Expert reveals how to refill your car’s AC this summer for cheap

@dave_doc_diy/TikTok auremar/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘Yeah do not overfill your system’: Expert reveals how to refill your car’s A/C this summer for cheap

‘Mhm I’m taking notes.’


Jack Alban


If you have ever headed to an auto shop to get your car’s air conditioner (A/C) refilled, you probably left clutching your pearls due to the cost associated with it. A TikToker and do-it-yourself enthusiast named Dave (@dave_doc_diy) shared how to refill your own air conditioning for probably much less.

However, many viewers said that while the guide was helpful, it’s not always going to get a person’s air conditioning unit functioning properly. But this hack is good for people who need a simple refill.

“All right it’s hot out, and if the A/C in your car is not quite getting it done, here’s how you fix it,” the TikToker promises. The video cuts to a shot of some car air conditioning products inside of a store.

Different options

“Now when it comes to recharging your A/C, you have some price options. … The $56 A/C pro—that’s an excellent one if you’re willing to spend the $60,” he says, highlighting the premium air conditioning refill option.

However, that’s not the one Dave picks up. “I went a little bit on the cheaper side. … [I] went with the Avalanche here. And I bought the hose. Now after your hose is tightened on, …. you’re gonna start your truck up. You’re going to turn your A/C on MAX, and you’re gonna connect your hose,” he says. He demonstrates, step-by-step.

“Now, this is similar for most products. These ones come with these smart clips,” he says, affixing two tiny bits of plastic to one of the air conditioning vents.

“I just like to go off of feel, but you can see they turn blue or green when your A/C is in the right position,” he adds.

His video then transitions to him holding the canister on top of the car, showing what the canister affixed to the other end of the hose looks like. “This will clip onto the lower side of your A/C, which you’re gonna see two black caps on the silver cylinder near your engine—that’s going to be your air conditioning unit. As you can see, I turn to unlock, I’m decompressing the button, and I’m starting to charge the system,” he says.

A success

At the end of the video, Dave says his work was a success. “Now we’re starting to get cooled off here. You’re going to easily disconnect it when you think your system is charged up enough. Tighten your cap back on, throw it [the hood] down. You’ve got A/C, good to go,” he says.

@dave_doc_diy How to recharge your car or truck air conditioning! #carairconditioning #airconditioning #repair #diy ♬ Wes Anderson-esque Cute Acoustic – Kenji Ueda

His video has 1 million views. Some viewers suggested helpful tips of their own. “MAKE SURE YOU USE THE RIGHT REFRIGERANT!! R-134a is not universal,” one said.

“Yeah do not over fill your system get a gauge ask me how I know,” another said.

But what about leaks?

“I was always under the impression that it should never have to be filled, if it does there is a leak in the system and needs to be repaired,” a third said.

According to Radair, leaks in a car’s A/C system can be caused by wear-and-tear, salt that gets used on roads during cold months, moisture, road debris, or an accident. So leaks may be unpreventable.

For small leaks, there are some sealants sold over the counter that operate in a similar fashion to the solution Dave details in his video. But it’s worth mentioning that these sealant solutions will only work for small ones.

The Daily Dot has reached out to Dave via email for further information.

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