If your Honda Civic uses R134A refrigerant, then you can purchase an air conditioning recharge kit at most auto parts stores and recharge the system yourself. However, if you are completely out of refrigerant, then you will need to take your Civic to a mechanic. Recharge your air conditioning system as soon as you notice it produces less cold air than usual.
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Number of Refrigerant Cans
You will need between one and two refrigerant cans for your Honda Civic's recharge. If you are recharging the system yourself, predicting exactly how much refrigerant you need is tricky since the system is low on refrigerant, but not empty. Seventh generation (2001-2005) Civics require about 510gr of refrigerant to complete recharge the system.
Location of High and Low Side Fittings
The fittings are always located near certain air conditioning components; however, the location of the components can vary between different years and models of Civics. The high-side fitting is between the condensor, which looks like a miniature grill similar to a radiator, and the compresso, which is a cylinder-shaped unit with a belt attached to it. The low-side fitting is connected to the hose that connects the compressor and the accumulator. The high and low-side fittings are 13mm and 16mm respectively.
If you have a gauge on the high-side fitting, it should read between 225 and 250 psi (pounds per square inch) when the refrigerant is near full. Not all refrigerant recharge kits will have a high-side fitting gauge. However, most kits should have a low-side fitting gauge that should read between 25 and 40 psi when the refrigerant is full. As a safety precaution, you should turn off the refrigerant recharge kit as it approaches the lower end of the pressure rating so that you avoid overcharging the system, which can lead to refrigerant leaks.
If you have a thermometer, you can measure the temperature of the air coming out of the vents when the air conditioner is turned on full blast while recharging the refrigerant. When the air begins to cool you will know that your recharge kit is working correctly, When recharging is nearly complete, the temperature on the thermometer should reach close to 4.44 degrees Celsius.
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