overcharged ac

How To Fix An Overcharged AC – Symptoms And Fixes


August 10, 2022

It is likely that you overcharged AC, causing a slew of issues as a result.

You have used up all your ice in the freezer, but it is still too hot to enjoy nachos.

On those scorching summer days, you charged up the AC in your car but it is cooling down worse than before.

An overcharged air conditioner will most likely give the following symptoms: a lack of cooling, no air coming out of the vents, strange noises from the engine compartment, and check engine light turning on.

Because AC coolant is dangerous, only an expert AC mechanic should attempt to repair an overcharged machine. 

How Can AC Get Overcharged?

DIY refills with cans of refrigerant are the most frequent cause of AC overcharge problems.

Pressure gauges are either non-existent or incorrect, resulting in system overpressurization.

It is also typical to add more coolant than necessary as a result of the “better safe than sorry” attitude, resulting in an overcharge.

overcharged ac

I honestly did not realize this was an issue until recently because I couldn’t conceive that an air conditioner repairman could botch the work.

Then I heard reports of individuals charging their AC at home with inexpensive coolant cans bought on Amazon or a local shop.

If you have read any of my previous articles, you know I’m a proponent of do-it-yourself repairs and spending labor costs on tools and equipment, but charging AC by yourself is something I would not suggest.

What Are The Symptoms Of An Overcharged AC

There are a few signs that your air conditioner is overcharged, and they will appear straight away or after a short while.

1. Weak Cooling

If the AC does not function as well after it has been recharged as it did before, you have most likely overcharged the system.

The air coming out of your vents will not be cold enough to match the temperature you have set, and even at maximum power, there will be a lack of airflow.

2. No Airflow

If the air conditioner fails to engage after a few minutes in certain situations, such as cold-starting the engine, it is typical.

If there is no air emerging from the vents after a few moments, turn off the AC immediately.

Something may fail as a result of being overly charged, so don’t put yourself at risk!

3. Noise

If a compressor fails, it is generally more expensive to repair than an evaporation pump failure and can result in the serpentine belt being broken and causing numerous issues.

One of the indications that something has gone wrong is an unusual noise coming from beneath the hood after refilling the coolant.

If you are unable to hear it but have one of the first two symptoms, leave the vehicle in park and open the hood to get closer to the compressor.

It’s on the serpentine belt, which is easy to spot because of its form.

How To Bleed Off An Overcharged AC

overcharged ac

The only effective method to restore an overcharged AC is for a professional mechanic to use the correct equipment to depressurize it.

The cost of compressing, releasing, and recharging the air conditioner varies based on a number of factors.

The majority of mechanics charge the same as they would for refilling it – $100 to $250 – and this is only if no parts of the AC were harmed owing to overcharging it.

The compressor costs around $999 and may cause the serpentine belt to break if it causes excessive stress.

The goal of VehicleFreak is to provide the finest DIY instructions and product evaluations in an effort to save you as much money as possible.

In this instance, going to an AC expert is the greatest method to obtain the lowest rates and best outcomes.

Some repairs are simply not feasible at home, regardless of your skill level.

DIY AC Charging – Should You Do It

I’m all for conserving money and doing maintenance tasks oneself, from changing the oil and filters to changing the head or taillamps, but when it comes to air conditioning, I strongly advise against attempting repairs at home.

Unless you know what you’re doing, opening up the engine block is similar to removing a spark plug; damage will be done.

I have bought everything from $10 cans to $100 AC kits on Amazon, but I’m stumped as to why anybody would want to do something a mechanic can accomplish rather inexpensively.

Consider this: If you can buy a can of freon for $10, then why does the mechanic continue to operate when he charges $100?

It’s because he has gauges and compressors worth thousands of dollars and understands how much coolant your automobile’s system requires.

How Often Do I Need To Recharge An AC?

The longer you use your AC, the more often it will need to be recharged.

Your AC can run on a single charge for two to three years if there are no leaks and you live in a moderate climate.

If you live in a hotter area where your AC is required most of the year, you will have to recharge it every year.

Can Overcharge An AC Cause Overheating?

I’ve read several replies which claim they can be done, but I believe they are incorrect.

The air conditioner is an independent system with its own compressor, radiator, and hoses.

The only danger of an overcharged air conditioner is that it will not be able to provide enough cold air inside the passenger compartment, which will cause the temperature to rise.

Even so, lowered windows and regular ventilation at a moderate-high level should suffice in most cases.

The overcharging of an air conditioner is the only way it can result in engine overheating.

The compressor fails, as well as the compressor pulley and clutch when the AC gets overly charged.

Because the compressor is powered by a serpentine belt, if the pulley becomes caught, the belt may break.

If the water pump is also driven by the serpentine belt, continuing to drive a broken serpentine belt will overheat the engine since the water pump is unable to circulate coolant through it.

All of these faults in succession are virtually inconceivable, which is why I can say that overcharged AC does not typically result in overheating.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you put too much freon in your air conditioner?

Excess Freon in the air conditioner will reduce its efficiency, but it can also cause compressor damage.

Why is my air conditioner blowing hot air after I recharge it?

The most common reason why the air conditioner is not blowing cold air is a lack of coolant, which is a typical problem when owners recharge their units by themselves.

Is an overcharged air conditioner likely to freeze up?

Yes, if an air conditioner is overcharged, the compressor may freeze up and it’s highly likely to do so in the most expensive component of the system.

Allow a specialist to handle AC recharge when required to avoid this from happening.


When the AC is overcharged, there is only one option: have the vehicle taken to a professional ac repair shop and the pressure corrected.

If you’re looking for information on the dangers of charging your AC at home, I’ll give you a heads-up: don’t do it.

In the short term, however, the savings are relatively insignificant in comparison to the risks.

Hire a professional to complete this task rather than attempting it yourself.

Check out some of our other money-saving articles to learn how you may save money on more secure and easier tasks!


Jeffrey Bryce is an experienced motorcycle rider with years of experience caring for motorcycles. His natural fondness for motorcycles have made him come up with LetsGoForARide.com, which is dedicated to answering and teaching you how to care for your bike with the care it requires. LetsGoForARide is the one of his important lifework in reaching out to communities of motorcycle enthusiasts on how to take care of their bike and choosing the correct spare part.