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Where is the low charge nipple for the AC system located on a 2001 Ford Expedition?

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2008-06-27 01:48:47

How to Recharge Your Car's Air Conditioner By Larry

Carley c2007 LOW REFRIGERANT If your air conditioner is

not cooling well because the system is low on refrigerant,

recharging the system with refrigerant should restore normal

operation. This can usually be done with a few cans of refrigerant

and a simple service hose connection. RECHARGING PRECAUTIONS

First, wear safety glasses to protect your eyes. Also avoid skin

contact with refrigerant. The chilling effect of spilled

refrigerant can cause instant frostbite on bare skin or eyes!

WHAT TYPE OF REFRIGERANT? Next, you need to figure out what

type of refrigerant your vehicle requires:

On 1995 and newer passenger cars and light trucks, the correct

refrigerant is R134a. DO NOT use any other type of refrigerant.

On most 1994 and older passenger cars and light trucks, the

original refrigerant was R12. R12 is no longer available to

do-it-yourselfers and is very expensive. When older vehicles with

R12 A/C systems need refrigerant, they can be refilled with

recycled R12 from other older cars (this requires taking your car

to a repair shop for professional service), or with some

alternative refrigerant other than R12, or with R134a (which

requires certain modifications). CAUTION: Mixing different

types of refrigerants is NOT recommended. Use the same type of

refrigerant that is already in the system unless you are converting

an older R12 system to R134a or another refrigerant.

WARNING: Flammable refrigerants are illegal. DO NOT use any

type of flammable refrigerant (propane, butane or flammable

hydrocarbons). Click here for more information about retrofitting

older vehicles with R12 A/C systems to R134a. LOCATE THE SERVICE

FITTINGS Next, you need to locate the service fittings on the

A/C system. There are two: a LOW side fitting and a HIGH side

fitting. The LOW side fitting is usually located on the suction

hose or line that goes from the accumulator to the compressor. The

HIGH side fitting is located on the line that goes from the

compressor to the condenser.

"mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">R12 Low Side 7/16 in. threaded


"mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">----------

"mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">à

"mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">R134 Low Side 13mm

Quick-disconnect R12

High Side 3/8 in. threaded

"mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">ß

"mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">----------

"mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">à

"mso-bidi-font-weight: normal">R134A High Side 16mm

Quick-disconnect On older R12 systems, the LOW and HIGH

pressure service fittings are screw-type Schrader valves. On newer

R134a systems, the LOW and HIGH side service fittings are

quick-connect style fittings. The LOW pressure fitting is SMALLER

than the HIGH pressure fitting. RECHARGE PROCEDURE 1.

Connect the recharge service hose and valve to a can of


2. Turn the valve on the service hose to puncture the top of the


3. SLOWLY turn the valve back out to release a small amount of

refrigerant into the hose. This will blow air out of the hose

(which you do not want in your A/C system).

4. Close the valve so no more refrigerant escapes, then quickly

connect the other end of the service hose to the LOW pressure

service fitting on the A/C system.

CAUTION: DO NOT connect a can of refrigerant to the HIGH

side service fitting. The operating pressure inside the A/C system

when it is running may exceed the burst strength of the can,

causing the can to explode! This should be impossible to do because

the service hose for recharging the A/C system will only fit the

smaller LOW pressure service fitting. Even so, you should be aware

of the danger.

5. Hold the can UPRIGHT so no refrigerant liquid enters the

service hose. You only want VAPOR to be pulled into the A/C system

(the compressor may be damaged if it sucks in a big dose of



gauge to monitor the recharging process. Though not absolutely

necessary, a gauge will help you recharge your A/C system more

accurately, and reduce the chance of undercharging or overcharging

(either of which will reduce cooling performance).

A high pressure A/C gauge can be connected to the HIGH pressure

service fitting, or a low pressure A/C gauge to the LOW pressure

service fitting, or gauges can be attached to both fittings (that

is what professional technicians do).

NOTE: Some DIY recharging kits include a low pressure gauge on

the service hose or on a trigger-grip style can dispenser.

7. Start the engine and turn the A/C on MAX/HIGH.

8. NOTE: The compressor may not engage if the system is too low

on refrigerant. The low pressure cutout switch will prevent the

compressor from running if the system is too low on refrigerant

(this is done to protect the compressor from damage due to a lack

of proper lubrication). The compressor must be running to suck

refrigerant through the service hose into the system. So if it is

not engaging when you turn the A/C on, you may have to supply

battery voltage directly to the compressor clutch using a fused

jumper wire. Look for a single wire connector near the front of the

compressor, unplug it and hook up a jumper wire to the battery

POSITIVE terminal. This should cause the clutch to engage and the

compressor to run.

9. OPEN the valve on the service hose so refrigerant vapor will

flow from the can into the A/C system. It may take up to 10 minutes

or more per can to suck all of the refrigerant out of the can into

the A/C system. Feel the air coming out of the ducts inside the

vehicle. It should be getting colder.

10. If you are using a high or low pressure gauge (or both) to

monitor recharging, look at the gauge(s).

LOW pressure gauge: When the reading is between 25 and

40 psi with the A/C running, STOP. The system is fully

charged and should be cooling normally. DO NOT add any more

refrigerant. If the gauge is over 50 psi, you have overcharged the

system with too much refrigerant.

High pressure gauge: When the reading gets up around

200 to 225 psi (R12), or225 to 250 psi (R134a),

STOP. The system is fully charged and should be cooling

normally. DO NOT add any more refrigerant.

NOTE: The high and low pressure readings will vary

depending on the system and ambient temperatures (higher

temperatures cause higher system pressure readings).

Refer to the vehicle manufacturer specifications for normal

system operating pressures, and the total refrigerant capacity of

the system. Most newer passenger car A/C systems do not hold much

refrigerant (only 14 to 28 oz.), so you don't want to add too much

if the system is low. One can of R134a typically holds 12 oz. of


11. If the system needs more refrigerant after adding one can,

you can add a second can. CLOSE the valve on the service hose, then

disconnect the hose from the empty can, screw a new can onto the

service hose valve, turn the valve to puncture the new can, then

turn the valve all the way back out again so refrigerant can flow

through the hose into the A/C system.

When you have finished, turn the engine off. CLOSE the valve on

the can of refrigerant before disconnecting the service hose from

the LOW pressure fitting (in case there is any refrigerant left in

the can). Don't vent any leftover refrigerant from the can. Leave

the service hose attached to the can with the valve closed so you

can save the refrigerant for a future recharge.

Remember to replace the plastic caps over the service fittings,

and remove the jumper wire from the compressor if you had to jump


AFTER A FEW DAYS, WEEKS OR MONTHS If your A/C stops blowing

cold air several days, weeks or months after you recharged it, it

means the system has a leak and the refrigerant is escaping. You

should add some leak detection dye to the system to find the leak.

The leak should then be repaired before the system is recharged

again; otherwise you are just wasting your time recharging the

system over and over again.

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