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How to Recharge an Alero's Air-Conditioning

by Baptist Johnson

The Alero was a compact car manufactured by Oldsmobile from 1999 to 2004. The air -onditioning system on the Oldsmobile Alero runs on R-134a refrigerant. Over time, refrigerant can leak from the condensing coils, causing the air-conditioning system to malfunction. Little to no cool air from the air-conditioning vents is usually the first sign that your system is running low on refrigerant. Fortunately, recharging the air-conditioning system on an Oldsmobile Alero is pretty simple; all you need is an air-conditioning recharge kit.


Park your Alero in a safe location. Engage the parking brake to prevent your vehicle from rolling while the engine is idling. Collect all your materials before you begin. Due to the sensitive nature of refrigerant, have everything on hand while recharging your air-conditioning system.


Open the hood of your Alero. Locate the air-conditioning service ports. On an Alero, the low side service port is located on the hose that spans from the accumulator to the compressor. The high side service port is located on the hose that spans from the compressor to the condenser.


Prepare your air-conditioning recharge kit. Attach the pressure gauge to the recharge hose. Attach one end of the recharge hose to a can of R-134a refrigerant. Slowly open the valve on the recharge hose to allow refrigerant to fill the recharge hose. Close the valve once the recharge hose fills with refrigerant. Read the instructions on your air-conditioning recharge kit to find out whether you have a low-pressure, high-pressure or universal service kit.


Attach the opposite end of the recharge hose to the appropriate air-conditioning service port. If you have a low-pressure service kit, attach the recharge hose to the low side service port. If you have a high-pressure service kit, attach the recharge hose to the high side service port. You can attach a universal service kit to either service port.


Turn on your vehicle. Turn on your air-conditioning system with the settings at maximum. Check to ensure your engine is running at or near 2,000 rpm. If your engine is running below 2,000 rpm, lightly throttle the gas pedal to get your engine to 2,000 rpm.


Set the refrigerant can upright. Open the valve on the recharge hose. Allow the refrigerant to flow into the air-conditioning service port. Monitor the pressure gauge attached to the recharge hose. Close the valve once the pressure gauge displays a reading appropriate to your air-conditioning system. The recommended pressure for the low side service port ranges from 25 and 40 psi. The recommended pressure for the high side service port ranges between 225 and 250 psi.


Disconnect the recharge hose from the air-conditioning service port. Replace the plastic cap on the service port. Store the refrigerant in a safe location for later use. Allow your air-conditioning system to run for a few minutes.


  • For your protection, wear gloves and safety glasses when recharging your air-conditioning system.


  • Do not overfill your air-conditioning system. Overfilling can cause an explosion, which can create a hazard for you and your vehicle.

Items you will need

About the Author

Baptist Johnson was first published in 2000 when a poem he wrote won first prize in a local writing contest. He also writes and edits for Etched Press Society, a micro-publishing company based in Wilmington, N.C. Johnson has a Bachelor of Science in business administration from East Carolina University.

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