When performing any repairs to the AC system in a car, special air conditioning tools will be required. Most service performed to the AC system will need to be left up to a professional. The biggest reason for this, is because the refrigerant will need to be removed from the system and recycled. There are still times when an owner can service their own AC system if they purchase the proper auto cooling tools. The following are a list of tools required to repair most AC systems in modern cars.
The AC system is under high pressure, and as such certain safety precautions must be observed. The proper personal protection equipment needed includes gloves, goggles, face shield and apron. The temperatures found in the modern AC system can range from very cold to very hot and the proper protection must be worn at all times. By following the safety procedures listed on the recharge can and in the service manual, one can safely perform the task at hand.
A service manual for the car being repaired is a necessity. In it will be listed the correct steps and pressures required to properly charge the AC system.
Most modern cars will require R-134a to recharge the AC system and this can be purchased from any local auto parts store. Some department stores like Wal-Mart have begun to carry it as well.
These are a requirement and come in two different varieties. The cheapest one available is a single gauge that hooks to the low pressure port only, to allow recharging of the system. On the other end of the spectrum is a professional set that contains both the high and low pressure gauges. Although the system can be recharged with the low pressure gauge only, the preferred method is to use both high and low pressure gauges.
This hose will screw onto the top of the can of refrigerant and into the gauge block. It has a piercing valve that will punch a hole in the top of the can of refrigerant to allow it to flow into the system.
AC systems are what are referred to as a closed system, which means that they are completely sealed. The only two times it would require a recharge is after system maintenance, or if it has developed a leak. There are two ways to find a leak. One is by purchasing a leak detector and the other is by inserting a dye into the system. Once the dye has been put into the system, the leak can then be found by looking for the die on the pipes. The electronic leak detector has a sensor in it that can detect the refrigerant as it leaks into the atmosphere.
When working on an AC system steps must be taken to insure one’s safety. Follow all directions listed in the service manual and consult a professional if any questions arise. If the repair to the system is going to require opening it up, the refrigerant must be removed and recycled by a professional.