||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
||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
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.
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.
||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!
That's it, you just recharged your A/C system and saved
yourself about $200!