In this article, we’ll show you how to recharge the AC in your car in the easiest way known to us.

Although we’re showing this example on a Skoda Fabia, the principle is applicable to almost any car out there.

This testimony comes from personal experience and can also be considered as friendly advice, from one driver to another.

At least in our case, this saved time, there was no fuss, and was fairly cheap to do.

Besides this, you can also see our video on the same topic at the end of the article as well as on our YouTube channel.



The simple answer would be to prolong the life of your car’s AC system and of course, increase the quality of air conditioning.

The air conditioning system requires maintenance and has a service interval of its own.

Those intervals are pretty far apart considering how much the AC is used which is almost always.

In some cases, a refrigerant gas recharge is needed due to how the system functions.

Such was the case, with our Skoda Fabia.

Skoda’s of this generation but also other same-generation VW group cars tend to lose refrigerant gas over time despite the fact that the whole system checks out OK.

This isn’t a big problem. For instance, in our case, this is the second time in six years that this had to be done.

Regarding other maintenance, always change the cabin filter on time. We would recommend once a year since it’s cheap to replace but means a lot for the air conditioning system.

If you want to see how to change the cabin filter on a Skoda Fabia mk1, click here to read the article or watch our video tutorial.




So what were the symptoms?

  • When you turn on the AC, instead of cool air all you get is warmish air just like if the AC wasn’t working at all.
  • A distinct whistling sound would come from the air vents which would disappear after a couple of minutes of the system working.
  • After some driving, there would be a weak cooler draft from the ventilation, barely noticeable.

Know that in this case, the AC compressor was engaging normally, it could be heard when you pressed the AC button. Also, the system ventilators in the engine bay were working normally.

So, here’s what happened next.




The first thing that was done was to check the cabin filter.

Lots of problems are caused by a clogged filter including weak air circulation and a bad smell from the ventilation.

In this case, it was replaced by a new one since it was pretty dirty and partially clogged up.

Now comes the interesting part and point of this article when talking about how to recharge the AC in your car.

The car was driven to the local garage. There they had, besides a very good and very well-equipped shop the almighty air conditioning machine.

  • Car air conditioning machine (A/C machine)

This a very popular type of machine that is used by many garages as an added-value service and as an extra source of income.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen one of these. The machine is roughly the size of a dishwashing machine. It’s easily recognized by a control panel with gauges on top.

There are two hoses with connectors at the end coming from it. These are supposed to be connected to the car’s air conditioning via two ports on the pipes of the system.

Once connected this machine checks the whole AC system for leaks, flushes the old refrigerant out, and puts a new one in.

Also, as the mechanic says, it disinfects and cleans the whole system as well as adds new lubricant.

This is a brief and amateur explanation, sorry if something was missed if experts happen to be reading this.

Anyway, once the machine was connected the whole procedure took roughly 20 minutes, after that, the car was started and everything was checked if it was OK.

All of this costs, at least in our country, about 25 euros which is on our terms a good price.

The end result was great. The AC instantly started working as it should, and cool air was coming out of the vents almost immediately. Also, the hissing sound was gone.



Well, you may say that this isn’t really a DIY fix and you’d be right. Except for changing the cabin filter, everything else was done by the local garage and the A/C machine.

I must also mention that this article and video aren’t sponsored or commercially driven. Please don’t think that this is funneling you to use someone’s service.

The point of this video is to show you one thing when mentioning how to recharge your car’s AC system.

When it comes to fixing these kinds of systems, especially if it’s not a bigger problem like the AC compressor or else, lots of times doing it this way is faster. It’s less stressful, perhaps offers more quality, and often ends up cheaper.

Even if your air conditioning is working fine, hooking up this machine to check and disinfect the whole system won’t hurt.

So it is a sort of maintenance if you will and doing it will perhaps prolong the life of your AC system and prevent future bigger problems.

Of course, maintaining the air conditioning system can be pretty successfully done on your own. At least regarding how to recharge the AC system. There are numerous kits and tutorials for how to do this.

But if you have the means and access to this machine at your local mechanic or AC shop, I would humbly recommend using this. It’s not only quick, a bargain regarding the price but also offers a quality solution which is the main point of every repair.

You get a very good price-saved time/nerves-quality work ratio.


Written by: Sibin Spasojevic


Former car technician, life-long car and DIY enthusiast, author for


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