by Dan Espersen
Once upon a time, consumers, and many times technicians, knew of only one kind of oil, and that was “black gold” or “Texas tea.” But not anymore.
How many types of lubricants are used in today’s vehicles? If I listed them all here, it would take up most of this article. I think you get the message.
Did you ever think there would come a day when a repair shop had to worry about what type of oil to use in a vehicle’s A/C system? Do you think about this today, or does it really matter?
Do you work on hybrid vehicles in your shop, or do you feel you can use outside sources to perform hybrid repairs? Is it OK that your shop uses outdated repair practices on hybrid A/C systems?
I don’t really think this is the case anymore in today’s modern repair facility. Disabling procedures play only a small part when repairing hybrid vehicles.
This article will provide you with critical information on recovering and recharging the A/C compressor on a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid.
Refer to your technical service information source for safety procedures, identification of material types, recommended refinish materials, removal and installation procedures.
Refer to General Motors Company for questions relating to applicable or non-applicable warranty repair information.
• J4360 ACR 2000 air conditioning service center
• J45037 A/C oil injector
• J39400 electronic halogen leak detector
• To prevent personal injury, avoid breathing the A/C refrigerant and lubricant vapor or mist. Work in a well-ventilated area. To remove refrigerant from the A/C system, use service equipment designed for recovery that’s certified to meet the SAE Standards. If an accidental system discharge occurs, ventilate the work area before continuing service.
Additional health and safety information may be obtained from the refrigerant, refrigerant recovery and lubricant manufacturers.
• For personal protection, goggles and lint-free gloves should be worn, and a clean cloth should be wrapped around fittings, valves and connections when opening the refrigerant system. If refrigerant comes in contact with any part of the body, severe frostbite and personal injury can result. The exposed area should be flushed immediately with cold water, and prompt medical help should be sought.
• R-134a is the only approved refrigerant for use in this vehicle. The use of any other refrigerant may result in poor system performance or component failure.
• To avoid system damage, use only R-134a dedicated tools when servicing the A/C system.
• Use only polyalkylene glycol synthetic refrigerant oil (PAG) for internal circulation through the R-134a A/C system and only 525 viscosity mineral oil on fitting threads and O-rings. If lubricants other than those specified are used, compressor failure and/or fitting seizure may result.
• R-12 refrigerant and R-134a refrigerant must never be mixed, even in the smallest of amounts, as they’re incompatible with each other. If they’re mixed, compressor failure is likely to occur. Refer to the manufacturer instructions included with the service equipment before servicing.
The J43600 is a complete air conditioning service center for R-134a. The ACR 2000 recovers, recycles, evacuates and recharges A/C refrigerant quickly, accurately and automatically. The unit has a display screen that contains the function controls and displays prompts that will lead the technician through the recover, recycle, evacuate and recharge operations. R-134a is recovered into and charged out of an internal storage vessel.
The ACR 2000 automatically replenishes this vessel from an external source tank in order to maintain a constant 5.45 to 6.82 kg (12 to 15 lbs.) of A/C refrigerant.
The ACR 2000 has a built-in A/C refrigerant identifier that will test for contamination prior to recovery and notify the technician if there are foreign gases present. If so, it will not recover the refrigerant from the A/C system.
The ACR 2000 also has an automatic air purge, single-pass recycling and an automatic oil drain.
Refer to the J43600 ACR 2000 manual for operation and setup instructions. Always recharge the A/C system with the proper amount of R-134a. Refer to Refrigerant System Capacities in Figure 1 for the correct amount.
If oil was removed from the A/C system during the recovery process or due to component replacement, it must be replenished. Oil can be injected into a charged system using J45037. For the proper quantities to add, refer to Figure 1.
Dan Espersen is the ALLDATA collision program manager and holds an AA degree in automotive technology. He has more than 17 years of experience in the automotive industry.