AC Screwing With Me



My AC has started acting up and, at first, I thought it was a problem with low refrigerant level because it seemed that the system was just not able to keep up as it got warmer. Right after buying a recharge kit, the AC started working again though. Not blowing the coldest air, but working nonetheless.

After paying attention, I noticed that the AC will not work from the start or shut off after it has been working for a while. It seems like when this happens, the system does not kick in as it should. It feels like the compressor is not kicking in properly because, as is the case while idling under normal circumstances, the engine RPM does not drop every couple seconds as the AC kicks in.

Also, it seems that if I have the problem with the AC not working after it had been, turning off the engine and letting it sit makes things work again.

So, my question is, could low levels of refrigerant be causing the compressor to not start up even after it had been working.

And, does anyone have ideas as to what else could be the problem?

Thank you for your help!


There are a number of reasons why the compressor could be acting up but without knowing pressures involved it’s near impossible to make much of a guess from my vantage point.

I’m not a fan of those recharge kits for the simple reason they do allow one to know what is going on with the high side pressure. Yes, a low or incorrect level of refrigerant can cause the compressor to work erratically.


My advice is that unless you have the proper training in AC diag. and repair and know and are willing to follow the law in regards to refridgerant handling these jobs go to the shop.


If my problem corrects itself with a recharge of the low pressure side, can I assume that the issue lies in there being some small leak in my system? I have had the vehicle in the shop several times to identify what is causing the problem. Never have any issues been identified and never has dye been found that would indicate where a leak may be. I have been dishing out hundreds of dollars on diagnostics and repair with an end result of a simple charge of the system that caries me well into the next year, when I notice a problem when it gets hot and humid again.

I am not generally a person that wants to mess with things that are above their head, but considering that a diagnostic and charge of the system costs $89 at a repair shop, I think I can fill the system for $20 just fine. The kit comes with a DVD… how can I go wrong! lol :wink:

Thanks for your help


I am not certified to diagnose or repair AC but I am more than willing to follow the law in regards to refrigerant handling. I care about the environment, and I care about my health. I read all instructions carefully and am very diligent. I just don’t see wasting my time by leaving my car with a shop for several hours just to be charged five times what I paid for the kit, with the same result.

You have no idea how many times I have heard “We couldn’t find anything wrong with the system and didn’t find a leak.”


Are you using a AC speciality shop? If not,do if you are change shops.In the defense of all AC leak seakers out there,some can be hard to find. But if the charge is gone its got to be going somewhere. Change,modify your leak search technique maybe newer better equipment is the answer,or more training.Network with other techs see if that makes you a better AC tech


From your description of the problem I would check the air gap of the compressor clutch.