Over the course of owning a Honda CR-V, you will need to add refrigerant to the air conditioning system. You may have to do this even if there are no significant leaks in the system. You will be notice the need at once. An air conditioner with little or no freon will operate normally, but it will not put out cold air. Most air conditioner repairs are best left to certified professionals, but recharging a CR-V's air conditioning system can be done by nearly anybody, and refill kits are available from an auto parts store.
Consult your CR-V's manual for the type of freon you will need. R12 is used in older cars across makes and models, but in most cases you will need R134a.
Consult the instructions on the kit for precise recharge instructions. There may be variations in the process, and you should always defer to the manufacturer.
Assemble the recharging kit. Attach the hose and the gauge to the canister of freon. When you attach the valve to the top of the canister, do not turn the valve all the way, as doing so will cause a premature release of freon.
Put on a pair of safety glasses.
Lift the bonnet of the CR-V and prop it open. Look for aluminium tubing with two ports. This is the part of the air conditioning system to which you will attach the recharging kit.
Locate the low side port on the aluminium tubing. Remove the cap on this port and pocket it for later use.
Attach the recharging kit's hose to the low side port. The hose connector will have inner sleeves that ensure a snug fit. Do not attach the hose to the high side port. It will not fit, and the recharging will not work. Set the kit down on a solid area of the engine that does not have moving parts.
Start the CR-V's engine and let it heat up to its running temperature. At the same time, turn on the air conditioner to its coldest setting and set the blower at maximum.
Turn the valve at the top of the freon canister. The valve needs to be turned all the way so that the valve's stem breaks the canister's seal. You will hear a "rushing" sound. This is normal, and it is caused by the freon moving from the canister into the air conditioning system.
Turn the valve off to monitor the recharging kit's gauges. Feel the aluminium tubing. At the end of the recharging process, the areas around the low side and high side port should cool down. Also, if you want to use a thermometer, the air conditioning should lower to 4.44 degrees C.
Turn the valve on the top of the can once it is empty or you have refilled the system. Detach the kit from the low side port and replace the port's cap. Do not worry about filling the system completely. You should never overfill the CR-V's air conditioning system, and it is always better to err on the side of not enough rather than too much.
Turn the air conditioner off. Turn off the CR-V's engine.
- "Chilton's Honda Civic and CR-V 2001-2006 Repair Manual"; Robert Maddox; Haynes Publishing Group; 2007