Car AC system provides you with the luxurious comfort that everyone needs in the blistering summer heat. But the refrigerant might likely leak in tiny bits from the car and your car becomes low on refrigerant. You can know that your car is low on refrigerant by assessing the level of cooling in the car. If your car AC is not cooling your car properly, then probably it’s time to recharge the system. This article will present you with a complete guide on how to put freon in your car with gauges.
Something to consider!
If your car is manufactured before 1993, it probably uses R12 as its refrigerant which is now prohibited due to environmental concerns. You may need to retrofit your system to recharge the new refrigerant which is R134a in most cases into your car. You can know the type of refrigerant used in your car by seeing the sticker that is usually present on the hood/bay of the car. That sticker indicates the type of refrigerant used in the system. This guide is about recharging R134a in your car system.
You need the following equipment before starting the process.
- Protection Gloves
- Safety Goggles
- Manifold Gauge Set
- Thermometer/DMM (Digital Multimeter)
- R134a Can
Caution: Dealing with the refrigerant with the bare hands and without glasses can cause permanent blindness and frostbite.
AC Manifold Setup:
You may be wondering how to use the AC manifold gauge set R134a, here’s a brief guide.
Manifold Gauges are used to recharge or evacuate the refrigerant from the system and assess the pressure at low-pressure (LP) and high-pressure (HP) lines. The low-pressure gauge of the manifold is blue color-coded and the High-pressure gauge is red color-coded. The Low-pressure gauge can measure pressure from 0-200 psi and the high-pressure gauge can read pressure from 0-500 psi.
During the recharging process of the refrigerant, you are meant to open the valve next to the Low port so that the refrigerant `stored under high pressure can flow to the system (low-pressure side). You can see the refrigerant flowing in the liquid state through the gauge glass situated in the center.
To attach the hoses to car charging ports, you can attach quick couplers to the car. These couplers are also color-coded.
Now connect three hoses to the gauge set. The red hose should be connected to the high-pressure side. The blue hose is connected to the low-pressure side. The yellow hose is connected to the center of the gauge and is used for the evacuation and recharging process, in our case, the yellow hose will be connected to the refrigerant can from the other side.
The valve is meant to be screwed in the clockwise direction to pierce the can open. Moving it in the counterclockwise direction will result in the escaping of refrigerant in the environment. Open the valve before screwing the can to ensure that the refrigerant doesn’t leak out.
Start the Engine and Turn on the AC. With the engine running, turn the temperature to its lowest setting and blower to its maximum setting. Measure the temperature of the air coming out of the vents using a DMM. This will allow the compressor to engage, facilitating the refrigerant recharge process.
Check Pressure readings. Take note of the pressure readings on the manifold gauge set. The low-pressure gauge should indicate a low reading, typically between 25 and 45 psi, depending on ambient temperature. The high-pressure gauge should read around 200 to 250 psi.
Attach the Refrigerant Can. Attach the refrigerant can to the manifold gauge set. Follow the instructions provided with the refrigerant can, as methods may vary depending on the product. Generally, you’ll need to puncture the can’s seal and turn the valve to release the refrigerant. Make sure the valve is open before puncturing the can open.
Add Refrigerant. Slowly add refrigerant to the system while monitoring the pressure readings on the manifold gauge set. Be cautious not to overcharge the system, as this can lead to damage. Continue adding refrigerant until the low-pressure gauge reads within the manufacturer’s recommended range. Measure the ambient temperature and compare the reading with the pressure-temperature chart of R134a below:
Check for Leaks. After recharging the system, it’s essential to check for leaks. Use a refrigerant leak detector to inspect the AC system for any signs of leakage. If you detect a leak, it’s crucial to address it before proceeding further.
Finalize and disconnect. Once you’ve confirmed that the system is adequately charged and there are no leaks, disconnect the manifold gauge set from the low-pressure port. Ensure all connections are secure and replace any caps or covers that were removed.
Test the AC. Finally, test the AC system to ensure it’s blowing cold air properly. If everything is functioning correctly, you’ve successfully recharged your car’s AC refrigerant!
Recharging your car’s AC refrigerant with gauges may seem daunting at first, but with the right tools and knowledge, it’s a manageable task. By following this step-by-step guide, you can ensure your vehicle’s AC system operates efficiently, keeping you cool and comfortable on the road, no matter the weather. Remember to always prioritize safety and consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific instructions and precautions. If you are still facing any difficulty in anything, you can consult a professional technician to aid you in the process. Al-Imran Technical Services provides professional refrigerant recharging services at the lowest prices possible. Contact us now for a free consultation.