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How difficult is it to put freeon in my '99 mercedes? Can a layperson do it or should I always take it to the shop. What tools are needed and how do you check for leaks if a layperson does it?

AS an FYI, some public library systems have Chilton’s automotive guides, or others like it, online through their sites, you just need to enter in your library card number.

Chicago has these manuals online.

Freon is DuPont’s trade name for their R12 refrigerant. Since your vehicle uses R134a refrigerant, it’s not Freon.

To properly recharge an AC system you need a set of manifold gauges so both the low and high sides can be monitored while recharging. The best way to locate leaks is by using a refrigerant sniffer. These can detect leaks as little as a half an ounce a year.

If you don’t wish to invest the money for this equipment, and take the time to learn how to properly recharge an AC system, best to take it to a shop that has both the equipment and expierience.


Unless you have the correct equipment and necessary knowledge (I don’t), automotive AC problems should be taken to a shop specializing in such systems.

The DIY kits can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, and adding too much is just as bad an not adding enough.

In my opinion automotive AC is not a do-it-yourself project. I gladly pay the experts to have it done correctly.