4 Signs Your Car’s Air Conditioner Needs Freon

It’s no secret that summer (and spring and much of fall) is hot enough to require the air conditioner being on when you’re driving around Raleigh. If it can’t keep up, your drive is probably pretty miserable and uncomfortable. Could the problem be coolant? Here are three signs your car’s air conditioner needs Freon and what you should do about it. 

Your Car Probably Doesn’t Use Freon

First, it’s important to note that your car probably doesn’t use Freon. Freon, or the generic term, R12, is a coolant that was found to be highly detrimental to the ozone layer, so car manufacturers stopped using it in 1994. It’s just that, like Band-aids and Kleenex, the brand name became commonly used. 


If your car is older than 2018, you probably have R134A, a better refrigerant that is also efficient and effective. If it’s newer than 2018, your car most likely has R1234yf, a highly efficient coolant that breaks down rapidly in the atmosphere, ensuring minimal greenhouse gas emissions and thus, a safer option for the environment. 

4 Signs Your Car Needs Coolant

Like your home’s air conditioner, your car’s AC compressor pressurizes the coolant so it transitions from gas to liquid, absorbing heat and cooling the air circulating in your vehicle. It’s a closed system, so the only way you’d lose coolant is if there is a leak. Here are 4 signs to look for to know if your car is leaking Freon. 


Visible Leak

Okay, this is probably pretty obvious, but if you see a thin, oily liquid around the compressor or inside the cabin of your car, there’s most likely a leak somewhere. 

Air Is Tepid

When you turn on your car’s air conditioner and set it to cool, it makes sense that cool air should blow from the vents after it’s been on for a few minutes. If the air coming through is tepid or room temperature, the freon may be low or even empty and is in need of recharging. 

Clutch Doesn’t Engage

You may haven’t noticed, but when you turn on the air conditioner, the compressor clutch in the cooling system gets into gear and shifts power from the engine to the AC compressor.  When this happens, you should hear it engage as it reads Freon levels and the compressor goes into action to pressurize it and begin cooling the air. If you turn on the AC and you don’t hear the clutch click, it means you most likely need Freon. 

Ice Around the Compressor

If you look at your air conditioning system and see ice around the compressor, moisture may be in your system, a sign there’s an opening which also means coolant is leaking out. 


Schedule AC Service with Our Raleigh Import Repair Company

While there are videos and resources available walking you through how to recharge your coolant, we highly recommend leaving it to the certified technicians at our import repair company in Raleigh. A small mistake can lead to a costly repair, while we have the experience and know-how to recharge all types of imports as well as repair other air conditioning problems with your vehicle. Schedule air conditioning service for your car today at 919-324-3019 or fill out the form below to get started.  


Air Conditioning
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