The world of automotive service continues to change at an accelerated rate. That includes mobile air conditioning service challenges for service technicians.
Currently, techs and shop owners must deal with electrically driven compressors found in hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles. That means recover/recycle/recharge (R/R/R) equipment must be up-to-date beyond compliance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules and the Society of Automotive Engineers standard J2788.
Briefly, the purpose of the standard, which was revised in January 2013, as stated by SAE, “... is to establish the specific minimum equipment performance requirements for recovery and recycling of HFC-134a that has been directly removed from, and is intended for reuse in, mobile air-conditioning (A/C) systems. It also is intended to establish requirements for equipment used to recharge HFC-134a to an accuracy level that meets Section 9 of this document and SAE J2099.
The requirements apply to the following types of service equipment and their specific applications. a. Recovery/Recycling Equipment, b. Recovery/Recycling-Refrigerant Charging, c. Refrigerant Recharging Equipment Only.”
If you service hybrid or plug-in electric vehicles, make sure the equipment you use is certified for these high-voltage systems.
If you are looking for the latest R/R/R service equipment, we want to help. Following is a roundup of equipment to better help you make an informed decision. Here is the latest on SAE J2788-compliant equipment.
Robinair Cool-Tech 34988
The Cool-Tech 34988 from Bosch Automotive Service Solutions LLC’s Robinair division combines simple operation with superior accuracy. It recovers, recycles, evacuates, leak tests, and recharges R134a quickly and accurately. A fully automatic function allows the technician to recover, vacuum and leak test, charge, and then walk away. Other features and functions include automatic refrigerant refill, automatic air purge and oil drain, refrigerant charging and refrigerant management.
According to the company, the model 34788 is a UL-listed, single-pass system that meets SAE specifications for recycled refrigerant. Follow the SAE-J2211 recommended service procedure for the containment of R134a.
The unit includes a 1.5 cfm vacuum pump for fast, thorough evacuation. The compressor pulls the A/C system to 0 psig, then works in series with the vacuum pump to achieve highly efficient recovery and immediate recharge. The company says it recovers 20% more refrigerant than other models, and has a charge accuracy of +/–0.5 ounce. There are two large tool storage areas and storage for an extra filter and compressor oils. The control panel flips down when not in use.
Features include full automation to recovery, vacuum, leak test and charge without operating any panel valves; automatic UV dye inject into a vehicle’s system; and automatic oil measure and inject that determines how much lubrication oil is needed based on how much oil was taken out during recovery. It flushes a vehicle’s A/C system with refrigerant, eliminating a residual oil or other liquid. (Flushing adapters sold separately.) The save and print feature lets the user store before-and-after service information and print it for the customer. There is an indicator light and notification alarm when service is complete, or if a problem has occurred. Oil injection has less than 1% cross-contamination, and a vacuum leak test informs the tech of a possible leak. Automatic air purge eliminates damaging air without monitoring gauges or opening valves. An automatic refrigerant refill maintains a user-selectable amount of refrigerant in an internal tank and signals when it is time to change supply tank.
For more information, go to the company’s website at www.robinair.com.
Matco Tools AC788 and AC789H
Matco Tools’ AC788 and AC789H R/R/R machines are certified for compliance with SAE J2788. Both models include a refrigerant database, auto air purge, auto vacuum leak test, auto oil discharge, oil injection low and full refrigerant alarm with a large graphic display and thermal printer. The 6 cfm vacuum pump allows technicians to quickly and efficiently remove air and moisture from the A/C system with the dual filter design.
For added protection against moisture and contaminants, the machines also include an auto filter alarm which warns the technician of the percentage of remaining filter life.
For more information, see the company’s website at www.matcotools.com.