Mechanic shows how to tell if your car needs a new A/C—or just needs to be recharged

@merciejauto/TikTok algre/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘We might have a problem with the doors inside the car’: Mechanic shows how to tell if your car needs a new A/C—or just needs to be recharged

‘We might have a problem with the doors inside the car.’


Braden Bjella


Given how expensive some car repairs can be, it’s understandable that one would work their hardest to secure the lowest price possible when fixing a vehicle.

Sometimes, this involves doing price shopping between part stores and mechanics; other times, it means running some tests to make sure that fixing the thing one mechanic says is the issue will actually solve the problem for good.

Now, a mechanic has sparked discussion after sharing how one can tell if their air conditioner is truly broken.

Is your A/C broken, or does it just need more refrigerant?

In a video with over 104,000 views, Rick Smith of Mercie J Auto Care in Mesa, Arizona (@merciejauto) explains how one can tell what the problem is with their A/C.

First, one should test their A/C by switching their air from hot to cold.

“Make sure heat comes on and heat goes off,” he details. “If it doesn’t, we might have a problem with the doors inside the car.”

Next, he says that one should make sure that, when one’s engine is running and if one has an electric fan in their car, that “the electric fan is running out by the radiator—because if that’s not working, you’re gonna have some problems.”

If these are in working order, Smith advises that one should check to see if the refrigerant needs to be recharged, or refilled. In short, one should look at the two lines coming out of their car’s compressor. If the compressor is turning, “then you’re going to have two lines coming out of your firewall. One is large and one is small,” he says. “Do not touch the small one. It will be very hot.”

Instead, Smith suggests feeling the large line.

“The large one, whatever temperature it feels, that’s exactly what should be happening inside the car,” he explains. “So it should be around 40 degrees coming out of here. If it’s only cool, then probably the refrigerant is a bit low, or you have a valve problem inside the system.”

@merciejauto How do I know if my AC needs recharged? #acrepair #airconditioning #cars #mechanic #automotive #trending #fyp ♬ original sound – Mercie J Auto Care

Other car repair stories go viral

As the popularity of this video shows, car repair stories tend to spark interest in internet users. 

For example, one couple claimed they spent $4k on repairs and related costs within the first 4 weeks of owning their Jeep. Another Toyota driver said she was quoted hundreds of dollars for a repair that could actually be resolved in just a few seconds.

Similarly, Smith isn’t the only mechanic to give advice on the platform. Another mechanic recently explained why one’s ‘Check Engine’ light may be turning on and off, and a host of other people in the industry have shared their advice on how to avoid getting scammed while at the auto shop.

The Daily Dot reached out to Smith via the Mercie J Auto Care email.

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