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Car Freon (refrigerant): signs of leakage and how to recharge it

Table of content

  1. What is Freon?
  2. Symptoms of a leak
  3. Can I refill Freon myself?
  4. Changing the a/c cabin air filter
  5. A/C maintenance

It has often been stated that the best invention of the 20th century was air conditioning, as it makes living in hot climes more appealing and driving in the summer more bearable. Today, the desire for air conditioning in cars and lorries is so great making it almost impossible to buy a new car without it. Even though other components of your air conditioning system can wear out or even break, the most typical problem with a vehicle's air conditioning system is a Freon (refrigerant) leak. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about Freon and your a/c system.

What is Freon?

Freon is the lifeblood of the A/C system. The compressor is the heart that pumps the Freon throughout this system. The hoses move the Freon through the system, and the condenser cools it. The evaporator lets heat escape and leaking fluid in the air conditioning system can lead to serious failure. Stopping a refrigerant leak and replenishing the refrigerant is essential to cool the passenger cabin correctly.

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RIDEX 424I0021 Pollen filter Pollen Filter, Particulate Filter, Filter Insert, 194 mm x 214 mm x 29 mm, rectangular
Parts Details
  • Filter type: Pollen Filter, Particulate Filter, Filter Insert
  • Length [mm]: 194
  • Width [mm]: 214
  • Height [mm]: 29
  • Packing Type: Box
  • Shape: rectangular
  • RIDEX: Pollen filter
  • Item number: 424I0021
  • Our price: £ 4,57
  • Condition: New
Details
RIDEX Pollen filter Pollen Filter, Particulate Filter, Filter Insert, 194 mm x 214 mm x 29 mm, rectangular
Article number: 424I0021
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RIDEX 424I0012 Pollen filter Fresh Air Filter, Filter Insert, Particulate Filter, 246, 252 mm x 216 mm
Parts Details
  • Filter type: Fresh Air Filter, Filter Insert, Particulate Filter
  • Length [mm]: 246, 252
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  • RIDEX: Pollen filter
  • Item number: 424I0012
  • Our price: £ 5,01
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RIDEX Pollen filter Fresh Air Filter, Filter Insert, Particulate Filter, 246, 252 mm x 216 mm
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RIDEX 424I0215 Pollen filter Activated Carbon Filter, 253 mm x 233 mm x 29 mm
Parts Details
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  • RIDEX: Pollen filter
  • Item number: 424I0215
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Details
RIDEX Pollen filter Activated Carbon Filter, 253 mm x 233 mm x 29 mm
Article number: 424I0215
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DENSO DCP50301 Air conditioning compressor 5SE12C, PAG 46, R134a
Parts Details
  • Compressor Oil: PAG 46
  • Oil Fill Quantity [ml]: 90
  • Compressor ID: 5SE12C
  • Manufacturer Restriction: DENSO, TOYOTA
  • Belt Pulley Ø [mm]: 110
  • Number of ribs: 7
  • Refrigerant: R134a
  • Weight [g]: 4960
  • Inlet Ø [mm]: 18,3
  • Outlet Ø [mm]: 15,5
  • Quality: OE
  • for OE number: 8831042250
  • Number of grooves: 7
  • Filled
  • Length [mm]: 214,13
  • Height [mm]: 139
  • Mounting Type: Bolted
  • Gross Weight [g]: 5770
  • DENSO: Air conditioning compressor
  • Item number: DCP50301
  • Our price: £ 432,45
  • Condition: New
Details
DENSO Air conditioning compressor 5SE12C, PAG 46, R134a
Article number: DCP50301
£ 432,45
price incl. 20% VAT, free delivery
DENSO DCP51001 Air conditioning compressor 6SEU16C, PAG 46, R134a
Parts Details
  • Compressor Oil: PAG 46
  • Oil Fill Quantity [ml]: 130
  • Compressor ID: 6SEU16C
  • Manufacturer Restriction: DENSO, TOYOTA
  • Belt Pulley Ø [mm]: 110
  • Number of ribs: 7
  • Refrigerant: R134a
  • Weight [g]: 5400
  • Inlet Ø [mm]: 18,3
  • Outlet Ø [mm]: 15,5
  • Quality: OE
  • for OE number: 88310-53060
  • Number of grooves: 7
  • Filled
  • Mounting Type: Bolted
  • Gross Weight [g]: 6210
  • DENSO: Air conditioning compressor
  • Item number: DCP51001
  • Our price: £ 402,98
  • Condition: New
Details
DENSO Air conditioning compressor 6SEU16C, PAG 46, R134a
Article number: DCP51001
£ 402,98
price incl. 20% VAT, free delivery

Symptoms of a leak

As opposed to other liquid leaks, a Freon leak is not easy to diagnose by checking the bottom of your car. It is colourless, usually odourless, and mainly exists as a gas in the A/C system. Here are some signs that your car may have a refrigerant leak.

  • The air conditioning blows hot air. The easiest way to locate a Freon leak is when you notice the A/C emitting hot air. This is not ideal, of course, because by the time the air conditioner stops working, it becomes impractical to take preventative action. There can be various causes for this issue, but the prevailing one is typically the near-total leakage of the refrigerant. It is imperative to promptly address this by repairing air conditioning car parts unless you don't mind driving with open windows when the vehicle heats up.
  • The light on the dashboard indicates a malfunction of the air conditioning system. While this could be an early indicator, it's worth noting that only a subset of cars have a warning light specifically for air conditioning problems. In fact, the majority of cars do not have any such indicator light. When the warning light comes on, there is little time to fix the problem prior to the cooling effect of the a/c being lost.
  • The air conditioner makes a clacking noise. When the AC car compressor doesn’t have enough gas to compress, it makes this sound indicating a short circuit. There are many reasons for a short circuit, but a low Freon level is the most common. This is also an early indication of a problem that requires your immediate attention.

freon for car

Can I refill Freon myself?

It is possible to add Freon yourself, but we don’t recommend doing so. If you want to save money, you should be aware that the do-it-yourself approach can backfire, as many mistakes can be made. Filling the air conditioning system yourself is completely different from checking the tyre pressure or refuelling the vehicle. It is not easy to drain or replace the Freon as it becomes gaseous again under pressure. Not only can refrigerant be lost, but it can also pollute the environment as gas escapes, contributing to global warming. Additionally, a professional mechanic knows exactly how much Freon needs to be put into your car.

DELPHI TSP0155990 Air conditioning compressor 6CVC, PAG 46, with PAG compressor oil
Parts Details
  • Compressor Oil: PAG 46
  • Compressor ID: 6CVC
  • Manufacturer Restriction: Delphi
  • Belt Pulley Ø [mm]: 110
  • Supplementary Article / Supplementary Info Info 2: with PAG compressor oil
  • Clutch ID: PV6
  • DELPHI: Air conditioning compressor
  • Item number: TSP0155990
  • Our price: £ 262,95
  • Condition: New
Details
DELPHI Air conditioning compressor 6CVC, PAG 46, with PAG compressor oil
Article number: TSP0155990
£ 262,95
price incl. 20% VAT, free delivery
KC-88 VALEO 813144 Air conditioning compressor DCS, 12V, PAG 46, R134a, with PAG compressor oil, NEW ORIGINAL PART
Parts Details
  • Supplementary Info: NEW ORIGINAL PART
  • Compressor Oil: PAG 46
  • Oil Fill Quantity [ml]: 230
  • Compressor ID: DCS
  • Manufacturer Restriction: VALEO
  • Belt Pulley Ø [mm]: 119
  • Refrigerant: R134a
  • Voltage [V]: 12
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  • Supplementary Article / Supplementary Info Info 2: with PAG compressor oil
  • Weight [kg]: 6,65
  • Number of grooves: 7
  • VALEO: Air conditioning compressor
  • Item number: 813144
  • Our price: £ 371,44
  • Condition: New
Details
VALEO Air conditioning compressor DCS, 12V, PAG 46, R134a, with PAG compressor oil, NEW ORIGINAL PART
Article number: 813144
£ 371,44
price incl. 20% VAT, free delivery
-67%
MANN-FILTER CUK 2939/1 Pollen filter Activated Carbon Filter, 215, 288 mm x 272, 215 mm x 57, 34 mm
Parts Details
  • Left- / right-hand drive vehicles: for right-hand drive vehicles
  • Filter type: Activated Carbon Filter
  • Length [mm]: 215, 288
  • Width [mm]: 272, 215
  • Height [mm]: 57, 34
  • Fitting Position: below the glove compartment
  • Highly efficient version with active carbon (Art. No.): FP 2939 / 1
  • MANN-FILTER: Pollen filter
  • Item number: CUK 2939/1
  • Our price: £ 10,96
  • Condition: New
Details
MANN-FILTER Pollen filter Activated Carbon Filter, 215, 288 mm x 272, 215 mm x 57, 34 mm
Article number: CUK 2939/1
RRP

£ 33,41
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price incl. 20% VAT, excl. delivery costs
DENSO DCP50125 Air conditioning compressor TSB10C, 12V, PAG 46, R134a, with magnetic clutch
Parts Details
  • Compressor Oil: PAG 46
  • Oil Fill Quantity [ml]: 100
  • Compressor ID: TSB10C
  • Manufacturer Restriction: DENSO, TOYOTA
  • Belt Pulley Ø [mm]: 105
  • Number of ribs: 4
  • Refrigerant: R134a
  • Voltage [V]: 12
  • Weight [g]: 5245
  • Supplementary Article / Supplementary Info Info 2: with magnetic clutch
  • Quality: OE
  • for OE number: 88310-74010
  • Number of grooves: 4
  • Filled
  • Mounting Type: Bolted
  • Gross Weight [g]: 6055
  • DENSO: Air conditioning compressor
  • Item number: DCP50125
  • Our price: £ 358,65
  • Condition: New
Details
DENSO Air conditioning compressor TSB10C, 12V, PAG 46, R134a, with magnetic clutch
Article number: DCP50125
£ 358,65
price incl. 20% VAT, free delivery
DENSO DCP32003 Air conditioning compressor 7SEU16C, PAG 46, R134a
Parts Details
  • Compressor Oil: PAG 46
  • Oil Fill Quantity [ml]: 180
  • Compressor ID: 7SEU16C
  • Manufacturer Restriction: DENSO, VW-Group
  • Belt Pulley Ø [mm]: 110
  • Number of ribs: 6
  • Refrigerant: R134a
  • Weight [g]: 5360
  • Quality: OE
  • for OE number: 1K0820803J
  • Number of grooves: 6
  • Filled
  • Length [mm]: 222
  • Height [mm]: 138
  • Mounting Type: Bolted
  • Gross Weight [g]: 6170
  • DENSO: Air conditioning compressor
  • Item number: DCP32003
  • Our price: £ 275,42
  • Condition: New
Details
DENSO Air conditioning compressor 7SEU16C, PAG 46, R134a
Article number: DCP32003
£ 275,42
price incl. 20% VAT, free delivery

Changing the a/c cabin air filter

The airflow through the air con cabin filter decreases with continuous operation. It must therefore be changed regularly. In fact, manufacturers prescribe this. If it is not replaced, it can become clogged and cause the blower motor to fail. In addition, the windows can mist up and unpleasant odours can develop – which you can prevent with a car AC cleaner.

A/C maintenance

The air conditioning in your car should be on all year round, not just when it is hot. This helps to prevent misted windows and maintains a healthy climate in the car. It also ensures that the air conditioner will still work next spring.

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