a/c charge for civic 96: low side or high side? - Honda Civic Forum

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6th Generation Civic In the years from 1996 to 2000 Honda released it's 6th Generation Civic. Chassis codes: EK9, EK4, EK3, EJ6, EJ8, EJ9, EM1

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Old 06-18-2011   #1
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a/c charge for civic 96: low side or high side?

Hi I plan to charge the a/c for my civic 96 LX soon. I read the manual, it says "open the high-pressure valve to charge...". This is new to me. I have done charging for my other cars. They are all charged on LOW side. I thought that the way it should be for all cars (charge a/c on low side). Can somebody who has done this pls confirm that civic 96-00 a/c charge is on HIGH side (LOW side closed).
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Old 06-18-2011   #2
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Re: a/c charge for civic 96: low side or high side?

well if you need to charge, it means you have a leak that should be fixed first. a/c repair is not for the average person. you could end up blowing the compressor using the recharge kits sold in stores. many of them do not even have the right oil carrier for honda compressors, and its easy to overfill the system. all it will do is guarantee you will be paying a ton more later to get it fixed properly.
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Old 06-18-2011   #3
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Re: a/c charge for civic 96: low side or high side?

Well I was looking for tech advice, not a should or should-not. There are couple of reasons, I want to do it myself:
- The car has more than 200K on it, and not worth more than $600 per carmax appraisal. The shop wanted $1,000 to repair the A/C.
- I have charged other cars for 2-3 years and do understand the basic (pressure, manifold gauge, vacuum, how a/c component works basically,...)
- I actually knew and fixed the issue: it was the a/c compressor. I have bought an old one from EBAY and put it on myself and vacuum it yesterday. The vacuum stays at 25in for more than 15minutes so it is definitely not a leak!

Hence my question was about something I have not seen from my experience.
From my research, I have concluded that the charge has to use LOW side, not HIGH side. I will set out to do in one hour.. If I have time I will get back to let you know, if I made it or not.
Again, I have nothing to loose. Heck, why not try it for some fun..
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Old 06-18-2011   #4
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Re: a/c charge for civic 96: low side or high side?

use the low side. I've done many older vehicles since as you say the car doesnt have much to lose anyway and ive always used the low pressure port.
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Old 06-19-2011   #5
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Re: a/c charge for civic 96: low side or high side?

It worked. I charged the low side. The charge took longer than I expected and used only one 12oz can.
Also, I did a little more research and saw some tech said that if the system is vacuumed, you can charge the first can on the HIGH side to speed up the charging process. That makes sense because once it has been vacuumed, HIGH side has 0 pressure.
Any way, very happy that I now have A/C that cost me only $50 for all the tools and the used $20 a/c compressor I bought for this DIY project. Compared with a brand new a/c compressor installation quoted by shop for $1,000 (and they can even warranty it for only 3 months), I has gained a lot

Hope my A/C will hold up at least thru summer...
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Old 06-19-2011
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