Our early spring is bringing on concerns of our vehicle air conditioners working properly. It won’t be long before we demand them to work properly. Now is a good time to get an AC check out. It is not expensive and is good insurance and peace of mind against the frustration of not having enough cooling on the first hot day and causing damage from trying to run the system improperly. It is so important that we at Eilenberger’s Automotive are offering it for only $20 with the purchase of any other service work being done in the month of April. Just mention this blog to get the deal. We will do a check of temperature drop from ambient, check the blower fan and duct operation, and check for proper refrigerant temperature rise. If there appears to be a problem we will discuss more invasive testing and possible causes and fixes with you. At Eilenberger’s Automotive an invasive AC check consist of our Certified ASE technicians hooking up an AC machine to test pressures and remove all the refrigerant from the system while accurately measuring how much refrigerant is removed and comparing it to the specified amount that should be in that particular vehicle. We then pull a vacuum on the system to check for gross leakage. Once the system can hold a vacuum (this may require repairs to the system with additional cost) it is then recharged with the specified amount of refrigerant and a fluorescent die added. The system is run while being sniffed with a fluorocarbon sniffer and scanned with a fluorescent light to determine if any small leaks are evident. If all looks correct the system is sealed with cap seals to prevent tampering and the customer is advised to return if the AC fails to cool within a week or so. Should this be the case we then rescan the system with the fluorescent light to find the leaking fitting, hose or whatever. Sometime the leak is so small that a few days use is required to allow enough die to accumulate on the leak site to be seen with the light.
AC systems are designed to operate with a precise amount of refrigerant, sometimes several pounds and sometimes less than a pound. If more or less refrigerant is in the system it will not cool effectively. Even as little as one ounce out of specification can cause a problem. Too much is just as bad as too little.
If a R12 refrigerant system is not tight it must be repaired or the entire refrigerant charge removed under penalty of law. This is due to the R12 refrigerant being toxic to the protective ozone layer of our atmosphere. If a R134a or newer refrigerant system is not leak free the effects of leaking these refrigerants into the atmosphere is a contribution to global warming. While not unlawful it is good citizenship to remove the refrigerant or repair the system.
In addition to the refrigerant side of the system there is the air side. The blower must operate, the duct system including the cabin air filter cannot be plugged, dampers must operate properly, and so on and so forth. This is all considered at Eilenberger’s. We discuss with you just what is going on with your system so we don’t chase the wrong problem. Stay cool!