How to Remove Refrigerant from Car AC

Learning how to remove refrigerants from car AC is not rocket science. If you love to fix some faulty parts of your car by yourself; then, you should pay rapt attention to the information provided in this article.

You should be able to diagnose some challenges with your vehicle when the symptoms begin to unveil before consulting an auto mechanic. Better still, if you are able to fix some of those challenges by yourself, you would save yourself a lot of money.

Knowing how to remove refrigerant from the ac system is one of the DIY skills useful to you as a car owner. Suppose you ever experience a challenge with your car’s AC system that is traceable to its refrigerant. In that case, the subsequent paragraphs provide sufficient information to guide you through the process of removing refrigerant from your car’s AC seamlessly.

How to Remove Refrigerant from Car AC

Refrigerant is a formulated mixture/working fluid that transforms hot air to cold air in your car’s AC system. It ensures the absorption and release of heat, thereby producing cold air for your convenience through your car’s AC. A low refrigerant can affect the proper functioning of the AC system, thereby producing some symptoms.

Once you begin to experience signs of your car AC malfunctioning, such as when your AC is not blowing cold air, when AC is blowing hot air, etc., follow this step-by-step guide as a solution on how to drain R134A from the car or any other refrigerant from your vehicle.

How to Remove Refrigerant from Car AC

Step 1: Switch off the indoor thermostat.

Step 2: Identify your car’s refrigerant low-pressure side and the compressor’s suction size. The compressor’s suction valve is located in the condensing unit. Then, connect the refrigerant’s low-pressure side and the compressor’s suction side.

Step 3: Block the service valve on the low-pressure side of the condensing unit with a wrench. However, you may need to use a hex key rather than using a wrench to block the service valve, depending on the kind of valve.

Step 4: Slightly close the service valve of the high-pressure side. Ensure not to close completely. Allow the hex key remains in its position.

Step 5: Engage the compressor using a low-voltage jumper.

Step 6: Allow the low-pressure valve to empty.

Step 7: Once it gets to vacuum, cover the service valve immediately.

Finally, de-energize the compressor. Ensure that you are swift in performing step 7 and the final step of de-energizing the compressor because if you delay in these steps, you may damage the compressor. A bad AC compressor would create more problems for your car’s AC system. It is essential to have somebody around to assist you in performing this removal process.

The process unveiled above is not complicated. You can be sure of successfully removing your car’s AC refrigerant as a DIYer.

Refrigerant is vital to your vehicle, just like the radiator coolant, and the vehicle oil enables the proper working of your car’s engine and other related components. The refrigerant is also referred to as Freon. Some of the common Freon used by most vehicles’ AC is; R134A, R-12, etc.

Understanding how your car’s AC refrigerant works and the symptoms of AC malfunction cannot be overemphasized. The AC system works perfectly through the compressor, accumulator or receiver dryer, condenser, evaporator, expansion valve, or orifice tube. Understanding how these components relate would help you understand how the refrigerant works.

However, if you are skeptical about the process, it would be best to consult a professional auto mechanic to help you out. It would only cost you a few dollars.

how to remove refrigerant from ac system


Q: How much does it cost to remove refrigerant from car AC?

Removing refrigerant from your car’s AC does not cost a fortune. Refrigerant removal costs between $100 and $300. Usually, the auto mechanic, with respect to the time and effort it takes to perform the removal, could make it differ in cost.

However, the process could take between half an hour to one hour labor time, and the ease or difficulty also depends on the kind of vehicle make, or model.

Q: Can you recover refrigerants without a recovery machine?

If you are asking about how to remove Freon from the car without a recovery machine, this could be helpful to you.

The refrigerant recovery process usually requires an AC recovery machine. The machine is required because it ensures compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) law of not allowing refrigerants to be released into the atmosphere.

However, you can recover refrigerant from your car’s AC without a recovery machine. It would be best if you simply used a refrigerant cylinder approved for that purpose. The cylinder’s capacity also determines the success of the removal.

Q: What is the best refrigerant recovery machine?

Ranking as top refrigerant recovery machines are;

  1. Inficon refrigerant recovery machine with a 1HP power rating and a 550 PSI pressure rating.
  2. Appion refrigerant recovery machine, with a ½ HP power rating and a 550 PSI pressure rating.
  3. Yellowjacket refrigerant recovery machine, with a ½ HP power rating and a 517 PSI pressure rating.
  4. Robinair refrigerant recovery machine with a 1/3 HP power rating and a 550 PSI pressure rating.
  5. Fieldpiece MR45 recovery machine, with a 1 HP power rating and a 550 PSI pressure rating.

The above-listed refrigerant recovery machine ranks top among most dealers, and they have been proven to deliver maximum satisfaction in the refrigerant removal process.

Q: Can I reuse recovered refrigerant?

Yes, you can reuse recovered refrigerants. The moment you recover refrigerant from your car’s AC, you are at liberty to destroy it, reclaim it for resale, or store it safely so that it is prevented from emissions into the atmosphere.

The law provides that recovered refrigerant can also be re-installed in the AC it was recovered from or into any other AC system of the owner of the initial AC it was recovered from.

Final Words

You would save yourself money when you know how to remove refrigerants from car AC if you encounter a challenge with your car’s AC refrigerant. If you experience any slight malfunction, it would be helpful to check it out immediately. If you fail to fix any little challenge you notice with your vehicle, it could degenerate into a more costly problem.

Knowing how to remove Freon without a recovery machine will also be helpful if that is the only option you have to drain the refrigerant out of your car’s AC system. Not sure of doing it well? Consult an expert auto mechanic to help you fix the issue.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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