NAPA Recommends Air Conditioning Retrofitting This Summer
1 July 1999Keep 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.