ACtion Magazine - March 2015 - (Page 6)
ACS' rollout of its new Section 609 program on Jan. 1 has prompted a strong
industry response. The program, approved by the U.S. EPA in December,
incorporates information about alternative refrigerants including R-1234yf,
R-152a and R-744 (CO2). The ﬁrst printing of 10,000 manuals was rapidly distributed,
and the second printing is rolling off the presses even as I write this.
The introduction of R-1234yf has been slower than ﬁrst anticipated, but momentum
has been building. The new refrigerant has been adopted for most Fiat Chrysler vehicles
sold here in the U.S., and General Motors is expected to expand its use of R-1234yf
through 2015 and 2016.
Al McAvoy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, addressing the MACS convention audience in February in Orlando, reported that introduction of the new refrigerant in his company's vehicle product line has gone very smoothly, with service necessitated only by
collision work. R-1234yf
systems, he noted, are
"very similar" to current
...diagnosis of system failures
R-134a systems. The new
can be a daunting task...
systems do incorporate an
internal heat exchanger
and a few other component
and calibration tweaks.
Of course, it's not only the new refrigerant that is driving the need for technician
training, but the growing sophistication and complexity of system controls, which we
have been witnessing and talking about for some time. True, components and systems
have been greatly improved over time, and they fail less often.
But good as they are, even the new A/C systems sometimes require service or repair,
and diagnosis of system failures can be a daunting task, particularly for the technician
armed only with yesterday's tools and knowledge. As a headline on the physics.org webpage
proclaims, "your car has more computing power than the system that guided Apollo astronauts to the moon." An air conditioning problem could lurk anywhere among the 50 or
more computers that allow or command functions of vehicle systems.
The technicians populating two days of intensive A/C training classes at the recent
MACS annual conference, and strong bookings for update clinics that will keep MACS
trainers on the road through the spring, are clear evidence that many in our industry
have received the message: invest in training or ﬁnd a new livelihood. The romanticized
image of the grizzled veteran laying hands on the A/C plumbing and thereby divining
the cause of the A/C problem has pretty much been abandoned.
So what's our only option? Keep learning! See you in class. ❆
ACTION * March 2015
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ACtion Magazine - March 2015
Engine cooling systems: Electric cooling fan operating strategies
System Charge Determination
Heavy duty and off road
Letters to the Editor
By the numbers
ACtion Magazine - March 2015