How to Recharge the A/C in Your Chevrolet Silverado

If your Chevrolet Silverado’s air conditioning has recently been repaired or has lost refrigerant due to a failing component, the system will need to be recharged. The special tools required for this repair can be easily found at most auto parts stores, and the repair takes the average do-it-yourself mechanic only a couple of hours to complete. Follow these easy steps to recharge your Chevrolet Silverado’s air conditioning back to factory performance.

Tools Required

  • AC gauge set
  • Vacuum pump
  • Can tap

Caution: To prevent serious injury, it is recommended you wear safety glasses and work gloves.

Recharge Procedure

  • Connect hoses of the AC gauge to your Silverado’s service ports. If your Silverado was made after 2001, the service ports are located on the top of the AC compressor. If your Silverado was made earlier than 2001, service ports can be found on the accumulator and high-pressure hose.

Important: Earlier model Silverados that use R-12 refrigerant require an adapter to connect the hose to the high-pressure port.

  1. Connect the center hose of the AC gauge to the vacuum pump. Plug the vacuum pump into a 110-volt outlet, and turn it on.
  2. Open both valves found on the front of the AC gauge, and allow the pump to run for one hour to remove all moisture from within the system.
  3. Close both valves and turn off the vacuum pump. The AC gauge’s vacuum reading should hold steady for 15 minutes. If the reading changes during this time, there is a leak in the system.
  4. Disconnect the vacuum pump from the AC gauge hose and apply a can tap to the hose.
  5. Insert a can of refrigerant into the tap and open it by screwing in the thumbscrew. Unscrew the thumbscrew and open the blue valve on the AC gauge. Allow half of the can of refrigerant into the system.
  6. Start your Silverado and turn the air conditioning on. Once the can of refrigerant is empty, close the valve and remove the can. Connect another can of refrigerant to the tap and open the blue valve once more. Repeat this process until two pounds of refrigerant are in the system.
  7. Close the AC gauge valve and disconnect the AC gauge from your Silverado.
  8. Test-drive your Silverado to confirm the air conditioning is working properly and blowing cold air.