How to Recharge the AC on a Chrysler Pacificaby Richard Ristow
A Chrysler Pacifica's air conditioner will eventually deplete all of it's Freon. This is more of an inconvenience than a serious problem. The Pacifica's air conditioner can run without Freon; the air it produces, however, will not be refrigerated. You can recharge your system at home. There is no need to bring the Pacifica to an automotive heating and air specialist. R134 recharges kits are widely available, and you should check and recharge your system before summer heats up.
Move the Pacifica to flat ground, if you plan on charging the system some place other than your personal garage. Engage the emergency brake, and put the Pacifica's gear shifter into neutral or park. Lastly, before starting the recharging process, open all the doors.
Locate a set of metal pipes within the Pacifica's engine. Specifically, you are looking for large diameter aluminum tubes between the automobile's compressor and drier. There, you will find the Pacifica's low side connector. Remove the connector's cap.
Attach your refrigerant's recharging kit to the low side connection. The kit features a service hose that will directly onto the port. Put the kit down, but not anywhere near engine parts that will shift once the engine is running.
Move to the Pacifica's driver's seat. Start the engine and let it completely warm up. Switch on the air conditioner to its coldest setting and its hardest air-blowing capacity.
Return to the Pacifica's engine and the recharging kit. Turn down the handle atop the kit's freon container. This will break the container's seal and send freon through the kit's hose and into the air conditioner. You will heard "rushing" noises. This is normal and not a cause for worry.
Charge the Pacifica's air conditioner for a minute. Then, turn the handle atop the refrigerant container upwards. This will cut off the flow of Freon. Let the system charge for one minute. Freon will circulate through the system quicker this way.
Add more Freon incrementally and in one minute intervals. Keep an eye on the refrigerant kit's pressure gauge. Place a thermometer into the Pacifica's center air conditioning duct.
Monitor the thermometer's temperature readings. Once the system drops to 40 degrees, the system is charged. Outside weather may have an influence. If you are charging the system during sweltering summer months, the final stopping point will be somewhere between 40 and 60 degrees. Stop charging the system whenever the temperature levels off.
Pull the thermometer from the central duct. Cut off the flow of Freon and remove the kit from the low side connection. Let the system, as a whole, further stabilize for another ten minutes, before you shut off the Pacifica's air conditioner and engine.
- "Popular Mechanics Complete Car Care Manual" The Editors of Popular Mechanics; Hearst Publishing; 2008
- US EPA: Recharging Your Car's Air Conditioner with Refrigerant
- R12 refrigerant is intended for vehicles made 1983 and earlier. The Environmental Protection Agency mandated R134a for all vehicles 1984 and later. Never add R12 to a R134a system. Damage to the air conditioning system will result. Exercise caution during the recharging process. Never overfill the system.
Things You'll Need
- Freon recharging kit
- Glasses and gloves should be worn for safety purposes.
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.