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How to Charge the AC in a Dodge Caravan

by Melanie Fleury; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • A refrigerant such as Freon-12

  • Charging tools

  • Leak detection kit

Charging a Dodge Caravan's air conditioning unit, called commonly "A/C" or "AC," with new freon is not a hard task to do, and the reward of having your A/C working properly again is plenty of motivation. If your air conditioning unit is not working, a recharge of the A/C system's chemical cooling agent, called refrigerant or often freon, may be just what you need. If your Caravan was made before 1995, a professional will have to make other adjustments before you can recharge with refrigerant on your own.

Check your Caravan's air conditioning line for air conditioning leaks before attempting to add refrigerant. Auto parts stores sell leak-detection kits that you can use to detect leaks while also sealing small ones. Follow manufacturer's directions on how to use the leak detection kit you choose. If there is a large leak, do not add refrigerant; instead, take your Caravan to a professional.

Find the Low Pressure Side service port. It is marked Low and is black in color. Remove it.

Turn on the A/C to the coldest, highest settings possible. Use a pressure gauge to make sure there is pressure. If the pressure gauge is not measuring any pressure, then there may be a bigger problem that needs the attention of a professional.

Attach the hose to recharge the refrigerant on the Low Pressure Side. Open the valve so the refrigerant can flow into the system. Keep the can upright. When it is emptied, remove the refill hose and close the cap.

Turn on your air for 30 minutes to allow the refrigerant to make its way completely through the system. Check the pressure again; it should have increased. If it has not, add more refrigerant.

About the Author

Melanie Fleury has been writing professionally since 1995. She has written for various educational websites such as Edhelper.com and is the educational consultant at the Knowledge Tree Center for Education. She enjoys creating curriculum for children with various learning styles. Fleury holds a master's degree in education specializing in early childhood from Ashwood University.

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