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NAPA Recommends Air Conditioning Retrofitting This Summer

1 July 1999

Keep Your Car Cool and the Air Clean NAPA Recommends Air Conditioning Retrofitting This Summer
    ATLANTA, June 30 -- Beaches, baseball games and barbecues
mean summer is heating up and so is your car.  If you want to keep cool and
your car air conditioning (A/C) system is failing, then retrofitting may be
the answer.
    Retrofitting updates a vehicle's A/C system to utilize the new
environmentally friendly refrigerant, R-134a, replacing the harmful and
expensive refrigerant, R-12, commonly known as Freon.
    NAPA (The National Automotive Parts Association) recommends consumers get
an annual A/C inspection to avoid leaks.  Motorists are also advised to ask
their automotive technicians about retrofitting, since more than half the cars
on the road use R-12.
    "Generally, A/C retrofits of an undamaged system cost around $200," said
Jim Kiple, director of technical services for NAPA.  "That may seem expensive,
but it is a small price to pay when retrofitting will save you money on future
repairs, possibly increase the value of your car and help protect the
depleting ozone layer."

    What's The Difference Between R-12 and R-134a?
    The production of R-12 was discontinued in 1995 as a result of the 1990
Clean Air Act.  Consequently, R-134a was developed as an environmentally safe
refrigerant.  However, all automobiles made prior to 1992 and most made from
1992-1994 have A/C systems that use R-12.

    Retrofitting Saves Money
    Retrofitting is inexpensive; the alternative could be costly.  It can take
as much as three pounds of refrigerant to "recharge" an A/C system.  R-134a
costs about six dollars per pound, one-fifth the price of R-12.  And due to
the limited supply and rising costs of R-12, retrofitting is a procedure NAPA
strongly encourages for car owners.

    Retrofit Options
    *  Retrofitting an already damaged system with R-134a requires specific
       parts and procedures recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
    *  Retrofitting a working system using R-134a doesn't require all but does
       use some manufacturer-recommended parts and procedures.
    *  Retrofitting with other replacement refrigerants is not recommended by
       vehicle manufacturers because R-134a is the only refrigerant that meets
       manufacturers' performance requirements.  R-134a is also widely
       available and inexpensive, and automobiles using R-134a can be serviced
       anywhere in the U.S.

    Retrofitting is Quick and Easy
    Retrofitting is easy.  The process takes no longer than a standard A/C
repair and the cost is minimal.  NAPA says that retrofitting benefits
consumers, their automobiles and our environment.
    For more information about air conditioning retrofitting contact an ASE-
certified technician at your local NAPA AutoCare Center.  To find the closest
repair shop with a national warranty program, call 1-800-LET-NAPA.  There are
9,300 independently owned NAPA AutoCare Centers around the country that
motorists can count on for honest car repair.