Too Much Freon In Car – What are Causes and Symptoms?

Too much freon in car can damage the evaporator coils and compressor of an AC, disrupting the system’s operation. It is often caused by overcharging during servicing operations.

Too Much Freon In Car – What are Causes and Symptoms?

This guide explores the causes of excess freon in a car, the common symptoms, and how to fix the problem.

What Are the Common Causes of Too Much Freon in a Car?

The common causes of too much freon in a car are a faulty compressor and the addition of excess freon during vehicle servicing. Other possible causes of excess freon in a vehicle include leaks in the evaporator coil and a clogged condenser.


Faulty Compressor

The compressor is the central component of a vehicle’s AC system, driven by the engine. This element is responsible for compressing the refrigerant in the refrigerant circuit of the air conditioner. As the power unit of the AC system, it puts the refrigerant (freon) under high pressure before pumping it into the condenser.

If the compressor is faulty, it won’t perform its function correctly. It would be unable to circulate the freon across the air conditioning system. A faulty compressor will lead to freon buildup and high AC pressure, and if the problem persists, it will eventually result in too much freon in the car.

Addition of Excess Freon During Servicing

Regular servicing helps to keep your vehicle in good working condition. So, it’s a good decision to have a mechanic service your car occasionally. However, as beneficial as this action is, it can mistakenly cause AC problems, such as excess freon in the vehicle.

While servicing the vehicle, too much freon may be added, which would affect the operation of the car AC. This problem often arises when the mechanic performing the servicing is inexperienced or doesn’t have the proper equipment.

Leaks in the Evaporator Coil

The function of the evaporator coil is to absorb heat, remove humidity from the air, and distribute it to the interior of the car via a blower fan. It can be likened to a small radiator inside the dashboard that provides cold air for the AC system. Corrosion, vibration, and wear and tear can cause evaporator coil leaks.

Leaks in the Evaporator Coil

When there is a leak in the evaporator coil, it can cause too much freon in the vehicle. The evaporator coil is a common cause of an overcharged air conditioner. So, if there is too much freon in your vehicle’s AC, it could be due to a leak in the coil.

Clogged Condenser

The condenser is designed to be a heat exchanger. Its function is to cool down the refrigerant (heated up by the compressor). The refrigerant becomes a liquid (condenses) by transferring its heat to the flow of ambient air passing through it. The buildup of dust and dirt often causes the condenser to become clogged.

A clogged condenser can be responsible for excess freon in the air conditioner. This is because the accumulated dirt or dust will prevent the condenser from working correctly and result in freon buildup in the air conditioning system.

What Are the Symptoms of Too Much Freon in Car?

The symptoms of too much freon in a car are reduced fuel efficiency, high-sounding noises from the AC system, and rough idling. Other signs include lowered airflow from the vents and subpar acceleration. Engine overheating and frost buildup are also symptoms of excess freon in a vehicle.

Reduced Fuel Efficiency

In lay terms, fuel efficiency refers to how well a vehicle uses fuel. However, it is much more than this. Fuel efficiency deals with the distance a vehicle will travel on a single gallon of gas or liter of fuel. There is a specified amount of distance that your vehicle will cover with a specific amount of fuel.

From research, every vehicle is expected to have a fuel efficiency of about 30-35 miles per gallon. Now, if there is too much freon in the car, this criteria won’t be met. Too much freon in your vehicle will cause the compressor to overwork.

An overworked compressor means that the car will use more fuel than usual to travel a particular distance. Thus, the fuel efficiency will be reduced to 20-25 miles per gallon. So, once you notice that your fuel efficiency has dropped, it could mean too much freon in the vehicle.

High-Sounding Noises From the AC System

Noisy car AC systems can be quite irritating. However, it would be best to look beyond the displeasure of the high-sounding noises to think about what could have caused the issue. There are several possible causes of loud noises from the AC, such as defective AC belts and faulty cooling fans.

High Sounding Noises

One common but overlooked cause of the buzzing sound from the AC is too much freon in the car. So, if you start hearing hissing, banging, or any strange noises while using the air conditioning system, it could mean that you have too much freon in the vehicle.

Also, another reason you should get the car checked immediately is that an overworked compressor could cause the noises, which indicates that the vehicle may be faced with more serious issues.

Lowered Airflow From the Vents

The AC vents are vital in operating a car’s AC unit. Cool air flows into the vehicle’s interior through the vents for the benefit of the occupants. However, there are instances where the airflow rate may be affected. When this happens, it indicates something is wrong with the vehicle.

Reduced airflow or hot air from the vents is one of the signs of an overcharged AC. Thus, if you discover that the air coming from the AC vents is reduced or less intense than before, it means excess freon in your vehicle. Also, this occurrence hints that your AC compressor is overworked, so you have to fix this problem.

Rough Idling

Rough idling can be defined as the excessive shaking and vibrations that a car experiences when the engine is running yet the vehicle isn’t in motion. From dirty fuel injectors and clogged air filters to defective spark plugs, different factors may cause a vehicle to experience rough idle. However, what many car owners don’t know is that it may be a sign of an overcharged car.

When a vehicle has an overcharged AC, the engine may run unevenly or shake despite being idle. Thus, rough idling is another sign to look out for when troubleshooting for excess freon in a car. Furthermore, to be safe, it’s best you drive over to a mechanic’s shop for proper vehicle inspection. The rough idling could be due to other serious issues.

Subpar Acceleration

Quality engine performance is necessary for optimum vehicle health. Too much freon in your car will tamper with the engine performance, reflecting in the vehicle’s acceleration rate. So, if your vehicle is sluggish in accelerating, this could indicate excess freon in the system.

When your vehicle takes longer to reach high speeds, it wouldn’t be wrong to have your mechanic check the vehicle for excessive freon. Thus, poor or subpar acceleration is your cue that you have an overcharged AC.

Engine Overheating

Many issues, such as cooling system leaks, damaged radiator fan, broken water pump, and clogged coolant hose, can cause engine overheating. The high temperature of the engine characterizes overheating, and it means that the vehicle won’t be at its optimum performance. However, overheating can also be caused by too much freon in the car.

Overheating Engine in Vehicle

Overheating is one of the most common symptoms of overcharged AC. A freon leak can also cause the engine to overheat. It could be why your AC works abnormally. Therefore, once you discover that your engine has an abnormally increased temperature, get it checked by a mechanic because overheating can damage the engine.

Frost Buildup

Excess freon or refrigerant can cause frost buildup around the evaporator or lines. Frost buildup is one of the symptoms of too much freon in a vehicle. At first, the air conditioner might provide cold air inside the vehicle. However, at some point, the frost will block the condenser from converting warm air to cold. Thus, warm air will start coming out of the vents.

How Can You Flush Out Freon in Your Vehicle?

You can flush out freon from your vehicle’s air conditioning system by doing a few things. Begin by inspecting the valves to check that they are well-tightened. Also, confirm that fittings are properly sealed, and the workspace is free from combustible materials.

Park the car on a level surface to ensure the freon is evenly distributed throughout the system. Then release the freon using an automotive AC refill kit. The kit comprises a pressure gauge and specialized hoses to remove the freon safely. Open the Schrader valve to release the refrigerant.

After that, connect the pressure gauge to the AC recharge port to enable the pressure reading to be taken. Once the reading indicates that the pressure is safe to evacuate, use the evacuation hose to release freon into the appropriate tank.

How Long Will It Take for Freon To Run Out in Your Car?

It will take two to five years for freon to run out in your car. The exact duration depends on factors such as the car model, the car’s age, the amount of freon in the system, how well the system is sealed, and the type of loading on the system.

Longevity of Freon in Car

These factors play a major role in determining the time that it would take refrigerant to run out from a vehicle. Furthermore, a vehicle with a very efficient cooling system might take longer for the freon to run out compared to an average cooling system.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should You Change the Freon in Your Car?

You should change the freon in your car based on how often you use the air conditioner. If you use the AC more often, the freon will get exhausted quickly and require a recharge. Also, the climate affects how often the freon needs to be changed.

Can Too Much Freon Cause the AC Unit To Freeze Up?

Yes, too much freon can cause the AC unit to freeze up. If the AC is overcharged with freon, it can seriously damage the evaporator and compressor systems.

Freezed AC Unit

Excess freon causes the temperature of the coils to drop below freezing point, and they begin to ice up.


Having read this guide, you now know what to look for if you suspect excess freon in your vehicle. Here are our concluding thoughts on the main points and frequently asked questions discussed in this article:

  • The common causes of too much freon in a car are a faulty compressor, the addition of excess freon during vehicle servicing, leaks in the evaporator coil, and a clogged condenser.
  • The symptoms of too much freon in a car are reduced fuel efficiency, high-sounding noises from the AC system, rough idling, lowered airflow from the vents, and subpar acceleration.
  • Too much freon can cause the AC unit to freeze up. If the AC is overcharged with freon, it can severely damage the evaporator and compressor systems.

With the knowledge gained in this article, you should be able to spot symptoms of excess freon in a vehicle, determine their causes, and flush the freon out.

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