The Tools Every Shop Should Have!
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HFO-1234yf Your Source for Everything 1234yf
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Currently almost all new passenger vehicles sold in the US contain 1234yf with over 10.5 million vehicles projected to be added to the 1234yf fleet. Recent environmental mandates are accelerating the move to HFO refrigerant in on-highway medium-and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. This combined with vehicles that were early adopters of 1234yf beginning to come out of warranty, make it more important than ever for technicians and service repair shops to be prepared to service these vehicles. 1234yf requires several new procedures and new equipment in order to properly handle these systems, including products and tools specifically designed to meet the new SAE standards for 1234yf as well as technician training and certification.
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May 2023, Volume 23, Number 4 ACtion™ magazine is published eight times per year by the Mobile Air Climate Systems Association (MACS)™, P.O. Box 88, Lansdale, PA 19446. While MACS takes reasonable steps to make sure that the information reported in ACtion™ is accurate, errors can still occur. The accuracy of all information contained in ACtion™ should therefore be independently evaluated by the reader, since conditions of its use are outside of the control of MACS. The Association assumes no liability for the use of such information or any damages incurred through its use or application. Nothing contained in such information is to be construed as contractual or provide some form of warranty on the part of MACS.
Andy Fiffick Chairman & CEO Peter Coll President & Editor-In-Chief [email protected]
Steve Schaeber Technical Editor [email protected]
Melissa Pizarro Manager of Marketing Communications [email protected]
Giselle Horrell Copy Editor [email protected]
Corporate Offices Mail To: P.O. Box 88, Lansdale, PA 19446 Ship To: 225 S. Broad St., Lansdale, PA 19446 Phone: (215) 631-7020 • Fax: (215) 631-7017 E-mail: [email protected]
The opinions expressed in guest editorials are not necessarily endorsed by MACS and the Association is not responsible for any claims made in or by advertisements or press releases published in ACtion™. All company names, products and product names, emblems, logos, images, trademarks, service marks and trade dress appearing in this magazine are the property of their respective owners and are protected under federal laws of the United States and international agreements. Unauthorized use is prohibited. The ACtion™ logo and MACS logo emblem are property of MACS.
Reproduction of contents without permission is prohibited. Send requests for permission to copy or reprint to [email protected]
or to ACtion™ Magazine, Box 88, Lansdale, PA 19446. Non-member subscription rates: one year (eight issues) – U.S. $25; Canada/Mexico $40; international surface $45; international air $55. Send subscription mail, including address changes, to ACtion™, P.O. Box 88, Lansdale, PA 19446 or editor@ macsmobileairclimate.org Printer: H.G. Roebuck & Son, Inc. 4987 Mercantile Road Baltimore, MD 21236 ISSN 1949-3436
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On the Cover: The Tools Every Shop Should Have!
COLUMNS A View From The Board
Cooling Corner — Chris Holley 10
Service Port — Steve Schaeber 8 Leonard’s Law — MACS Staff & Google Bard AI 9 Safety First — Bob McGinn 11 Thoughts From The Field — Jerry Lemon 20 Looking Forward — Peter Coll 22
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A View from the Board
An Industry Chat with Charlie Roberts By Charlie Roberts, TCCI Director of Sales
olicy and innovation are reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and propelling us toward a future of electrification in the transportation industry. Simply put, there is a widespread shift to electric, and prioritizing the support of your customers plays an important role on their path to zero emissions. With over 30 years’ experience in the A/C compressor industry, and as the Director of Sales at TCCI Manufacturing, I’ve had a front row seat to this changing landscape. The commercial vehicle and specialty automotive markets play a significant role in emissions. With U.S. transportation accounting for 37% of CO2 emissions from end-use sectors in 2021, we must prioritize a more sustainable path forward to support the proliferating green economy. To do this, we need to be cognizant of the significant need for advancements in battery and climatic testing, infrastructure and the workforce needed to support this growing industry. Although the North American automotive market has had a primary focus on 400V, the commercial vehicle and specialty markets require higher voltage and higher capacity, a requirement which has played a major role in our electric product portfolio strategy over the last four years. This need in the commercial vehicle industry led TCCI to develop the largest range of voltage and capacity electric compressors in the market. The high voltage, 850V electric compressor, the recent winner of the Best in Show “Case” Award at the MACS 2023 Annual Training Event and Trade Show,
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features capacities up to 29kw and is the first of its kind available to the commercial transport market. Manufacturers of OE and aftermarket components, service tools and service parts need to look forward to the coming electrification and invest as TCCI has. This applies to all vehicle classes and is particularly important in the emerging electrified commercial vehicle markets. When developing new products, consider all parts of the thermal management process, including cabin comfort, battery temperature control and electronics efficiency, to take advantage of this emerging market. At TCCI, we have taken this step, developing new products to provide optimal cabin and battery cooling for commercial battery-operated vehicles and to help OEMs optimize their systems to deliver longer battery life and faster charging. As the EV commercial transport market continues to grow with the rapid increase in available EV models, policy support and improving technical viability and economic competitiveness, we must aim to stay ahead of the curve. Customers’ evolving needs mean unique solutions and products—one size does not fit all when it comes to electric compressors and other electrified thermal management products. Your customers rely on you and your electrification team to help guide them to the specific needs of their application. This has certainly been a learning curve for everyone in the industry. There is much work still to be done as the U.S. shifts to electric,
but we are catching up and catching up quickly, with local and national leaders who understand and are willing to invest in electrification and the long-term benefit of manufacturing growth that focuses on infrastructure, research and workforce development. I’ve been around for some very significant changes in this ever-evolving industry, but I’ve never been quite so optimistic for the future of manufacturing in America. Charlie Roberts Charlie Roberts, Director of Sales at TCCI Manufacturing, has nearly 30 years’ experience in the HVAC mobile industry and has been essential to the launch of over twenty new products in the industry, including the electric compressor. Roberts has served on the MACS Board of Directors for six years where he has been a leader in their re-branding efforts and technological advancements. TCCI Manufacturing At TCCI, we focus on building scalable solutions for the future of the transportation industry—providing transformative products that meet the evolving needs of our customers on the path to zero emissions. Our investment in innovation leads the way for safety, quality, and performance in delivering compressor technology solutions that exceed customer expectations and drive to industry towards a more sustainable future that includes electric, wobble plate, swash plate, variable, rotary vane, reciprocating, and bus heater designs. Fostering a culture of collaboration and transparency is essential to our responsive design philosophy—deliver today, prepare for tomorrow. We continually push the envelope and set the standard in compressor technology.
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VisionKC 2023 By Steve Schaeber, MACS Technical Editor
n any given year there are hundreds (maybe thousands?) of automotive aftermarket training classes, webinars and events taking place around the country, and those of us on the training circuit really only ever get involved in just some of them. Most of the classes we teach are for smaller groups of perhaps fifteen or twenty technicians, and in some cases, as small as two or four. In reality, this is an ideal class size because there’s more time to connect with the students and tailor the learning to an individual’s needs. But then there are those big events, the very big events, the national events, the events that everyone goes to, the events that every technician knows about and wants to attend. Those are the events that we trainers strive to (one day) teach at. I finally got my chance in 2023. Officially known as the “VISION Hi-Tech Training & Expo”, VisionKC is (probably) the largest training event that takes place in the United States. It’s held each year in Kansas City (actually, Overland Park, Kansas), and this year I heard there were over 4,000 people in attendance. Held over five days, Vision takes place at four separate locations. The main venue is the Overland Park Convention Center (which is big enough by itself). The event takes up the entire convention center, along with all of the conference space at two adjacent hotels, and since that’s not enough space, they also hold classes at a local Vo Tech school! The class I taught was “MACS Mobile A/C Best Practices”. Usually, I teach this class over a period of two days, with three to four hours of lecture each morning, and hands-on learning in the shop during the afternoon. At this event I only had two hours in the morning, so I provided an overview of mobile A/C system fundamentals. I was asked to teach my class as part of a new program being offered at Vision, called GSTA (General Service Technician Academy), which is designed for entry-level or C technicians who have recently graduated from tech school or maybe have been working for a few years. The idea is to refresh the learning they received in school, and maybe answer some of those questions they didn’t know to ask during their school days. We also provided an opportunity for students to get their MACS Section 609 Certification as part of the Vision event. After attending the live class, students
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could register on the MACS website to watch our 609 training webinar and take their exam. Along with the training, VisionKC also holds a trade show, which MACS participated in. We had a booth in the hallway adjacent to the main trade show room, which was nice because everyone who came and went passed by our booth. Note: My colleague Melissa Pizarro and I greeted many friends of MACS at VisionKC, and made several new friends as well (and you know we took a lot of selfies!). Want to see our pictures from Vision? Check them out on MACS social media! Links are available on our website www.macsmobileairclimate.org. Thanks!
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Artificial Intelligence and Repair Shop Liability By MACS Staff & Google Bard AI
n this months Leonard’s Law, the MACS staff took a novel approach by asking Google’s Bard AI the following question: “Write a 1000 word article on auto repair shop liability laws in the United States.” The result below is the output from Google, taken word for word, without any editing. Just when you think we are near the limits of technology, something comes along that breaks new ground. It will be interesting to see where AI takes us. Enjoy! Auto repair shop liability laws in the United States vary from state to state, but there are some general principles that apply across the board. In general, auto repair shops are liable for damages caused by their negligence, including injuries to people and damage to property. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, and it is important to understand the specific laws in your state if you have been injured or had your property damaged by an auto repair shop. One of the most common types of claims against auto repair shops is for negligence. Negligence occurs when a person or business fails to exercise the care that a reasonable person would exercise in the same situation. In the context of auto repair, negligence can take many forms, such as: • F ailing to diagnose a problem correctly • Using faulty parts • Performing repairs incorrectly • F ailing to warn of potential dangers • L eaving the vehicle in an unsafe condition
If you believe that an auto repair shop has been negligent, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the shop to recover damages. Damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Another type of claim that can be made against auto repair shops is for breach of contract. A contract is an agreement between two or more parties. In the context of auto repair, a contract is usually an agreement between the customer and the shop that outlines the work that will be done and the price that will be charged. If the shop fails to live up to its end of the contract, the customer may be able to sue for breach of contract. For example, if the shop agrees to fix a car in one week and it takes two weeks, the customer may be able to sue for breach of contract. The customer may also be able to sue for breach of contract if the shop charges more than the agreed-upon price for the repairs. In some cases, auto repair shops may also be liable for strict liability. Strict liability is a legal theory that holds a person or business liable for damages caused by their product, even if they were not negligent. In the context of auto repair, strict liability can apply if a faulty part that was installed by the shop causes an accident. For example, if a shop installs a faulty brake pad that causes a car to crash, the shop may be held liable for damages caused by the crash, even if the shop was not negligent. If you have been injured or had your property damaged by an auto repair shop, it is important to speak with an attorney to discuss your legal options. An attorney can help you
understand the specific laws in your state and can help you file a claim against the shop if necessary. Here are some tips for choosing an auto repair shop: • Get recommendations from friends, family, or other trusted sources. • Check online reviews of the shop. • M ake sure the shop is licensed and insured. • A sk about the shop’s warranty policy. • G et a written estimate before any work is done. • Don’t pay for repairs upfront. • K eep all receipts and documentation. By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from being taken advantage of by an auto repair shop. Remember that laws are constantly changing and are often not uniform throughout the United States. Do not place unqualified reliance on the information in this article. Always contact legal counsel for detailed advice. If you have a particular issue, law or problem you would like to see addressed in a future column, please contact me at [email protected]
, or Leonard | Tinari, LLP, 610-209-9617.
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Electric Coolant Heater Failure By Chris Holley, Assistant Professor of Automotive Technology, Penn College
he transition of vehicle propulsion from fossil fuels to electricity currently consumes the automotive industry. While battery electric vehicles (BEVs) garner the most attention, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have advantages. For example, PHEVs are initially less expensive than BEVs, provide greater flexibility (operating the gasoline engine when battery charge drops) and have reduced charging times due to having a smaller battery. The newest technology has experienced a few bumps. Recently,
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we got involved with a 2022 Jeep Wrangler 4xe with 1,600 miles on the odometer. There are significant concerns with PHEV Jeeps’ two cooling loops (Electric Coolant Heater (ECH) and engine) required to heat the Jeep’s interior and a third loop to warm and maintain the electric battery. The customer stated the electric mode worked fine for the first month but stopped operating. She noted the electric battery charge stayed at 100%. An instrument cluster error message, “electric mode unavailable cabin cooling or heating,” was displayed.
When driving with the engine off, interior heating comes from the highvoltage ECH. Unfortunately, the engine of the Jeep was operating all the time to provide cabin heat, and the electric mode was non-operational. The client visited a Jeep dealership, only to be informed it was operating correctly in the colder ambient temperature. Not satisfied with the answer, the customer dropped by a second dealership and was again told the condition was normal. At this point, we were invited to offer our assistance. Continued page 21
Auto Repair and Maintenance Industry Compliance Assistance Toolkit
By Bob McGinn, CCAR
The U.S. Wage and Hour Division, OSHA and the U.S. Small Business Administration have teamed up to highlight auto care workers’ essential protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The offered resources include fact sheets about: • B lue-Collar Workers and the Part 541 Exemptions Under the FLSA. • R ecordkeeping Requirements Under the FLSA. • O vertime Pay Requirements of the FLSA.
• H ours Worked Under the FLSA. • M isclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors.
The entire list and links to the toolkit is available at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/compliance-assistance/toolkits/autorepair For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4USWAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool that everyone can use, by visiting https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ whd. The division protects workers regardless of immigration status and can communicate with workers in more than 200 languages. ABOUT CCAR The Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair (CCAR) is a nonprofit organization with a focus on the automotive industry and its needs for safety and hazardous material compliance and training. Founded in 1994 with grant funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), CCAR is also one of the original Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) Alliance partners and is the only OSHA Ambassador focused on providing safety best practice information to the automotive collision and repair industries. CCAR has twice been recognized by the ASE Training Managers Council (ATMC) with their “National Excellence in Training” award and was chosen by the North American Hazmat Action Committee (NAAHAC) to develop hazardous material-handling training courses. To learn more about CCAR and its programs, please call 888.476.5465 or visit www.ccar-greenlink.org. 11
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MACS 2023 Tool & Equipment Review By MACS Staff & Contributors
Communication between the customer, service writer and technician is key
The most important tool available to any technician is the technician themselves. Using four of the five human senses (with taste eliminated for obvious reasons) allow technicians to learn more about the A/C and thermal management system than any piece of hardware. Combining sight, sound, touch and smell, the technician can see, hear, feel and sniff out problems that may allow them to better understand the customer’s complaint. Think about it: the customer does not have any fancy tools and relies on clues like “I saw smoke, I heard a screech, it smelled musty, or it felt warm” to make the decision to schedule an appointment. Just as important as these senses, or any tool in the box, is the communication between the service writer, customer and technician. The ability to translate the customers’ concerns to something the technician can work with requires a little patience from both the customer and technician.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
Toolboxes are often a source of great pride for many service technicians, helping to organize and protect their valuable contents. As we have noted, the most valuable tools are our senses, and we need to protect them from harm every time a vehicle comes into the service bay. Safety Glasses, Hearing Protection, Gloves and the occasional protective mask are staples of any technician’s wardrobe and should be available and worn any time you are in the shop environment. Proper PPE protects the Technician and shop
The cap is the primary seal on the service port
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Before anything else, technicians need to do a sensory inspection of the vehicle from the viewpoint of the customer to see, hear, feel or smell what the customer has observed. It is important to do this at the very beginning before the state of anything on the vehicle changes that could make this detection more difficult. The next step is to take out your electronic leak detector and check for leaks around the service ports with the caps on. The service port caps are still the primary seals and checking them now before you remove them will provide the best results. After checking the ports with the caps on, remove them and check the service port valves for leaks. It will be far easier to detect a leak by assuming the vehicle has some refrigerant and conducting vehicle inspection accordingly than it will be after the service port seals have been disturbed. More on Leak Detection later in this article.
With the MACS 2023 Training Event behind us and the 2023 A/C Season in front of us, the MACS Staff and a few MACS Member Contributors have looked at the Tools & Equipment your shop should have to effectively and efficiently diagnose and repair A/C systems.
A/C service relies on two primary measurements: pressure and temperature. Having the ability to monitor system pressure under various conditions is a critical diagnostic tool to determine system health. Too much pressure can indicate a restriction in the system, including problems with the TXV, orifice tube, condenser or other component. High pressure could also indicate a system overcharge. Low system pressure can indicate a compressor problem, low refrigerant charge or other component failure. Having a quality manifold gauge set is essential to professional A/C service. Manifold gauges are an essential tool
When a customer arrives at your shop for A/C service, it is not for a 5,000-mile refrigerant change. They are far more likely experiencing a lack, or perceived lack, of cooling performance in the cabin. A technician being able to measure the temperature at each duct, the temperature at the surface of the condenser and the relative temperatures of various inlets and outlets of the underhood components provides not only confirmation of the customer’s complaint but also diagnostic clues for poor system performance. CPS TMDP thermometer
DIGITAL MANIFOLD/ TEMPERATURE GAUGE COMBINATION
Over the past several years, MACS member companies have introduced tools that combine pressure and temperature measurements into a single digital tool. These tools give the technician the ability to measure these P/T values simultaneously in real time. Many digital gauges also can be used on systems with different refrigerants or used for automotive or HD vehicle applications, and they can also function as micron gauges for vacuum measurement. Ritchie Yellowjacket Mantooth
Continued page 14
13 AC tion — May 2023
ELECTRONIC VARIABLE DISPLACEMENT COMPRESSOR (EVDC) TESTER
One of the more recent tools to hit the market is the EVDC tester. With the advent of automatic temperature control and the desire to improve the efficiency of A/C systems, Variable Displacement Compressors (VDC) have become a staple of recent vehicle A/C systems. A VDC can vary its pumping capacity to meet the demands of the air conditioning system. This is accomplished by using a solenoid valve, controlled by the vehicle’s computer, to vary the angle of the compressor’s swash plate, increasing or decreasing the refrigerant flow based on the desired temperature in the cabin. Having the ability to monitor the voltage supplied to the refrigerant solenoid control valve on the compressor allows the technician to monitor compressor performance and verify valve function.
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Inficon D-TEK Stratus leak detector
LEAK DETECTION (ELD SAE J2791, J2913, J2970 & DYE)
All A/C systems leak. It is unfortunate, but it is the nature of the beast despite the best efforts of the OE and Tier1 engineers to eliminate leaks. As a pressurized system that is subject to extreme temperature swings and the vibrations found in a vehicle, A/C systems will have refrigerant leaks over time. The good news is that over the past 15 years, leaks from the factory and during service life have been dramatically reduced in part by the IMAC program of the mid 2000’s.
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LEAK DETECTION (ELD SAE J2791, J2913, J2970 & DYE)
Supercool 62935 UV dye
Low refrigerant charges caused by leaking systems are one of the primary reasons for poor cooling performance and both finding and repairing these leaks are a common task for the A/C service technician. The SAE has spent a lot of time refining the J2791, J2913, and J2970 standards for Electronic Leak Detectors (ELD) to better detect and quantify leaks. They also put requirements in place to document common substances that may cause false triggering. The effective use of an ELD relies on good practice, patience and a “quiet” environment. Start by minimizing any air flow in, or around, the engine compartment. Excess air flow will make the detection of leaks more difficult by moving the refrigerant around and away from the leak source. Next, make sure the ELD will detect a leak by opening the windshield washer reservoir bottle and passing the ELD over it to confirm that it triggers. After you have verified it is working, continue with the leak detection process, moving the probe slowly and paying special attention to hose crimps, seals, joints and connection points. Remember that refrigerant is heavier than air, so checking the underside of a potential leak point will enhance the detection in most cases. Sometimes, finding a leak in hard-to-reach areas can be time consuming or even impossible. This is where the use of a high-quality dye can be very helpful. Select a dye suitable for the application based on the system refrigerant and oil type (PAG vs. POE). Pay careful attention to the wavelength of the dye and select a UV light that matches the dye for correct fluorescence. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dosing and allow appropriate time for the dye to circulate through the system.
Tracer TPOPUV20EV Leak Detection Kit
MSA Safety model EID
Refrigerant Identifiers have been available in the marketplace for over 20 years and are required tools when servicing R-1234yf vehicles. Many SAE J2843 machines have identifiers built in while others have a USB port to connect a handheld identifier. Whether you are working on R-1234yf or R-134a system, an identifier is an essential tool to verify the purity of the refrigerant and detect excess non-condensable gas that can negatively affect performance. The use of an identifier is an important diagnostic aid because mixed refrigerant and excess air can cause higher system pressures that present as faulty parts when using only P/T charts.
RECOVERY ONLY MACHINE (SAE J2810, J2851)
When contaminated refrigerant is discovered or when there is no desire to recycle the refrigerant, such as a salvage yard, a recovery-only machine may be used. For R-134a, the SAE J2810 machine has long been the standard, however the SAE J2851 machine can be used for both R-134a and R-1234yf and has become the new defacto machine of choice. These machines do not recycle refrigerants. They do remove, in excess of, 95% of the refrigerant in 30 minutes or less and separate oil from the refrigerant. Mastercool 69391 recovery only machine
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R/R/R MACHINE (SAE J2788, J2843, J3030)
At the heart of any A/C service is the Recovery/Recycle/Recharge machine. These machines extract in excess of 95% of the refrigerant, in 30 minutes or less, from the system and clean it to the SAE J2099 standard on the way into the machine’s internal storage tank. After recovering the refrigerant, the machine will evacuate the system into a deep vacuum before recharging the system with the preprogrammed amount of refrigerant. For R-134a systems, the U.S. EPA requires technicians to use SAE J2788certified machines when servicing for compensation. These machines supersede those manufactured to SAE J2210 and have the following basic requirements: • R ecover 95% of the refrigerant in 30 minutes or less U.S. EPA recognized A/C Machines for R-1234yf • H ave a recovery accuracy of +/- 1.0 ounces • M aintain a recharge accuracy of +/0.5 ounces • R ecycle the refrigerant to the SAE J2099 standard • P ermit automatic oil injection unless designated for High Voltage electric compressor service For R-1234yf systems, the U.S. EPA requires technicians to use SAE J2843-certified machines when servicing for compensation. These machines have the following basic requirements: • R equire a refrigerant analyzer test prior to recovery • R ecover the 95% of the refrigerant in 30 minutes or less • M aintain a recovery accuracy of +/- 1.0 ounces • H ave a recharge accuracy of +/- 0.5 ounces • R ecycle the refrigerant to the SAE J2099 standard • P rohibit automatic oil injection • R equire a vacuum decay test hold prior to recharging • R equire a leak test hold after charging 15% of the specified charge prior to completing the charge SAE J3030 is a standard that requires the equipment to first meet the J2788 and J2843 standards. In addition, the J3030 standard defines the requirements for internal cleaning of the machine when changing refrigerants. J3030 machines can either be a one-time changeover or go back and forth between refrigerants while using a clearing process. A full list of all U.S. EPA-approved A/C Service machines can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/mvac/section-609-certified-equipment
17 AC tion — May 2023
VACUUM PUMP & MICRON GAUGE
Vacuum pumps are essential tools in the workshop when working on a vehicle’s A/C system. Having a quality vacuum pump allows the technician to evacuate air and moisture from an A/C system, which has been reassembled after component replacement, without having to connect an A/C service machine. Having a vacuum pump and micron gauge to monitor the vacuum level will help the technician identify any leaks in the system prior to connecting the A/C service machine and recharging with refrigerant. Mastercool 90059-B vacuum pump
Vacuum pump oil should be changed regularly to ensure the pump pulls a deep vacuum. Vehicle A/C systems are typically 0.5 – 3.0 ft3 in volume. When selecting a vacuum pump for an automotive application, a higher cubic feet/minute (CFM) rating does not necessarily indicate better performance. Manifold gauges get you close, but they’re not very accurate when you get near the end of an evacuation procedure. A micron gauge is used to measure the last inch of vacuum when evacuating an A/C system. There are 25,900 microns between 28.9 inHg and 29.9 inHg.
Robinair RAVG-1 micron gauge
SERVICE PORT VALVE CORE TOOL
Mastercool 58490-yf valve core tool
A/C service ports are a common source of leaks over time as the valve core seat has a finite number of depressions. The rubber seat can become contaminated with dirt and debris and allow a slow leak to occur. While the service port cap is noted as the primary seal, the valve core is the first line of defense, and we have all seen vehicles come in with the caps missing. If a vehicle comes in empty and you repair the system, the only way to check the service port for leaks is to charge the system and use an ELD or dye to identify a leak. This is where a quality valve core tool offers great benefit. These tools allow you to change the valve core quickly without discharging the system.
A/C SEALANT FILTER
Like it or not, The U.S. EPA allows small cans of refrigerant to be sold to consumers. These small cans are used to top off systems and often contain sealants and other materials that the standard A/C service machine was not designed to handle. In many cases, simply adding refrigerant in the driveway of Joe Backyard Mechanics home does not solve the problem and, eventually, the vehicle ends up in the service bay of a local repair shop.
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Some sealants do a great job of sealing; however, they are indiscriminate in what they seal. This could be small passages within the vehicle’s refrigerant loop or in the solenoids and other orifices of an A/C service machine. In order to protect your A/C service machine, consider installing a secondary filter on both the high and low side hoses between the vehicle and A/C service machine before recovering the refrigerant.
BONUS REPAIR TIME & COST SAVER
Two of the most common A/C system failure modes are component failure and refrigerant leaks. A few years ago, MACS member AirSept, embarked on a project to address both of these failures as they relate to refrigerant hard-lines with their Smart Splice line repair parts. Since that time, AirSept has expanded the applications of their Smart Splice product line to include repair of other hard lines failures affecting the power steering, transmission, oil, coolant and heating systems with repair products that do more than just metal to metal line repairs. AirSept Smart Splice
NOT JUST FOR CARS & TRUCKS
The Smart Splice can be used in HD, Off Road, HVAC and other line repair applications that can often be far more challenging to a technician and expensive to the customer.
Snap-on offers ZEUS+ diagnostic tool
Featuring a robust design, an intuitive user experience, advanced hardware and communication tools that let technicians stay connected with online resources and customers alike, the ZEUS+ diagnostic tool from Snap-on is an advanced information-driven scan and scope device that simplifies and improves workflow by providing maximum functionality in a single diagnostic platform. The ZEUS+ comes in a streamlined design with a fully detached wireless four-channel scope for mobility, ample storage for capturing intermittent glitches, a 12-inch optically bonded color touchscreen display, an eight-megapixel camera and an integrated stylus with a flashlight built in. This tool offers sophisticated verification and testing functionality, including advanced graphing features to help technicians navigate through data, a guided component test meter for verifying component failure and one-touch code scan and clear. Fast-Track Intelligent Diagnostics software provides the ZEUS+ with the information needed to diagnose, repair and manage any issue to enhance workflow, while SureTrack A/C System + software delivers verified parts Kits Tech Tips, Videos, + t replacement records and Real Fixes, Con Service K r Ki de and More at em sso it and Smart Data provides relevant t n e s s gpdtechtips.com pr vehicle and code specific PIDs.
otor Kits rM e w
The ZEUS+ comes with Snapon Customer Care, 24/7 online training and support industryfocused national online training, flexible financing and exclusive access to the Snap-on Cloud. To learn more about ZEUS+, talk to a participating Franchisee or other sales representative, or visit http://diagnostics.snapon.com.
globalpartsdist.com • gpdtechtips.com @globalpartsdist
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19 AC tion — May 2023
Thoughts from the Field
Belts, Coils & Fans, Oh My! By Jerry Lemon
o, last time, we talked about what we need to do to get ready for the A/C season. Now, we need to talk about what your customers can do to get ready for the A/C season--not to reduce any revenue, but just to help your customers cut their costs. What can I do to keep my A/C working? is a common refrain at this time of year when it is time to fire up the A/C. I tell my customers the three things they can do to reduce the start-up costs at the beginning of the season: Keep the belts tight. One of the major causes of premature compressor failure is a loose, damaged or improperly tensioned drive belt. As part of their PM process, encourage them to check belt tension for the compressor, check belt condition and check that no foreign material is on the belt. If they are using a mechanical — as opposed to a spring-loaded — tensioner, remind them that overtensioning can be as damaging as under-tensioning. Keep the coils clean. Part of this is to change the cabin filters either regularly or on an asneeded basis. Both the condenser coil — as well as any other heat exchanger in the flow path of the condenser — and the evaporator need to be kept clean. Easiest way to check the condenser is to flowcheck with a digital anemometer. This will tell the air velocity across the condenser; you want to target 800 fpm to 1,000 fpm
AC tion — May 2023
to provide adequate cooling of the refrigerant. The total will be affected by the rest of the coils in the stack — radiators, air to air coolers, hydraulic coolers, power steering coolers, etc. — and you may find that the downstream heat exchangers need to be cleaned while the condenser is good. For the evaporator, the first things to maintain are the cabin filters: clean and changed out, as necessary. Secondly, make sure that the airflow through the evaporator coil is as unobstructed as it can be. If easily accessible, inspect the coil and clean as necessary. On some trucks and equipment, it is difficult to get a look at the evaporator, but, on many, the evaporator is easily accessible. Check the fans. For condensers that have electric fans, check to see that they are operating properly. Most will be single-speed, but some will be two-speed, or even variable speed (PWM- or CAN-controlled). If possible, check to see that they are operational on all speeds. Make sure they are the correct fans and are operating in the correct direction. For cabin blowers, check that they are operating properly on all speeds that are applicable, and that they are not drawing too much current. Make sure there is no damage to the blower wheels, and check that there is no undue bearing noise. These simple steps can help keep the customer’s A/C system working in many cases. These are
the easiest things that users can do to ensure the A/C performs well, as long as possible, between service periods. Remind them that they should still get the A/C looked at by a professional at least every 2 years to ensure that everything inside the system is working properly. Have a great summer!
Cooling Corner Continued from page 10 Immediately, we noticed the check engine light was illuminated, but, sadly, it was missed by both dealerships. Next, we retrieved a P0E15-00 code, Hybrid – EV Battery Pack Coolant Heater “A” Control Performance. Strangely, the failure did not involve the battery but the ECH in the Engine High-Temperature Cooling Loop, upstream of the High-Temperature Cabin Valve and downstream of the High-Temperature Auxiliary Pump. The ECH is monitored and controlled by the Power Inverter Module (PIM). The Battery Pack Control Module supplies 300-volts DC to the heater. The ECH not only heats the cabin when the engine is
not running, but it can also provide heat indirectly to the Battery LowTemperature Cooling Loop via the Inter-Loop Heat Exchanger. The possible causes for the code being displayed were a failure of the Local Interconnect Network (LIN) Bus Circuit, a weak B+ feed or ground in the High-Voltage coolant heater, the electric coolant heater or the PIM. We followed the eight-step factory diagnostic procedure, which included erasing the code (that immediately returned), checking for other highvoltage related codes, testing the LIN, validating the related fuse, loading the F810 B+ and Z933 ground circuits with a 3156-light bulb and, finally,
inspecting the wiring and harness. After checking the entire circuit, we determined we needed an ECH. However, it was a month before one was available. Upon repair, the code was cleared, and the electric mode was again operational. Although we made a quality repair, we could not help but wonder what the next thing would be that we would need to learn with this ever-changing electrical technology.
CSF issues new Ford radiators Made with OEM-style plastic tanks and aluminum cores with quick-connect inlet and outlet pipes and quickconnect oil cooler fittings, the new radiators for Ford from CSF are made for 6.2L and 7.3L-sized engines. The radiators for 2017-2022 Ford F-250 Super Duty and F-350 Super Duty must be paired with engines that are 6.2L. 2020-2022 Ford F-250 Super Duty and 2020-2022 Ford F-350 Super Duty radiators will fit engines that are 7.3L. For more information on these, and other radiators, visit www.csfradiators.com.
21 AC tion — May 2023
A look at the Alternatives to the Alternatives
or the past several years, the automotive industry has been hyper focused on the introduction of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), including legislation, infrastructure, efficiency and many other aspects. There is no doubt that this train is rolling at a rapid pace, and the technology continues to advance. But what other options exist, and what will happen in the future to all the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles that are rolling on the roads? One of the early options that was introduced involved Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) that commonly use a Hydrogen Fuel Cell to produce electricity to power electric motors, similar to BEVs. FCEVs also have a battery to recapture and store energy during braking to improve efficiency. They emit only water vapor from the tailpipe and are classified as a zero-emissions vehicle to meet the increasing number of global regulations limiting future ICE vehicle sales. The advantages of FCEVs include vehicle range vs. fueling time, which is similar to current ICE vehicles, and the core infrastructure model that is needed mirrors the traditional gas station that we seem to have on nearly every street corner. Another option is synthetic gasoline, which is being pioneered by Porsche through a Chilean-based pilot project in conjunction with Siemens Energy and HIF Global. The theory is quite simple: split water into its component parts of hydrogen and oxygen; then combine the hydrogen with the carbon component of carbon dioxide, extracted from the air, to form methanol. This methanol can then be refined into what Porsche calls eFuel. Regardless of the type of energy used for propulsion, the emissions, both direct and indirect, from the generation of this energy and construction of the fuel delivery infrastructure must be factored into the environmental impact equation. Simply getting to a zero-harmful-emissions value from the tailpipe does not tell the whole story as the process of transitioning to a greener transportation system is complex and cannot be viewed in a vacuum. MACS continues to actively participate in the development and regulatory processes, representing our members and the greater Vehicle Thermal Management industry, with the SAE cooperative research programs, proposed EPA rulemaking stakeholder meetings, and industry education and training. As a MACS member, you have exclusive access to upcoming event notifications, A/C service trends and training opportunities. Not a MACS Member? Join today at: https://macsmobileairclimate.org/membership Peter Coll President & COO [email protected]
AC tion — May 2023
Advertiser Index Chemours...................................................5 Eberspaecher.........................................20 Four Seasons......................................... 24 GPD.............................................................19 Liland..........................................................10 Omega........................................................21 R&Y A/C Compressors.......................15 Robinair.................................................... 23 Santech.......................................................11 Schrader Pacific.......................................8 Texa...............................................................7 Transair......................................................14 TSI Inc./SuperCool.................................3 UAC...............................................................2
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