How to Add Refrigerant to a Tahoe

by David Ward

It can be very frustrating to have failed air conditioning when driving in the summer. And having repairs done by a mechanic can be expensive. Fortunately, fixing the air conditioner in a Chevy Tahoe is often simply a matter of adding refrigerant to the system. Many of the refrigerants sold today also contain chemical additives designed to plug small leaks in the system and dyes added to pinpoint where leaks are.

Step 1

Lift the hood of the Chevy Tahoe and prop it open. Identify the low-pressure air conditioning recharge valve, which is typically behind and above the alternator.

Step 2

Connect the valve attachment to the low-pressure valve.

Step 3

Attach the pressure gauge to the hose if it is not part of the hose assembly. Attach the assembly to the can of refrigerant.

Step 4

Tighten the attachments to the can of refrigerant until you hear a popping sound. This indicates that the can has been opened. You should then hear the refrigerant flowing into the Tahoe's air conditioning system. If the hose assembly has a trigger, hold down the trigger to ensure that the refrigerant is released.

Step 5

Turn on the air conditioner and double-check the pressure. For most systems, the pressure while the air conditioner is running should be around 35 psi (pounds per square inch).

Turn off the engine and the air conditioner. Remove the hose assembly and close the hood.


  • Air conditioning recharge kits have valve connections that only fit the correct valve. There are multiple valves that look similar in the air conditioning system. If you fail to find a valve to which your kit connects, look for a different but similar looking valve.
  • Auto air conditioning systems typically use R134 refrigerant.


  • The refrigerant is under high pressure. Be sure that it is connected to a closed system before puncturing the can. Also be sure the can is discharged or otherwise plugged before removing.

Items you will need

  • Valve attachment and hose
  • Pressure gauge
  • Refrigerant

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