Charging the AC in a 1997 Ford Crown Vic


Many automotive heating and ventilation repairs are complex and better left to a trained, professional mechanic. Charging a 1997 Ford Crown Victoria's air conditioner is not one of those tasks. R134a recharging kits are widely available at auto parts stores and discount stores with automotive departments. You can easily complete the process at home, in your own garage. The frequency of the repair depends on how often the air conditioner is used. Prolonged A/C use will deplete freon at a quicker rate.

Things You'll Need

  • R134a recharging kit
  • Thermometer
  • Winterized gloves
  • Eye glasses
  • Park the Crown Victoria on grand that is relatively flat. To protect against the automobile accidentally moving, while the engine is running, ensure the emergency brake is fully activated. Depending on your gear transmission type, place the Crown Victoria's shift lever into park or neutral. Neutral should be used only if the car employs a manual transmission.

  • Exit the car. Walk a full circle around the Crown Victoria and open all the doors. Later, you will be running the air conditioner, and you do not need the system shutting itself down by mistake, due to air build-up in sealed passenger compartment.

  • Pop the hood and locate the air conditioning lines within the engine. There are two sets of pipes to look for. The thinner of the two is the high pressure line. It does not contain the air conditioner you need. Look for a wide diameter metal pipe connecting the drier/receiver to the Crown Victoria's compressor. On this line, you will find the vehicle's low pressure service port. Remove the cap from this port.

  • Attach your R134a recharging kit to the low pressure service port. Both the outlet and the R134a kit will be prefigured to fit each other. If you have to force the connection, double check the port. You may mistook the high pressure service outlet for the low pressure one. The high side port is not intended for Freon recharging.

  • Set the kit down, but away from belts or any movable part within the engine. Take a seat behind the Crown Victoria's engine. Warm up the engine. Then, switch on the air conditioner. Set the blower to maximum capacity and the temperature to the coldest degree.

  • Return to your R134a kit. Open the valve atop the kit and let 60 seconds worth of R134a Freon rush into the air conditioner's pipes. Close the valve and let the system sit for 60 seconds; the blower will disperse the new Freon further into the system.

  • Continue to add more Freon in 60 second spurts. Monitor your progress on the R134 kit's pressure gauge. Also, stick a thermometer into the Crown Victoria's central air conditioning duct.

  • Monitor the air conditioner's internal temperature as you continue recharging. At its coldest setting, an air conditioner will produce cooled air at 40 degrees. Once your thermometer reads 40 degrees, the process has reached completion. There is one exception. Hot weather will affect the system's internal temperature. In this case the system can plateau somewhere between 60 and 40 degrees. Once the temperature stops falling and remains consistent, remove the thermometer.

  • Detach your R134a kit from the low pressure service port. Let the Crown Victoria sit for another 10 minutes before you switch the system off. This will guarantee a full circulation of the new R134a.

Tips & Warnings

  • The process may leave you with left over R134a Freon. Do not release the Freon as a way to get rid of it. Store the kit in a dark place with consistent year-round temperatures. Leave all the kit's components attached.
  • R12 has been phased out of use, and it is used only be older vehicles. Do not attempt to add R12 to your Ford Crown Victoria. The Freon container is pressurized, and any time you deal with a compressed gas, wear protective eye wear. Since the container will grow cold, wear winterized gloves, not latex or thin rubber gloves.

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