Q. Do you charge for a diagnostics or estimates?

A. We do require that you bring the vehicle to us early and drop it off for several hours to allow us time to properly assess the problem and quote it with a timeframe to repair.

Q. Do you provide estimates over the phone on vehicles that have been diagnosed elsewhere?

A. We prefer not to provide estimates over the phone on vehicles that have been diagnosed elsewhere.  Many times the prior diagnosis is either incorrect, or incomplete.See above!

Q. Do you install parts that were purchased elsewhere?

A. We prefer not to install parts that you have purchased elsewhere (especially from the internet) and that has not been professionally diagnosed.  I will not be able to provide any warranty on those parts, or repair and if there is a failure the warranty process is usually not as advertised.  We provide a full warranty on anything that we do.

Q. Do you provide estimates based on another professional diagnosis?

A. I will provide an “Estimate” based on another professional diagnosis if done via email and the VIN and complete vehicle description is provided such as 2, or 4 wheel drive, automatic, or manual transmission etc.

Q. How does my car’s air conditioning system works?

A. I’ll start with the Refrigerant, also referred to as “Freon.” In the early stages of Automotive A/C the refrigerant used was R12, or Dichlorodifluoromethane. In the mid 1990s the Refrigerant of choice was changed to R134a, or Tetrafluoroethane. To put it into simple terms, the refrigerant reacts very well to pressure changes in the way of temperature changes.

There are two types of systems typically used in the automotive industry. One system uses a Receiver Drier and Expansion Valve (primarily in Asian vehicles), while the other type uses a Fixed Orifice and an Accumulator (primarily in Domestic vehicles).

At the risk of a “Chicken, or the Egg” argument, I am going to use the compressor as the starting point. The compressor is similar to an engine, instead of the suction and discharging of air and fuel, the compressor works with refrigerant. The refrigerant is compressed and then discharged as a hot, high pressure gas – typically (depending on the ambient temperature) 250 PSI – and moves into the condenser. The condenser works the same in the same way as the radiator using incoming outside air flow from a fan and/or air forced across the condenser by forward vehicle movement. Here the refrigerant is cooled and condensed into a hot, high pressure liquid and moved to the fixed orifice (domestic vehicle), or expansion valve (Asian vehicle) where the refrigerant is reduced in pressure where it becomes a cold, low pressure liquid, approximately 30 PSI, where it then moves into the evaporator. This is where the blower motor (interior fan motor) blows across the evaporator and forces cold air into the passenger cabin. As warm ambient air is forced across the evaporator, the refrigerant changes into a cold, low pressure gas and in a domestic vehicle it moves into the accumulator where since a liquid cannot be compressed and any refrigerant not evaporated is stored and allowed to warm and is converted back into a gas where it is drawn back into the compressor and the process starts over again.

Q. What causes my auto A/C System to Fails?

A. In the air conditioning system, the compressor kills the condenser, then the condenser kills the compressor. Wow, what a vicious circle. Let me explain. The air conditioning compressor is not unlike the engine that powers it. It has pistons, valves, springs, a rotating shaft and seals; whereas the engine draws in air and fuel, the compressor draws in refrigerant (freon) and oil. To put it simply in both the engine and the compressor, one side pulls in , the other side pushed out. What happens when the engine runs out of oil? Exact same scenario with the compressor when it runs out of oil. It comes apart, but the death is a slow one that in most cases can be stopped before there is a catastrophic failure. The oil adheres to the molecules of the refrigerant and when the refrigerant leaks (even from a small leak), out comes the oil and in the majority of systems there is approximately only 8 ounces of oil in the system. Enough refrigerant leaks, no cold air. Your friendly shop with all good intentions tops off the system, but guess what? Adds no oil, or adds too much oil (you cannot compress a liquid, but that’s for another discussion) and the result, while not immediate, is compressor deterioration internally. 

This same procedure is happening over and over again if you have chosen to have the system refilled every so often. Those little particles of metal come out of the compressor mixed with the oil, which is mixed with the refrigerant, and they find their way into the small tubes of the condenser and into the driers of the vehicles equipped with them. A new compressor is installed, the system is filled with oil and refrigerant and AAAH, cold air again. But, those particles that lay dormant while the system was not working had solidified inside the condenser, are being worked loose by the constant 250 and 300 psi refrigerant passing through the condenser at breakneck speed and in time, guess where they end up. That’s right – back in the compressor acting like sandpaper, working away at all the moving parts of the compressor. That vicious circle completed and now out of the compressor’s warranty.

Also, contamination as shown on this page can be a root cause of most evaporator failures.

Q. What’s wrong with my auto A/C system? I can hear my compressor coming on, but there’s no cold air.

A. This problem can have a myriad of causes. Low refrigerant, excessive discharge pressure, failed compressor internally. Temperature blend door not moving, the list can go on and on.

Q. Can I cause damage to my A/C system if I continue to operate it when it’s not blowing cold?

A. Simply put, YES you can

Q. Why is my A/C not blowing out of the right vent?

A. Mode doors inoperative. Some are vacuum servos, some are electronic computer controlled actuators.

Q. How often should my A/C system be recharged?

A. Never. It is a sealed system that does not require service, or periodic topping off. If the refrigerant leaked out once, it WILL leak out again.

Q. How can I tell if my A/C system is low on refrigerant?

A. Simply put. See a qualified professional that has a modern evacuating and recharging machine that accurately measures the refrigerant recovered.

Q. How can I tell if my A/C system is overcharged?

A. Simply put. See a qualified professional that has a modern evacuating and recharging machine that accurately measures the refrigerant recovered.

Q. What could cause my A/C clutch to not engage?

A. Simply put an Automotive HVAC system can literally have hundreds of problems and each of those problem will have the same result, No Cold Air.

Q. What could cause my A/C compressor clutch to slip when the compressor engages?

A. Failed compressor clutch coil, excessive discharge pressure are the most common causes.

Q. What could cause my A/C compressor to fail?

A. Loss of refrigerant oil and excessive discharge pressure are the most common causes.