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The Automotive repair industry has been dealing with constant changes to the refrigerant options for several decades now. Increasing regulation has forced the use of newer and more “environmentally friendly” refrigerants that are less harmful to the atmosphere. Now comes news that one of the new approved refrigerants, HFO-1234yf, will have onerous use rules attached to it. Companies and entities intending to use it, produce it, or transport it will be required to notify the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of their intended interaction with the refrigerant 90 days beforehand. The EPA states that the reason for this is because of the new refrigerant is considered hazardous. The EPA wants this added time to evaluate the intended use or interaction to assure that the interaction would not lead to an unsafe consequence.
One concern is that DIY users may not know how to properly handle this new, more hazardous substance. These users may be lead to believe that it can be handled much in the same way that it’s predecessors (R12 and R134a) were handled. The problem is that HFO-1234yf has much greater flammability properties.
Some argue that In the zeal to make us all safer in one aspect of the refrigerant process, the regulators and politicians have just made us less safe in other aspects. If a vehicle is involved in an automobile accident, this new refrigerant has a much greater likelihood to explode, or catch fire.
Another aspect is that technicians will need to be trained on the proper handling proceedures for this new refrigerant. Auto shop owners will need to purchase a new compliant AC Service Machine to handle the refrigerant as well. Just another expense for those struggling small business owners. Consumers will be shelling out more money as well, because this new refrigerant has a significantly higher cost.
What do you think? Is the rush to mandate new refrigerants worth all of the added burdens and costs?
Summer is coming sooner than you realize, and one of the most common services technicians perform during the warmer months is AC system service. It can be a profitable service for the repair shop owner, and a vital service for the customer. But it is more important than ever to assure that the service is performed properly, as government regulations are becoming more strict each year. Add to that the increasing cost of refrigerant, and there’s plenty of reasons why you don’t want to let any escape into the atmosphere. Another major concern is mixing refrigerants.
(MACS) the Mobile Air Conditioning Society has issued a reminder for all technicians across the globe to use a refrigerant identifier when servicing an AC system to make sure the improper mixing of refrigerants does not occur, and to assure of the purity of your refrigerant. The standard that AC Service Systems must conform to these days is SAE J-1771. If you don’t verify the refrigerant, you risk contaminating systems, and having a costly headache on your hands. If an improper refrigerant is introduced to a vehicle’s AC system, you risk anything from minor, to severe issues, including reduced cooling capability, corrosion of hoses and seals, up to and including total system failure.
We carry two different manufacturers of AC Service Machine, YellowJacket and RTI. They are packed full of features, boast the finest quality, and are affordably priced. Both are made in the USA, are durable, reliable, and accurate. And both comply with SAE standards. Check them out.
Big news for the Automotive Equipment industry in the form of a press release on December 8th. The Bosch Group announced that it acquired RTI Technologies.
RTI is well known for it’s high quality auto shop equipment. We have been carrying their products for over 6 years now. Their products include – exhaust ventilation equipment, transmission, brake, coolant system and power steering fluid exchange machines, nitrogen tire filling machines and AC Service Machines.
Of course, Bosch is also a well know company. They are a leader in the automotive industry with a very diversified line of products.
Bosch claimed that the main reason for the acquisition was to obtain RTI’s coveted AC Service Machines. They are known industry wide as the best in the business.
This seems to be a smart move on the part of Bosch, as they obtain a very popular product line, and for RTI, because they gain the notoriety of the Bosch name, along with their wide distribution channels.
RTI is based in York, PA and had sales of over 12 million in 2009 with 36 employees. Bosch claims they will be keeping the RTI staff.
It should be a good match. What do you think? Let us know.