How do I recharge a car AC after compressor replacement?

My AC compressor was replaced but the AC still blows warm air. How do I recharge the AC system?

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Answer provided by
Shannon Martin
Answered on May 27, 2022
If a mechanic replaced your AC compressor professionally, they should have recharged it for you. Warm air is a sign that it wasn’t done, and thankfully, this is something you can do yourself.
Before starting, make sure to have safety goggles, gloves, two 12oz cans of AC refrigerant, and one dispenser.
Getting set up:
  • Start the engine and turn on the AC to the highest setting
  • Pop the hood
  • Find the compressor: It should be on the left side of the engine and will have a plastic cap with the letter L
  • Open the cap but do not touch the hoses on the side. They will be hot
  • Make sure the pulley on the compressor is turning. If it’s not, you may need a mechanic.
Filling the compressor:
  • Grab a can of AC refrigerant and check the pressure gauge chart
  • Shake the can
  • Attach the can of refrigerant to the low side port (you may need to check the users manual for its location)
  • Pull the trigger slowly and dispense the refrigerant, you will want to shake the can a bit every 3-4 seconds
  • Pause and check your pressure chart and keep going if you are not at the correct psi level yet, do not overfill! You may need more than one can
  • Once the correct psi level is reached, put everything back and your AC will be blowing cold air in no time
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