How Do You Charge a Car Air Conditioner?

To add coolant to a vehicle, locate the low-service side port, remove the cap on the port, and use a clean cloth to remove accumulated dust on the port. Attach the charging hose to the port, and follow the guide on the refrigerant packaging to add the recommended amount of refrigerant. Remove the charging hose, and replace the service port cap.

Wear gloves and safety glasses when adding refrigerant to the vehicle, and do not add refrigerant if the current temperature of the air is 55 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler. Use a recharge hose that features a gauge to ensure the proper amount of refrigerant is added to the vehicle, and do not add refrigerant to vehicles manufactured before 1994.

To determine how much refrigerant to add, refer to the ambient air temperature chart located on the refrigerant packaging, or refer to the vehicle's owners manual. The low-service side port is typically located in the area between the accumulator and compressor. Do not add refrigerant to the high-side service port.

Before replacing the service port cap, examine it to ensure it isn't damaged, and replace the cap if it is chipped, cracked or appears worn. Store the unused refrigerant in a cool, dry place, or dispose of the container according to local regulations.