By Delphi Product & Service Solutions
Now is the time to take a good look at your tools and shop equipment too. Key devices such as the refrigerant identifier, electronic leak detector and temperature gun all need to be tested and calibrated as required to ensure they are performing to manufacturer specifications. You don’t want the first repair of the season to be the time when you discover something isn’t working right. Fortunately, just a little bit of preventative maintenance can go a long way.
Your recovery/recycle machine generates significant amount of revenue for your business, and just like your car, it needs some TLC to keep it running efficiently.
- Change the oil in the vacuum pump
- Calibrate the scales and gauges
- Inspect all hoses for cracks and splits
- Check the gauges for leaks
- Purge the storage tanks of air
- Replace particulate and oil filters
- Examine the O-rings at the service couplers for wear
To avoid inaccurate measurements in the recovery reservoir, you should also check it for “leftover” oil from the previous season.
A deep vacuum test is also highly recommended. If your unit can’t achieve a deep vacuum, you won’t be able to secure a proper charge of the refrigerant and oil following a repair. An improper refrigerant charge can lead to premature component failures, particularly with compressors.
Each technician needs to have a technician’s certification approved by the Environmental Protection Agency to handle refrigerants. Given that testing is involved to obtain the certification, timing can become an issue. Don’t wait – take the steps necessary to lineup any training and testing.
Oil and O-Rings
Most A/C system oils and lubricants have a shelf life. Using anything past the expiration date could damage the system you’ve just repaired. Survey your inventory and replace as needed. O-rings won’t last forever on the shelf either. They should be inspected for cracks and splitting.
Making sure your consumables are in order before the A/C season kicks into high gear will go a long way toward minimizing repair delays and potential comebacks.
Consider Upgrading Your Tool Box
Unfortunately, spanner wrenches won’t work on newer-style compressor clutches. If you haven’t invested yet in a compressor turning tool, now’s the time. This provides an easier method of clutch rotation and allows it to be done on the vehicle.