How To: Recharge Your Vehicle’s Air Conditioning


[Mechanical SFX] Hey everybody. John here from O’Reilly
Auto Parts to show you how to use A/C Pro to recharge your vehicle’s air
conditioner. Today I’ll be recharging the AC system on this 2012 Honda CRV but
you’ll find the most vehicles to be similar. As always, know the
manufacturer’s specifications for your vehicle. If you’re not completely
comfortable charging your own A/C, we would be happy to recommend a
professional technician in your area. Start by locating the compressor. The A/C
compressor is belt driven. It will have a large clutch and pulley on the belt side
and two hoses or tubes coming out of the back. The larger of the two tubes is the
low-pressure line. This line has a low-pressure port with a cap on it which
is where we’ll be attaching the AC pro hose. The port will be about the width of
your thumb. Remove the plastic cap and put it somewhere safe. If you didn’t turn
on your vehicle earlier to locate the compressor, start your engine and crank
your A/C up to max cool with the fan on high. Twist the plastic safety disc off
of the A/C Pro can and it can be discarded. Attach the gauge assembly to
the can by firmly twisting it on. Do not remove it from the can until it’s
completely empty. Shake the can well before using it. Push the quick-connect
fitting at the end of the recharged hose down onto the low-pressure port. The
Quick Connect fitting will only fit on the correct port. You will hear it click
into place. Tug on it gently to make sure that it’s seated properly. Now you’ll use
the gauge to read the system pressure. Read the pressure indicated by the gauge
needle only when the A/C compressor is running. You’ll know it’s running when
the clutch in the center is spinning. It’s normal for the compressor to be
turning on and off. The reading on the gauge will probably be in the red when
the compressor isn’t running. If your compressor isn’t coming on at all even
with your air conditioner cranked up, it could mean your system is low on
refrigerant. In that case you’ll want to add a few ounces of A/C Pro. If you add A/C Pro and your compressor still isn’t coming on, you’ll need to take your
vehicle to a professional technician. So wait until the compressor is running
and check the reading on the gauge. If the needle is in the red or
high-pressure section of the gauge when the compressor is on, do not add
refrigerant. Your system needs to be serviced by a professional technician. If
the needle is in the yellow section of the gauge no additional refrigerant is
needed and you’ll need to see a professional technician to help you
diagnose why your vehicle’s A/C is not blowing. If the needle is in the white
or low-pressure area of the gauge, your system needs refrigerant. If that’s the
case start by double checking that the hose is attached securely to the
low-pressure port. Hold the can vertically and squeeze the trigger to
add refrigerant. While charging, shake the can up and down alternating between
holding the can vertically and horizontally every few seconds. Every 10
to 15 seconds release the trigger and check the system pressure. Remember to
wait until the compressor is cycling before checking the reading on the gauge.
Continue this process of charging and checking pressure until the needle moves
into the green area. Once it’s there you’ll know your system is properly
charged. It’s important to not overcharge the system. More is not
necessarily better when it comes to refrigerant. Too much will cause your
system to blow warm air and can damage costly components. To disconnect the hose, pull up on the collar around the connector to release it from the port
and then replace the cap. If there’s any A/C Pro left in the can leave the
charging assembly attached and stored in a cool, dry place. And that’s it. You’ll
find everything that you need for this job and other jobs at your local
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