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301 County Road, Tenafly, NJ, 07670

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Dealership Info

Phone Numbers:Sales Hours:
  • Mon - Thu9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Fri9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sat9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • SunClosed
Service Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Sat7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • SunClosed
Parts Hours:
  • Mon - Fri8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Sat - SunClosed
Collision Center Hours:
  • Mon - Fri7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Sat - SunClosed

How to Recharge Your Car AC

Air Conditioner Vent
It’s summertime here in Fort Lee, and as such your car’s air conditioner is probably on full blast most of the time! If you’re on the road and you notice that your AC isn’t working the way it should–maybe it’s not as cold as usual, or has died out entirely–then you might have to recharge it. Recharging your AC simply means adding more refrigerant to the system so it can start blasting cold air at the proper temperature again. You can DIY a car AC repair or you can bring your car into the service center at BMW of Tenafly – it’s up to you! If you want to recharge your AC from home, we’ve got everything you need to know in the guide below.



DIY a Car AC Repair: Step-By-Step

If you’ve decided to recharge your car’s air conditioner from home, the first thing you need to do is gather the necessary materials. You’ll need safety goggles and gloves, an AC dispenser kit, R/134a vehicle refrigerant, and a thermometer. You can find an AC dispenser kit and refrigerant at an auto shop or on Amazon. Refrigerant is very dangerous for human skin, so be sure to wear your safety gloves and goggles for the whole duration of the recharge process. Then, just follow these steps:

  1. Turn on your car’s AC and find the AC compressor to see if it’s engaging properly. If it is, you’ll see the clutch spinning as well as the accessory belt. If it isn’t, you’ll only see the outside pulley moving, which means that there’s a larger problem with the AC than just a lack of refrigerant. If this is the case, schedule a service appointment with BMW of Tenafly so we can take care of it.
  2. Find the low-side service port, which is where you’ll attach your charger to recharge the AC system. You can generally find this service port on the passenger side of the engine bay–your owner’s manual will have a specific location.
  3. Clean off the port, remove the cap, and firmly attach the charging hose from the AC dispenser kit.
  4. Attach the can of replacement refrigerant to the charging hose and start to add it to the AC system. Make sure that the AC is turned up to the max, or the recharge process won’t be as effective. The refrigerant bottle will have more specific instructions.
  5. Keep an eye on your pressure gauge while you’re recharging the AC system–you want to get as close to 40 psi as possible.
  6. Once you’re back up to 40 psi, the system should be topped off with refrigerant. Remove the hose and replace the cap on the low-side service port.
  7. Test the AC using your thermometer by threading it through the AC vent in your car and checking it.
  8. You’re all set!

How Much Does It Cost to Recharge Your Car AC?

In general, DIY AC dispenser kits and refrigerants are not expensive, usually averaging around $20. Replacement refrigerants can be a bit pricier, often around $50. You can usually get all of your materials for under $100.

If there are more severe problems with your air conditioner, or if you’d rather leave the recharging process to a professional, you should bring your car to the BMW of Tenafly service center so we can take care of it for you! This usually costs a couple hundred dollars, but we can provide you with a more specific quote in person.

Turn to BMW of Tenafly For All Your Service Needs

If you have any questions about car AC repair or want to learn more about the services we offer at BMW of Tenafly, feel free to contact our service center! You can also stop by our dealership near Closter to talk to a member of our service team in person, or to get your car checked out for any reason. Be sure to keep an eye on our service specials if you’re interested in saving on your next appointment!


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BMW of Tenafly 40.934086, -73.957511.