Mechanic warns AC in a can for your car can cost you thousands

The hottest part of the summer is here and when you get into your car, you expect the cold air to start flowing quick. If it doesn't, you may be tempted to do a quick-fix, do-it-yourself recharge. But car experts say you should know the risks first.

Before you buy one of those cans that promises to recharge your AC and plug the leaks, mechanic Kenny Walters from Kenny's Lakes Area Auto Experts wants you stop and save money now.

"You will cost yourself more money and more time having a down car, using this than any other thing you can possibly do to your car," said mechanic Kenny Walters from Kenny's Lakes Area Auto Experts

You know what they are. They're at every auto parts store and they all promise to fix your faulty AC while saving you a potentially costly trip to the mechanic. Kenny says they won't do that.

"They market it as a quick easy way to cool yourself down on the hot summer days," Kenny said. "Usually, it's a day or two after they (customers) do the service themselves - they'll come in with their system not working and we'll have to tell them that pretty much every single part of the AC system needs to be replaced."

The problem, Kenny says, is the sealant in those cans. It's marketed as a way to plug up any leaks but it actually plugs up the entire system.

Kenny took us underneath the dashboard to the evaporator core. It's equipped with cooling fins where the freon runs through. That's what gets clocked up with the AC in a can.

"For these to get clogged up, it doesn't take any time at all," Kenny said. "They get clogged up by having sealant in your AC system."

That turns the problem into an expensive one. Sure, you spent about $50 on a can but you could wind up spending thousands to get your AC completely repaired.

Instead, find a pro. Kenny says an AC system should never have a sealant installed. If you have a leak, it needs to get repaired and then put into a vacuum to properly charge it.

UPDATE: We reached out to A/C Pro regarding the claims the company stands by the product: "Our products have been tested extensively on those reclaim and recovery systems shops use to make sure no damage would be done."