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Hello,

How often is it good to evacuate and recharge the a/c system? My hybrid is 5 years old with 27,225 miles. About to take a fourth 1500+ mile road trip. The system has never been evacuated/recharged.
 

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There's no reason at all to do that unless there is a leak or another problem that requires the system to be opened.
Refrigerant does not wear out or get consumed. The less the system is messed with the better.
 

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I've heard in the past that it was a good idea to run your AC occasionally, even in the winter when you don't normally use it. From what I recall it was to keep things lubricated or keep hoses and such from drying out.

Does anyone know if this is still a good idea? This was from something I was told years ago (probably around 1970) so I don't know it applies any longer.
 

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...Does anyone know if this is still a good idea? This was from something I was told years ago (probably around 1970) so I don't know it applies any longer.

I think that it is still valid. The refrigerant carries some compressor oil with it, and it's probably good to keep the o-rings (seals) a little wet with it. I'm sure that some periodic movement is good for the compressor shaft seal too.
 

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On modern cars, the windshield defroster setting will automatically turn on the A/C to help with condensation removal. So even in winter when you are not running A/C for cooling the car, the compressor is being run whenever you are in defrost mode.

Also, most cars now have HVAC mode select buttons that cycle through the various settings (vent, vent/floor, floor, defrost/floor, etc.) so merely changing the settings thru these combinations will turn on your compressor if you pause long enough at the defrost mode.
 
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