How to Recharge the Air Conditioner in a 1997 Chevy Cargo Van

The air conditioner in your Chevy Cargo Van may need to be recharged with refrigerant throughout the life of the van. Signs that your system needs more refrigerant include when you notice warm air coming out of the vents while the air conditioner is on or you perceive that the air conditioner is just not working to its full capacity. The refrigerant is a chemical responsible for cooling the air as it's blown through the vents of your vehicle. You can pay a mechanic to recharge your air conditioner, but this can be rather expensive. A more economical solution is to recharge the system yourself by purchasing an R134a refrigerant kit at a local auto parts store.

Step 1 - Put the Chevy Cargo Van into park on a level area. Allow the van to sit for about 30 minutes to ensure all components have cooled down.

Step 2 - Open the hood of the Chevy Cargo van and locate the air conditioning unit low-pressure hose fitting. The low-pressure hose is the hose that runs from the accumulator to the compressor. If you are unsure of these components, the owner's manual has a diagram.

Step 3 - Assemble the R134a recharge kit by attaching the recharge hose to the valve on the top of the can. The recharge hose will snap onto the valve, securing it in place.

Step 4 - Turn the can of R134a on by turning the valve to "on." Connect the R134a recharge hose to the low-pressure fitting on the air conditioner unit. Be sure to hold the can upright for maximum flow.

Step 5 - Turn the ignition key to turn the engine on. Place the air conditioner on the highest setting. This will begin the recharge process; continue to charge the system until the can of R134a is completely empty.

Turn the engine off and remove the key from the ignition. Turn the R134a valve to the "off" position and disconnect the hose from the low-pressure fitting. Close the hood of the Chevy Cargo van.

THINGS YOU'LL NEED: Owner's manual, R134a refrigerant kit

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