehicle before adding refrigerant to your vehicle.

And if unsure, choose personal safety first and protection of expensive automotive systems second rather than save a few dollars on a DIY project.

LMK 2020