Question about 2004 Honda Pilot
Adding freon or topping off a cars A/C system is the most common task performed to restore performance and get cold air blowing again. However, adding refrigerant isn’t always the solution for car air conditioning problems. There can be many other things wrong besides a system being low on refrigerant. To diagnose problems, an A/C manifold gauge set is needed to read high and low side pressure readings. Avoid adding refrigerant with a simple charging kit like the ones sold at parts stores. Don’t add any stop leak, this can cause problems in the compressor, expansion valve or condenser.
Keep in mind that using an A/C gauge set and seeing BOTH high and low side readings can help in diagnosing the problem when you know what to look for. First, on a 134A system the high and low side service ports are different sizes. AC gauge sets have color coded hoses, the blue color coded hose has a connection that fits on the low side service port and the red hose has a connection that will only fit onto the high side. The yellow hose won’t hook up to anything if just checking the readings; it can be used to connect to a vacuum pump or attached to a refrigerant can or tank.
*Make sure the condenser fan comes on when the readings are being checked.
Normal readings on high and low side with AC OFF (static pressure) - Depends on outside temperature, but normally is between 80-105 PSI
Normal low side reading with AC on high speed and MAX & engine at 800-1000 RPM’s - Ranges from 25-35 PSI - Note that on many Chrysler products a normal reading on the low side may be 15-25 PSI
Normal high side reading ranges from 200-350 PSI
Don’t assume that if adding little Freon is good that adding a lot is better! Overcharging just a little can decrease the performance of the system and possibly damage the compressor.
With the AC on the coldest setting, use a thermometer in a middle vent. Normal vent temperature readings will vary depending on the (ambient) outside temp. The vent temperature should range from around 42-55 degrees in my experience. If normal gauge readings are obtained and the vent air is cold - STOP don’t overcharge the system. The only proper way to remove refrigerant is with a AC recovery machine so if this is being done at home I can’t emphasize enough not to over charge the system. And actually the best way to insure the proper charge is in a system, is to use an AC machine to recover the R143a and then evacuate and recharge the system with the correct amount. Most cars have the specified amount on a decal under the hood.
Hope this helps. Keep me posted, be glad to help get you cooled again.
Posted on Jul 01, 2009
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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