How do you charge an air conditioning system in a vehicle?


Quick Answer

To charge an air conditioning system in a vehicle, purchase an R-134a coolant for cars made after 1993. If needed, purchase a refill hose with an attached valve and pressure gauge. Attach the valve onto the coolant can, and open it for a moment to allow the coolant to begin flowing correctly through the hose. Close the valve, turn off the car, and open the hood. Place the other end of the hose onto the car's low-pressure fitting.

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Full Answer

Locate the low-pressure fitting in the engine block where the air conditioning is, which is typically on the passenger side of the engine. Once the hose is secure to both the engine and the coolant can, turn on your car, and switch the air conditioner on at its highest setting. While holding the can straight up, open the valve to allow the coolant to fill the air conditioner for at least 10 minutes. Follow the exact directions on the can for the best result. Once finished, turn off the engine, close the valve, and remove the hose from the engine.

Each car has a particular pressure need for optimal recharge. Many service manuals contain the recommended pressure, which is tracked by using the pressure gauge attached to the refill hose.

If your car was made in 1993 or earlier, take it in to be serviced by a professional. Cars made in 1993 or earlier use Freon as a coolant. As of 2015, Freon is an illegal substance for non-professional consumers to purchase or use.

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