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How do you put Freon in a 2011 GMC Acadia – Your Step-by-Step Guide!

Owners of 2011 GMC Acadias frequently deal with malfunctioning air conditioning systems. Most often the problem is solved by recharging the system. Are you planning to put Freon in your car, but how do you put Freon in a 2011 GMC Acadia? Users can easily put Freon with a recharge kit. The users need to go through several recharging steps to recharge the Acadia AC system. Most vital steps include identifying leaks, inspecting the pressure level of the refrigerant, examining the entire AC system, adding required refrigerant, etc.

The readers can learn the entire process of recharging the 2011 GMC Acadia’s AC system in this article. So, let’s start.

What is Freon?

You may hear that someone needs to refill the AC system. What does it mean? It means that the individual needs to put Freon into the AC system. However, what is Freon? What are some of the uses and characteristics of it?

Simply put, Freon is a cooling agent or refrigerant, manufactured by DuPont. It has neither any color nor any smell. Besides, it is chemically very stable, meaning the gas doesn’t react with other chemical substances when mixed together. Therefore, Freon is not corrosive and does not pose any hazard of fire. However, the gas expires when it is exposed to ultraviolet light. The gas is one of the most vital components for the air conditioning industry due to the cooling effect it generates when evaporates.

The attempts to create such a stable and low-toxic component can be traced back to the 1890s. However, it was not until 1930 when General Motors and Du Pont discovered the formula of Freon. Major components of Freon include carbon, nitrogen, fluorine, propane, hydrogen, chlorine and bromine.  People can find Freon in different formulas. For instance, CHClF₂ refers to Freon 22, and CCl₂F₂ refers to Freon 12. Therefore, when you are asking for Freon, you must mention exactly what formula you want.  The price of Freon depends on the availability of the products.

What are the uses of Freons?

Even though the air conditioning industry widely uses Freon, the gas has diverse implementations in other sectors as well because of its low viscosity and low boiling point. Some of the major uses of Freons are as follows:

  • AC systems
  • Refrigerators
  • Foam-blowing agents
  • Aerosol propellants
  • Glass chillers
  • Solvents
  • Polymer intermediates
  • Anaesthetics
  • Fire extinguishers
  • inhalants

How does Freon work in a 2011 GMC Acadia?

How does Freon work in a 2011 GMC Acadia

Like other cooling agents, Freon goes through an extensive evaporation process to generate a cooling effect. The process consists of four stages: Compression, Condensation, Metering and Expansion and Evaporation.

In the initial stage, a compressor compresses the cold Freon gas and raises its pressure. Therefore, the temperature of the gas increases.

In the second stage, the warm Freon passes through multiple coils. In this journey, the hot Freon gas loses its temperature and becomes colder. At the end of the second stage, the colder Freon is transformed from gas to liquid form.

In the third stage, the liquid freon moves through an expansion valve or metering device. It reduces the pressure of the liquid Freon and therefore, the temperature further reduces.

In the final stage, Freon enters into the coiled tubes of the evaporator which includes fans. Air from the cabin blows to the evaporator coils while the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the hot air. Finally, the cooled air is provided into the car through the vents.

How do you put Freon in a 2011 GMC Acadia?

Individuals can refill the AC of a 2011 GMC Acadia to enhance the functionality of the car’s AC system. But it requires in-depth knowledge of the steps. Therefore, here is the step-by-step guideline for putting Freon in a 2011 GMC Acadia for the reader’s convenience:

1. Safety Precautions:

2. Verify the Refrigerant Type:

It is crucial to know what Freon type the car uses. The Refrigerant Type is mentioned in the car’s manual. However, the 2011 GMC Acadia uses R-134a refrigerant. Therefore, users have to purchase a can of Freon that is suitable for R-134a refrigerant.

3. Identify and repair leaks:

Before putting the refrigerant, users must ensure that there is no leak in the AC system. People can use a solution of dish soap to identify leaks in the AC. To do so, follow the below steps:

  • Make a solution with dish soap and normal water.
  • Spray the solution on the AC components. If there is any leak, it will create bubbles. Users can also purchase leak detector kits from automotive stores.
  • If you see lots of bubbles, it means there are bigger leaks. On the other hand, a few bubbles indicate small leaks. It is better to hire a professional to repair big leaks. Small leaks are easily repairable with a recharge kit that includes sealant elements.

4. Verify the proper functioning of the compressor:

  • Turn on the engine and AC
  • Set the fans’ speed to its maximum
  • Identify the clutch on the compressor. If the centre or middle part of the pulley spins, it indicates that the compressor is okay. If it does not spin, add half a can of r-134a and try again. If it again fails to spin, you may need professional help.

5. Identify the Low-Pressure Port:

  • Open the Acadia’s front hood
  • Identify the location of the low-pressure port. In the passenger side’s engine compartment, you will get two refrigerant lines. Low-pressure ports usually have larger tubes. Don’t mess up between high- and low-pressure ports. In the cap of the low-pressure port, there is mentioned a capital letter “L” and “H” on the high-pressure port. Moreover, the recharging kit’s ports are only adjustable with low-pressure ports. So, there are many ways to detect the low-pressure ports.

6. Checking the pressure:

Checking the pressure

  • Open the plastic cap of the port and keep it somewhere safe.
  • Now get a pressure gauge. It is better to get a recharge kit that also includes a pressure gauge.
  • Safely put the gauge’s connector on the open port
  • Take a pressure reading. If the reading shows green zones, it indicates the AC system is still in good condition. If the reading level is low in the green zones, it means the AC system can not work properly. If the reading is 0, it means there is no refrigerant in the AC system.
  • If you identify the lack of refrigerant in the AC system, Keep recharging the AC system.
  • Now take a reading of the current outside temperature.
  • Set the temperature of the refrigerant gauge to the outside temperature. Following the recharge, the gauge will inform you of the standard refrigerant pressure. This will be your target pressure. Users can observe the refrigerant pressure through the pressure gauge.
  • Again, take a pressure reading. This time the reading should not be above the initial pressure reading. If it is, then take the help of a professional, but don’t add more refrigerant. Adding excessive refrigerant may harm the AC system.
  • turn off the system after testing the system unless the charging kit advices otherwise. Always follow the instructions of the charging kit to get the best result.

7. Adding Refrigerant:

  • Remove the trigger from the can
  • Remove the inner cap
  • Secure the top back on. While securing the top, press it a bit hard, so that it can break the metal pin inside the trigger. If you can see the sound of pressure release, it means, it is ready for use.
  • Shake the can properly to blend all the elements inside the can properly
  • Now firmly put the hose of the refrigerant can on the low-pressure line port. The connection between the refrigerant hose and the low-pressure line needs to be adequately tight.
  • Press the trigger on the refrigerant to release the refrigerant into the AC. If the can includes a knob instead of a trigger, turn the knob until the refrigerant flow into the hose.
  • After charging for 10 seconds, recheck the pressure. Look at the pressure gauge while releasing the trigger. It’s crucial to avoid overcharging the air conditioner. Keep taking pressure readings every 10 seconds until the pressure gauge reaches the recommended reading.
  • Take off the recharge hose from the low-pressure port.
  • Put the port cap of the AC that you have unscrewed
  • Test the AC condition. The temperature should be between 3 to 7 °C or 38 to 45 °F. If you feel the AC is still not working properly, get professional help.
  • Turn off the air conditioner and the engine.

FAQ For Freon in a 2011 GMC Acadia

Can Freon level drop in the 2011 GMC Acadia’s AC system?

The function of the AC system is dependent on pressure. Over time, the AC system can develop leaks. Therefore, the Freon or refrigerant level can drop over time, making the AC unable to provide cool air.

Can I put Freon in a 2011 GMC Acadia?

If you have prior recharging experience, you can do the task by yourself. It will save lots of money. Hiring a professional can cost up to $1000, depending on the freon type. However, if you don’t have prior experience, it is better to get professional help or do it at least in front of someone, who is familiar with the process to avoid further hazards.

Final Verdict

Many users of the 2011 GMC Acadia complain that their Acadia AC system is not properly working. The lack of freon is one of the biggest reasons behind this issue. Most often, recharging the AC system resolves the problem, but how do you put Freon in a 2011 GMC Acadia? I have discussed the refilling process of freon into the AC system in detail. I hope the readers will find the information valuable for their practical use.

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