How to Add Coolant to an Air Conditioner in a Ford Explorer

Written by johnathan cronk
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Throughout the life of your Ford Explorer, the air conditioning unit may need to be recharged with coolant. The unit may have a slight leak causing it to lose refrigerant, or perhaps the vehicle is an older vehicle that simply needs a quick recharge. Bringing your vehicle to a local mechanic can be expensive and quite time-consuming. To save time and money you can recharge the air conditioning system yourself by purchasing a can of R134a refrigerant with a recharge hose at your local auto parts store.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Owner's manual
  • R134a refrigerant with recharge hose

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  1. 1

    Allow the Ford Explorer to cool for at least 20 minutes, if the vehicle has been running, before attempting any work on the vehicle.

  2. 2

    Open the bonnet of the Ford Explorer and locate the air conditioner service fittings. The low-side fitting is located on the suction hose that runs from the accumulator to the compressor. The high-side fitting is located on the hose running from the compressor to the condenser. Refer to your Ford Explorer owner's manual for the exact location if needed.

  3. 3

    Assemble the can of refrigerant by attaching the recharge hose to the valve. Instructions are printed on the outside of the can.

  4. 4

    Twist the valve cap to the "On" position to puncture and open the top of the can. This will release some coolant so be sure to close the valve immediately to prevent additional coolant loss.

  5. 5

    Connect the recharge hose on the can of coolant to the low-side fitting. Be sure to hold the can upright for maximum flow of coolant into the system.

  6. 6

    Start the engine and switch the air conditioning to the highest setting. Twist the valve on the can of coolant to the "On" position to allow the vapour to begin flowing into the unit.

  7. 7

    Allow the air conditioning unit to charge until the can of coolant is empty or until you feel the air inside the Explorer reach maximum coolness. Twist the valve to the "Off" position and shut off the vehicle's engine. Remove the can of R134a from the low-side fitting and close the bonnet of the Explorer. Repeat this process anytime you feel your Explorer's air conditioning may need recharging.

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