How to Put Freon in a Toyotaby Richard Ristow
For a Toyota's air-conditioning to work properly, it needs to be sufficiently charged with Freon. Without this refrigerant, a Toyota's air conditioner will mechanically function, but it will not put out cold air. Most automotive heating and ventilation repairs require a high level of in-depth expertise. Fortunately, recharging Freon levels is not one of those more complex tasks. However, you need to know beforehand what type of Freon your exact Toyota model takes. Vehicles manufactured before 1984 take R-12 Freon, while post-1984 vehicles take R-134a. Both kits are widely available and easy to buy at automotive retailers.
Open the Toyota's hood and locate the low side pressurized service port. It will be found on an aluminum pipe running from the vehicle's condenser. Remove the cap from this port.
Fit the Freon recharging kit's coupler onto the service port. However, do not turn the valve atop the kit. If the coupler does not fit the service port, then you have the wrong recharging kit. An R-12 kit will not fit an R-134a system and vice-versa.
Set the kit down, but ensure it is nowhere near movable engine parts.
Walk around the Toyota and roll down all the windows. This must be done, as it will keep the Toyota's air-conditioner from accidentally turning off during the refilling process.
Start the Toyota's engine and warm it to its normal operating temperature.
Run the air-conditioner at its lowest setting. Give it a few minutes to get as cold as it can.
Return to the Toyota's engine and your recharging kit. Turn the handle atop the Freon container all the way down. This will crack the containers seal and let the Freon rush into the Toyota's air-conditioner.
Monitor the pressure gauge on the canister. Turn the handle on top of the kit upwards and shut off the flow of Freon once 60 seconds has elapsed.
Let 60 seconds of "not-charging" pass. This will let the recently added Freon circulate through the Toyota's air-conditioning system.
Continue to monitor the pressure gauges while adding Freon in 60 second spurts. The kit's gauge will tell you when the process is complete. If you need a second opinion, place a thermometer into the system's central duct. The systems internal temperature will be around 40 degrees during normal weather and between 40 and 60 during extremely hot weather.
Remove the kit's coupler and hose from the low-side pressurized service port. Leave the air-conditioner running, and give the Freon about 10 minutes to fully circulate. Then turn the engine off.
- "Haynes Repair Manual: Toyota Tercel, 1987-1994"; John Haynes; Haynes Publishing Group; 1995
- "Chilton's Toyota Highlander & Lexus RX 300/330: Highlander 2001 through 2006 and RX 300/330 1999 through 2006" Joe L. Hamilton; Haynes Publishing Group; 2007
- Both R-12 and R-134a are pressurized gases. Wear safety glasses and gloves.
Things You'll Need
- R-12 or R-134a refilling kit
- Safety glasses
- Do not force the wrong type of Freon into your Toyota. The wrong type of Freon will hurt the Toyota's air conditioner system. Discharging Freon into the air is illegal, so take care when using Freon.
Richard Ristow has written for journals, newspapers and websites since 2002. His work has appeared in "2009 Nebula Showcase" and elsewhere. He is a winner of the Science Fiction Poetry Association's Rhysling Award and he edits poetry for Belfire Press. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and has managed an automotive department at WalMart.