2002 Subaru Outback isnt taking refrigerant help!

My cars AC stopped blowing cold air so i got a refrigerant refill and a hose with a pressure gague. When i hooked up the hose the gague read zero. I followed the instructions to fill it up but as soon as i got into the blue area on the gague (which is the filled portion) my compressor got louder and the pressure dropped back to zero. Does this mean theres a problem with my compressor or a leak? i dont know much about cars so i could be completely off. I know i didnt overfill it and i watched a bunch of instuctional videos before trying so i dont think i did it wrong. Im just not sure what the actual problem is.

There is now!



Time to take it to an automotive a/c professional. You’ve already done too much.


There’s a lot more to charging an A C system than adding refrigerant. Doing it yourself only allows you to see low pressure. To do it right you need special gages to see high pressure and low pressure and ambient temperature plays a role also. Not having the right equipment can cause compressor failure. If you recharge knowing the risks, that would be ok if it was a last ditch effort to get it to work and not spend money on a professional, but you need to realize by doing so, you may loose your A.C.

If the low pressure read as zero would adding refrigerant hurt it? i did adjust the gague to the outside temperature. This is my first car im a 21 year old girl. I dont have anyone to ask for help/advice with my car and its been hard for me to even find answers online. If it was something i couldve fixed myself cheaply i wanted to at least try. Im willing to go to a mechanic i just want to have an idea of whats wrong before i do.

Read and learn, Weedhopper.


Thank you but there wasnt any rattling. It sounded like the engine revving for a couple seconds. When the AC is running other than that it sounds normal.

You need to learn what’s good to work on, and what’s good to take to a pro. A/C is one of those things that you take to a pro. Change the oil? Sure, once you’ve learned how to do it. But high pressure gas/liquid, that could injure you if you make a mistake? Nope. I’ve worked on car for years, have a set of gauges, and I’d rather have a pro do my a/c…

If your pressure went to 0, in a car this old I would give up on your AC. There is definitely a leak. In order to recover from a leak, it will need repaired, evacuated and recharged, all of which can not be done without proper equipment. The cost will be significant. You can bring it to a professional and get an estimate, but I got a feeling you wouldn’t want to pay that much.