How to Charge an AC in a 2000 Chevy Malibu

Items you will need: R-134A gauge set, R-134A refrigerant

Charging the air-conditioning system in your 2000 Chevy Malibu can be an easy way to save on repair costs. The system in your Malibu is designed to run with E-134A refrigerant. Servicing this type of system requires a set of A/C gauges that are equipped with the quick disconnect fittings for use in R-134A systems. The cost of these gauges are well worth it, because the same gauges can be used on all R-134A automotive air-conditioning systems.

Attach the blue and red hoses from the gauge set to the service ports in the engine compartment. The blue hose goes to the low-pressure port located in the front of the engine compartment near the top of the radiator. The red hose attaches to the high-pressure fitting located under the air filter housing on the driver side of the engine compartment.

Start the engine and set the air conditioner controls to high fan speed and maximum air conditioning. Allow the engine to run for a few minutes with the doors closed and windows up to stabilize the pressures.

Attach a can of refrigerant to the can tap on the end of the yellow hose and turn the knob on the tap to open the can of refrigerant. With the engine running and the A/C on, open the blue valve on the gauge set. This will allow the refrigerant in the can to enter the system.

Close the blue valve and read the pressures when the can is empty and the pressures on the gauges stabilize again. Normal pressures are 35 to 45 psi on the low-pressure side and 300 to 400 psi on the high-pressure side. Add additional cans of refrigerant until the desired pressures are reached.


Wear safety glasses and work gloves when working around a running engine to prevent serious injuries.

It is illegal to vent any kind of refrigerant to the atmosphere. If the air-conditioning system in your car still contains refrigerant, have a qualified repair technician remove it prior to making repairs.

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