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Recently I have noticed that the air conditioning in my 1997 Accord is very weak on hot sunny days - I can feel very little cold air coming out of the vents. But in the evenings it works fine - the air coming out of the vents feels very cold.

It's been probably around 14 years since I had the air conditioning fixed (and it cost around $800 back then). A local Honda dealer has a coupon for an "AC performance test" and up to one pound of Freon. Could it be that all I need is some Freon to be added, or is something else the problem?

EDIT: Does anyone know how many pounds of Freon go into the AC? I called my Honda dealer (not the same one that has the coupon) to see if they would match the coupon, and they said that you can't just add Freon to the AC. They said you have to evacuate all the old Freon and then put new Freon in. They were confused by the "up to one pound of Freon" wording.

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Get it recharged as a first step. In my 2009 Vibe, I had a similar problem. The hot day air was just too much for the air conditioner to cool down much. The cooler air in the night was cool enough and the air conditioner seemed like it was working. In reality it wasn't, and the refrigerant in the air conditioner was running low. A recharged fixed it right up.

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Quick clarification, "Freon" is a brand name (like Kleenex). What is actually used is a refrigerant denoted with a type code. Most auto systems newer than 1994 use R134a.

Just to answer your edit question, per this article most newer passanger cars hold 14-28 oz. of refrigerant. Generally you can "top-off" the refrigerant as long as your existing refrigerant is not on that has been banned. If it has then your system has to be fully evac'd before using a different type.

  • How could you tell if the existing refrigerant is a banned one? – pacoverflow Jul 11 at 6:08
  • Generally I believe the compressor is labeled with the refrigerant type. Most likely yours is going to be R134a. – kyle_engineer Jul 11 at 6:43
  • Also, the refrigerant regulations may vary depending on state/province or country, however I think the US regulations are the strictest... Not totally sure about the rest of the Globe though. – kyle_engineer Jul 11 at 6:45

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