How Do I Recharge the Air Conditioning on a 2000 Chevy Cavalier?

by Kyle Sanstrom
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The air conditioning system on a 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier is user-serviceable and requires R-134a refrigerant. This type of refrigerant is available at most auto parts stores without the need for a special order. The proper operating pressure for this air conditioning system is between 25 and 45 pounds per square inch, or psi. When the system pressure falls below 25 psi it cannot produce an adequate amount of cool air.

Step 1

Start the car and allow the engine to reach operating temperature.

Step 2

Set the air conditioning to “Max A/C” and place the blower fan speed control on its fastest setting.

Step 3

Unscrew the blue low-pressure port cap. It is located to the left of the A/C compressor, on top of the large diameter aluminum refrigerant line.

Step 4

Attach the in-line pressure gauge to the refrigerant canister. Connect the other end of the pressure gauge hose to the low-pressure port.

Step 5

Note the pressure reading on the gauge.

Step 6

Turn the refrigerant canister upside-down. Slowly rotate the refrigerant release valve on the in-line pressure gauge until it pierces the seal on the canister. Watch the pressure gauge for increasing pressure in the system. Rotate the release valve in the opposite direction to stop the flow of refrigerant when the pressure gauge reads 45 psi.

Step 7

Disconnect the in-line pressure gauge from the low-pressure port. Replace the port cap. Verify that the system is producing cool air.

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