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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by ALLDATAdiy.com users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.
 
 

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  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

Air Conditioner Problems

Q: I turned my A/C on for the first time this year and found that it didn’t work. Thinking it was just low in a refrigerant charge I took it to a garage. The mechanic recharged the system and charged me $65, which I thought was high for the new refrigerant. After all you can buy the stuff in a do it yourself kit at BJ’s for $30. Less than 2 days later I turned my A/C on and guess what? It didn’t work! I went back to the garage and told them that the A/C had quit and wanted to know what kind of warranty they provide? The mechanic said that there was none. He said that apparently there is a leak in system and that would require diagnosis to determine where the leak was and what parts would be needed. To add to the insult he said that he may have to recharge the system to find the leak! All for which I’ll have to pay for!! I’m considering taking that grease monkey to small claims court!! But for now I want my A/C working. How does one find a leak and repair it ? It can’t be that hard.

A: One moment please while this monkey wipes the grease off his hands. Ahh, that’s better. Now my club paws won’t hit too many keys as I pound away. I won’t bore you with the little details like required licensing and equipment that a shop must have to perform any type of A/C work. If the EPA’s Ice Dogs happen to stop by a shop that is missing a step in the rules, the tech can be fined enough to buy a real nice boat, one with a real motor. The shop owner can be fined enough to buy a house. Of course, fines do not include lawyer fees. What’s ironic about the rules is any consumer can walk into a BJ’s, Walmart or whatever and buy a kit to recharge their A/C system. I thought for a moment I’d share some diagnostic tips with you, but what if you cut yourself following my advice? Would I too be responsible! Depending on the area you live in $60 for a snow and go (short for refill the system and send them on their way) is not a high price. You did not pay for any diagnosis, you paid for a recharge. If the A/C system stopped working after a couple of days then there’s a leak. The first step in correcting the problem is in diagnosing and locating the leak. Once the leak is located the failed component can be replaced. There is a whole array of diagnostic equipment on the market, some of which starts just under $500. That equipment comes with directions (you know the white stuff with black squiggles on it). You seem to be a bright person, I’m sure with some practice you’ll be an A/C pro in no time at all! Just think of the money you’ll save!

 
     
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