Implementing Best Practices in Automotive A/C Repair

The importance of proper leak testing techniques


It is now more important than ever to make sure you are checking automotive A/C systems for leaks – and checking for leaks properly.  The need to improve A/C repair and handling best practices is derived from several factors affecting the automotive aftermarket. 


RRR machines are not equipped to detect problematic leaks

  • As an aftermarket A/C repair tech in the U.S., you are required to have an RRR machine in your shop for refrigerant recovery, recycling and recharging.  The RRR machine has a leak testing function that checks for gross leaks with a quick vacuum check.  This is great for detecting very large leaks, but provides a false sense of security that will result in costly customer comebacks. To eliminate comebacks, technicians should use an electronic leak detector that can find small leaks that can cause large issues.  The RRR machine is simply not equipped to detect these small yet troublesome leaks.

The rising cost of refrigerant

  • With refrigerant costs higher than ever and only increasing, repair technicians need to be able to make repairs correctly the first time. If a leak is missed during repair due to faulty or insufficient leak testing, it will result in a customer comeback with likely all of the expensive refrigerant drained from the system.  This results in an upset customer and profit-crushing re-repair costs.

The unique repair challenges presented by electronic vehicles

  • Electric vehicles (EVs) have become increasingly popular worldwide. With sales growth comes repair hurdles that technicians must face in order to service them correctly. The climate control system in an EV also controls the battery compartment. Simply put, if the A/C is not working, the vehicle will shut off! Because of this, it is imperative to follow leak testing best practices on EVs. 

What is the solution?

An electronic leak detector is a necessary repair tool for technicians looking to eliminate customer comebacks.   A leak missed by an RRR machine could be caught and repaired quickly the first time around with an electronic leak detector.  

With sensitivity down to 1 g (0.03oz.)/year, AST300PPM can pick up tiny leaks that could end up costing big money in both re-repairs and time. This tool features a large, easy-to-read LCD display that cannot only pinpoint the leak location, but also help quantify the leak size using the PPM reading. 

Watch to learn more about AST300PPM and INFICON's full line of tools for automotive A/C service.

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