So my daughter’s AC in her car was not blow cold. It’s under warranty so we took it in (for the second time about this complaint). The guy advises me that if there is a leak or faulty component its covered but if the refrigerant is just low it’s $160.
Well I know that the AC system is a closed loop system and the only way the refrigerant gets “low” is if there is a leak but I said okay because there just had to be a leak. There is no other possibility. We discussed a closed system and he even agreed over the phone that unless there is a leak the refrigerant should not be low.
I get a call that it is in fact low and I give the “go ahead” to recharge the system while stating my logic about an automotive AC system not needing this unless it is leaking out somewhere. he said they would introduce dye into the system to help identify any leaks. Ok great… now we are getting somewhere.
He calls back a few hours later and says no leak was found. What? How is this possible? I got my daughter and we headed down to pick up her car. When we got there the service advisor stated that he had heavily discounted the service (almost 50%)! Well that was good news.
I really hoped they found the actual problem and it would be free but $70 is a lot better than $160. I paid and we were chatting about the possibilities of seals and temperature and expansion & contraction and such. Then he said “I called our master technician and he said this is common and they recommend you “top off” your freon every year”. To which I replied “That’s total bullshit! I’ve been around awhile and I know that’s bullshit!”
I wasn’t mean about it, just matter-of-fact that’s all. We chatted some more and shook hands and I thanked him. I also said I had a UV light and I was going to look everything over really good at night to see if I saw anything and would document what I saw. All in all, except for the load of crap about topping off freon, it was a decent experience.
So I thought I would Google “topping off refrigerant” and see what I came up with. What I found was just like any other topic: you find reciprocal data on everything. What I did find interesting is that every article saying that topping off is crap was on consumer based help sites and forums, hvac associations, mechanical organizations, etc… All of the articles I found that said you must top off were car dealerships. IMAGINE THAT LOL!