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How to Add Freon to a 2002 Chevy Avalanche

by Ryan Bauer

Air-conditioning systems will function properly for many years without problems, but eventually enough refrigerant will seep past the seals to reduce the performance to an unacceptable level. Instead of freon, modern vehicles such as the 2002 Chevy Avalanche use R-134a refrigerant, which is significantly less damaging to the environment. Recharging kits, which can be purchased at most auto parts stores, are relatively inexpensive and universally compatible with most modern cars.

Locate the air-conditioner refill port. Follow the tubes leading out of the compressor into the engine bay until you find a small stem protruding from the tube. The stem has a black plastic cap connected to it. Unscrew the cap and place it in a safe location.

Follow the instructions included with your R-134a recharge kit to prepare it for use. Connect the fill hose to the refill port. The recharge kit's gauge should spike to show the current idle pressure of the system.

Start the Avalanche's engine and turn the air conditioner on. Check the gauge again. The proper target pressure of your vehicle's air-conditioning system depends on the outside air temperature. The gauge will be marked with several temperatures. When the needle rests on the current temperature, the system is properly charged. If the needle is below the current temperature, the system is low and should be refilled.

Open the valve on the hose or depress the trigger on the refill canister, depending on what type of refill kit you are using. Pay close attention to the pressure gauge. Continue filling the system with coolant until the needle on the gauge rests on the current outside temperature. Close the valve or release the trigger.

Disconnect the hose from the refill port and replace the cap. You can save the R-134a canister for future use if it still contains coolant.

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About the Author

Ryan Bauer is a freelance writer located in Ozark, Missouri. He has written numerous articles and books, including "How to Improve Your Credit Score 100 Points in 100 Days." Bauer is an experienced automotive mechanic and computer technician.

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