A/C Pro Air
Conditioner Recharge Kit
By Bill Cooke
Most cars and trucks these days have A/C. If your vehicle is less than 20 years old chances are it’s running a R134A system. These replaced the R12 systems that were so bad for the environment. What they also did was make it a little easier to recharge the system at home. The port were different sizes and this mad the chance of screwing it up quite a bit harder. It still required you to use the old Gauge Manifold charging system to do the job accurately and safely. These
were expensive ($250 and up), not very simple to use and a bit intimidating to the average do-it-yourselfer. Most people would prefer to just take it to a pro and let them do it. This will cost about $200 for most cars. Ouch! That is IF they don’t find something else to fix. When as the last time they didn’t find something else to fix? Sure you could just buy a charge hose ($15) and a can of refrigerant ($20) and hope for the best but you were far more likely to do more damage than good. A/C PRO has a better way! A MUCH better way! Check this out! You can get this all in one system that lets you charge and measure as you go. Its one simple solution that finally takes the guess work and danger out of recharging your own A/C system! For under $50 it’s a steal! Now anybody can do this at home in less than 10 minutes. Follow along and we’ll show you how.
We grabbed a 95 Jeep Grand Cherokee for our test. After we went to our local parts store to pick up the A/C Pro System we popped the hood and got to work. First thing is to find your Low Pressure Port. It is in the line between the Condenser and the Evaporator. That is the fancy way of saying the part that sits in the front of the car and the part that sits under your dash. As a liquid evaporates is cools. The condenser returns it to a liquid, releasing it’s heat and the cycle is started all over again. That basically how your A/C system works and as much science as you are going get out of me on this. If you need help finding you Low Pressure Port you can use this link from A/C Pro Just start the engine and turn the A/C to full blast and the fan on high. Now on to recharging the system
Hook up the A/C Pro’s charging hose to the Low Pressure Port. Make sure it is securely in place. There is a sliding collar on the hose that you must retract and then push the charging hose down on the Low Pressure Port firmly. Support the metal line as you push. This is the hardest part of the whole job and is not hard at all. Get this far is it’s all downhill from here.
As soon as you get the changing hose attached check your gauge. It will tell you what your pressure it. As you can see, this was just about 0psi. Guess that explains why it wasn’t working, huh? Adjust the dial on the gauge to match the ambient air temperature. It was about 80 as we were doing this so we set it to 80 on the gauge. You will use the red V on the dial face as your guide for proper pressure. No more charts and scales to measure the pressure! How easy it this! You measure it with the compressor running. The system will read higher with the compressor off.
Shake the can to get it ready. Now just squeeze the trigger and start recharging your system. If yours is as low as ours was it will take sometime for the system to build pressure and start working. The compressor has a cutoff switch that will shut it down if there isn’t enough pressure in the line. It will take a while for the switch to run the compressor full-time. Let it cycle as it wants to. If the A/C clutch does not start cycling you may have another problem. That will need to be diagnosed before you can get your A/C working again. It may take half a can before the clutch starts to cycle so give it some time before you freak out.It’s a good idea to rotate the can 90 degrees from straight up to sideways every once and a while. The refrigerant gets really cold and mixing it up can help move things along.
The gauge reads zero as you have the trigger pulled. Let off every 20 or 30 seconds to see how it’s going. If you never did this job the old way you have no idea just what a HUGE IMPROVEMENT this is! You can see exactly how it’s going as you are adding the refrigerant. That right there is worth every penny! Remember, when the compressor is not running the pressure will build above the desired level. This is normal. As soon as the compressor kicks on the pressure drops to it’s running pressure and once the running pressure is high enough the A/C clutch will stop cycling. When the gauge reads between the two red lines on the face you are done! remove the charging hose, replace the cap on the Low Pressure Port and get ready to be cold!
If you still have some juice left in the can you can save it for the next top up. This is a really big can so many people will have some leftover. Make sure you store it in a safe place that does not get above 120 degrees. DO NOT PUT IT IN YOUR TRUCK OR TOOL BOX! Store it in your garage, unless you live in Phoenix or someplace like that. If your can is empty make sure you recycle it. In some places you can go to jail for dumping it in the trash. Take the gauge off the top and store it for your next recharge. Then you just need to buy a can of refrigerant next time.
That’s it, you just recharged your A/C system and saved
yourself about $200!