A/C Recharge Issue w/ a 1995 VW Jetta


Yesterday my boyfrine and I purchased a do-it yourself auto A/C charging kit. Not only are we not getting any A/C cooling, but now my car (when A/C unit is on) “hiccups” every 10 seconds or so. When I looked under the hood, the hiccuping occurs at the same time the unit holding the belts seizes then within a second releases. My repair manual said that when freon level is low, that the compressor my fail to start and may need “jumped”. Is this what is happening? Can anyone advise if this is what we need to do? Thanks for any help!


The compressor has a magnetic clutch that is suppose to engage and disengage the compressor without having to stop the belt. From your description, either the clutch is doing it’s job, and engaging and disengaging the clutch, only the system is low on refrigerant and needs a proper recharge, or the magnetic clutch is slipping. You need to have a qualified professional look at it.


It sounds like the compressor is cycling on and off rapidly due to a low system charge.

Advising someone who is inexperienced with A/C work is always a bit iffy, but you could try adding some refrigerant.
I’m not real keen on those recharge kits because I like to know what’s really going on in the system at the time.
I would also strongly suggest wearing safety goggles, just in case.

You also need to keep in mind that if you’ve lost refrigerant this means a leak.
Don’t expect it to last.


This is symptomatic of a low refrigerant charge. What you’re seeing is the A/C compressor turning on and then turning off immediately because the low-pressure switch is activating.

You can try adding more refrigerant, but if what you’ve already added and what you may add now is more than two pounds (32oz) and you still have problems, adding refrigerant will not help because you have a massive leak. This leak will have to be repaired.



While I do most of the work on my cars, I leave A/C for the pros with the knowledge to do it right.