Per what we see typical of these days with lots of after-market products being added to air conditioning systems, our first step as a repair facility is to identify the proper refrigerant in the vehicle. Using the latest technology and the greatest equipment, we are able to not only determine what chemical is in the vehicle but what combination of chemicals or refrigerants may have been added, in what levels, and what percentage of air or oxygen, atmospheric pressure, is still in the vehicle.
This allows us to safely recover all the refrigerant out of it and make sure nothing has escaped into the environment and nothing damages any of the equipment. At the same time, we’re then able to perform vacuum tests on the system before charging it to ensure there are no leaks of any kind, shape, or kind. This also allows us to remove atmospheric pressure from the system by simply giving us more volume to fill with refrigerant when we go to charge the system. This allows you to get a slightly cooler charge out of your vehicle. When you typically just add a can to it or go to a place where they just add more refrigerant without performing a vacuum leak-down test, you will not get the same cold air that you will get from us.
With this vehicle, it came in with just under a quarter of a pound of R-134A refrigerant in the system. The vehicle is designed to hold almost a pound and a half of refrigerant. We need to determine where it’s leaking, what the cause of the leak is, and where to go from there. So far this morning, we were able to evacuate all of the refrigerant out of it, determine that improper refrigerant was used, and that the device is known as the dryer or receiver, which mounts straight through the front center of the vehicle, this round orifice looking in front of us, is full of water.
Because this vehicle wasn’t properly charged, there was still air in the system.
That air gets compressed by the compressor in the system, which is designed to squeeze the refrigerant as hard as it can to convert it from a liquid and gas, back and forth. When it does this, it squeezes that air and removes all of the water. That water moisture now is in those lines, and the system is designed to have a water removal device known as a receiver dryer. That receiver dryer is about the size of a six-ounce bottle. It’s very easy for it to become full and clogged, which is exactly the problem with this vehicle. So even though the owner was told they needed a compressor, it’s an $800 repair, they need to replace everything associated, all it needs is a $30 receiver dryer replacement and a new A/C charge.
We’re grateful that they brought it into us so that we’ll be able to keep them on the road blowing cold and at a significantly reduced cost. If you’ve got a car with air conditioning problems and you’re concerned at all, we do not charge for diagnostics. We purchased the latest, greatest technology that hasn’t even been implemented on this continent yet. The European Union mandated it two years ago, and we are staying up-to-date on that to make sure that you are adequately prepared and that we can help keep your vehicle prepared the entire time. Please come and see us if you have any concerns.