How to Recharge the Air Conditioning in a Ford Mustangby Eli Laurens
The Ford Mustang is manufactured with optional air conditioning, which uses a compressed freon gas to cool circulating air. This gas can leak out of the system and require replacement, but unless the system is repaired, the leak will allow the new freon to escape also. The average weekend mechanic can recharge the freon in a Mustang in about 20 minutes.
Insert a can of 134A freon into the bottom of the home freon recharge kit valve by screwing it onto the base clockwise. The interior needle of the valve will puncture the can and pressurize the valve. Some valves have optional gauges that will show this pressure. The can should be seated firmly into the valve and not be making any hissing sounds that would indicate a leak.
Locate the low pressure side charge nipple of the air conditioning system located near the evaporator canister. On R-12 freon systems, this nipple could be mounted on a line and may require a nipple adapter. The nipple adapter comes in most 134A conversion kits and is simply an attachment that changes the nipple to the correct size for the home valve kit. The valve will have a hose and connector nozzle. Pull the ring of the connector back and press it onto the charge nipple of the system. Let go of the ring and it should lock the hose to the nipple.
Start the Mustang and turn on the air conditioning system to the maximum setting.
Pull the trigger on the valve (or turn the valve counterclockwise on older kits) and allow the air conditioning system to vacuum in all of the freon, emptying the can. The can will be empty in about five minutes, but keep it upright and do not shake it.
Disconnect the hose from the low pressure nipple and unscrew the can counterclockwise to release it from the valve. Replace it with a can of lubricant (optional), a can of UV dye (optional) or another can of freon. Continue to add freon into the system until it does not vacuum in any more. The average amount of freon a Ford Mustang can hold is about two pounds, or two cans' worth.
Disconnect the hose from the system, shut the car off and listen for leaks. When the system is fully charged, it will have the highest pressure, and leaks will be stronger.
- Use a black light with the UV dye to locate leaks at night or inside a dark environment.
Things You'll Need
- 2 cans of 134A freon coolant
- Home recharge kit (valve and trigger)
- Can of lubricant (optional)
- Can of ultraviolet dye (optional)
- Do not vent freon into the atmosphere. Have it evacuated at a professional facility if necessary.
Eli Laurens is a ninth-grade physics teacher as well as a computer programmer and writer. He studied electrical engineering and architecture at Southern Polytechnic University in Marietta, Ga., and now lives in Colorado.