Product Review: A/C Pro Do-It-Yourself Air Conditioning Recharge
We’ve tested many products over the years; some are very good and worth the asking price (such as Drop Stop, which my wife reminds me regularly we need to get another of) and some are not (Facelube comes to mind). A/C Pro falls into the first category – a well-designed product that’s worth the asking price.
As the headline says, A/C Pro is designed as a do-it-yourself air conditioner recharge kit. It comes as a reusable large aerosol can (it sort of looks like a mini fire extinguisher) with a 24 inch braided metal hose along the side and a pressure gauge at the top. You can buy it for as little as $29.99 from Amazon (plus $8.99 shipping); the retail price is $44.99 (including the gauge, hose, and connectors; refills cost less). So even if you’re paying full retail for it at your local auto parts store, you’re still likely getting a 50% discount, if not more, over what a garage would charge to do the same thing. If you get it for $39 on Amazon (shipping included) that’s about a 61% discount for very little effort on your part.
An important thing to keep in mind is that if your air conditioning does not work, it does not necessarily mean that it only needs a recharge. First, a properly functioning system may never need a recharge. If it is low in R-134A refrigerant, that may indicate that there is a leak somewhere in the system, which means that repairs may be necessary, or at the very least another recharge at a future date. If the compressor doesn’t engage, that might indicate a much more serious problem. If that’s the case, you will probably take your car to a trusted mechanic for diagnosis. It could be something as simple as a blown fuse or severed wire, or could be something as sinister as a failed compressor. Either way, a compressor that doesn’t engage will not be remedied with an A/C Pro recharge.
When the folks at A/C Pro offered me a test unit, I initially hesitated. I love trying out free stuff, but my personal fleet includes a 2008 Cadillac CTS and a 2013 Toyota Sienna, both of which have perfectly-operating air conditioning systems, and I had no desire to mess with something that was working perfectly. But a friend had a 2009 Ford Flex that needed an air conditioning recharge, so I agreed to accept a sample to test.
The instructions are very simple. The included sheet breaks them down to either a three-step process (find the low pressure port, measure A/C system pressure, charge A/C system) or a more-detailed step-by-step process.
The verdict? As my friend said, “Works perfect. Soooo easy to use and great instructions. Would use again.”
Though the slogan of “as easy as one…two…squeeze” on the bottle is catchy, it may be safer to actually read and adhere to the instructions
- TURN ENGINE & A/C ON
- DETERMINE IF COMPRESSOR IS ON
- FIND SERVICE PORT
- REMOVE SHIPPING DISK
- ATTACH QUICK CONNECT
- READ PRESSURE
The result was that my friend saved a significant amount of money (even if he had been required to pay for the test can, which he was not).
Though we didn’t get video of the recharging, the YouTube video below gives a walkthrough of the process to charge your car’s air conditioner using A/C Pro. If you need a charge, you probably won’t find an easier, less expensive way to do it than using A/C Pro.