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Are you prepared for this year's A/C season?

Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 06:00
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In 2005, I entered a contest sponsored by the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) and CarQuest. The aim of the contest was to find the “A/C Technician of the Year,” and I was lucky enough to have won that first competition. But that was a long 12 years ago, and my – has the A/C service segment changed!

For that reason, I am reverting to my now primary function of connecting our readers with those who are experts in their fields. In another Motor Age May article, Steve Schaeber, the MACS Director of Training, and I encourage you to read what he has to share. It seems like only yesterday we were reporting on the advent of a new refrigerant and the impacts that it would have on technicians and shop owners alike. Yesterday, my friends, is the key word here. R1234yf has arrived, and it may show up in your bays this summer. Steve has some wisdom to share on that topic, and will also glance into the crystal ball to share with you what may be coming up next.

The MACS event provided great training opportunities to attendees, including this session with Peter Orlando.

Some A/C tips of my own

While Steve will enlighten you on the new stuff, I think it’s important to review some of the old stuff that still applies, no matter what kind of refrigerant system you’re servicing. I’ve been attending the annual MACS training event and trade show for over a decade now, and still see some fundamental issues that seem to persist.

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One of them is the need to check for sealant before you attempt to service the customer’s vehicle. More specifically, you want to know if there are any substances in the system that will harden or solidify when exposed to air or moisture. Draw this into your Recovery/Recycle/Recharge (RRR) machine unknowingly, and you could find your shop without a machine as you wait for the parts or repair person to come unclog it. The only tester I know of is produced and offered by Neutronics, the same company that makes refrigerant identifiers. One new note that I saw at this year’s show was a recovery system that now allows you to recover vehicles with known contaminants so you can properly dispose of them. With multiple refrigerants out there and increasing issues with counterfeits entering the market, it seems to me to make good sense to have this equipment handy if your shop does a lot of air conditioning work.

Most of the majors had their latest machines on display, including those for use with R1234yf.
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