Category: Technical Tips

SPRING HVAC Tech Tips from RedDOT

Spring HVAC Tech Tips to ensure your AC system and its components perform optimally. Spring has officially sprung and the shift from cold to warm weather can prove impactful to mobile HVAC systems. Following best practices will help to weather even the most extreme seasons and keep your AC systems operating optimally. Read on for some technical tips on maintaining system integrity.  
 

  1. Close your HVAC’s water valve 

During winter, many people will keep their water valves open as they use their heating system. An important part of the shifting weather is to ensure that your water valve is operational and closed. When left open, the system will emit warm air even when the A/C is turned on. 
 

  1. Check for refrigerant leaks 

Most HVAC systems haven’t had their A/C turned on for months because they’re just used for heat during the winter. If an A/C system sits idle for extended periods of time, it can lead to the system’s refrigerant leaking out of the face seal. To check for a refrigerant leak, look for traces of oil on the system’s fittings, or use an electronic leak detector and check the service ports and charge ports where the gauge set is attached. 

  1. Inspect compressor belts for wear and tear 

Since A/C compressor belts are made of rubber, with time and use they will begin to eventually wear and will need to be replaced. Be sure to check the belt for any cracks, abrasions or glazing that will indicate wear and tear. You should also check your compressor belt for proper tension because too much tension will put too much side load on the clutch bearings and cause a leak, whereas too little tension will cause the belt to slip and generate heat, burning off the belt or clutch. 

  1. Ensure proper airflow 

Air filters should be cleaned every time a vehicle undergoes an inspection to ensure proper airflow and the quality of air that an operator will be breathing. It’s also important for air inlets in the operator cab to remain free from obstructions. Air inlets are usually behind the driver’s seat and can be unintentionally covered up by the vehicle operator. If you put your lunch, dog, coat, etc. behind your seat, you may block the inlet and prevent your A/C from properly blowing air.     

For more information on Air Conditioning, Filtration, Heating & Pressurization, call the mobile HVAC specialist Arctic Traveler Canada at 800-295-4156.

More Tech tips
AC Preventative Maintenance 

How To Inspect an A/C Compressor
A/C Compressor Check Up
How To Troubleshoot your A/C Electrical system
Why Do a Winter time PM on your A/C System

On YouTube

How To and Which Components to Inspect 
Basic A/C Troubleshooting.

How to inspect an A/C Compressor

Take these steps to inspect an A/C compressor to ensure it really needs replacing before you pull it from a heavy-duty vehicle:

1. Is The Compressor Rotation Smooth?
With the vehicle off, turn the compressor shaft with a 14-mm socket. If you feel grinding or hanging as you rotate the shaft, it’s probably due to broken components within the compressor. If the rotation is smooth, move on to Step 2.

2. Is The Coil Getting More Than 11.5 Volts?
Take a reading with the engine running and the clutch engaged. If there’s insufficient voltage, get to work on that. Otherwise, move on to Step 3.

3. Is The Coil Resistance Between 2.8 And 4.4 Ohms?
Any resistance outside this range will prevent the clutch from engaging or will cause used circuits to open. If the answer is yes, continue to Step 4.

4. Is The Compressor Able To Produce 350 Psig Or More?
If not, leave the compressor where it is. The system may have a low refrigerant charge because of a leak that needs repair, or a high-side blockage that limits refrigerant flow to the compressor.

Tech Tips from Red Dot
” We see lots of compressors that are returned fully functional and therefore not warrantable.
Get the diagnosis right. Inspect an A/C compressor before you pull the component from the vehicle.”


For expert insight into common failures and causes, watch Examining Compressor Failures on ATCTV
While there, check out
How To and Which Components to Inspect and Basic A/C Troubleshooting to further your understanding of A/C Systems.

For more information about AC Compressors or any HVAC component, call the mobile HVAC specialist Arctic Traveler Canada at 800-295-4156.

How to troubleshoot your A/C Electrical system

Tech Tips from Red Dot

On any vehicle and virtually any A/C system, electrical problems are among the hardest to troubleshoot. If you suspect an electrical problem with the A/C system, here’s a two-stage inspection routine that virtually anyone can do with no special tools or skills:

1. Inspect Electrical Connections

As you perform a visual inspection under the hood (cab) and/or at the rooftop condenser, take a moment to check all electrical connections both visually and by feel. Make sure all leads and wires are properly supported and securely connected, and that there’s no corrosion or grime on the leads or connectors.

2. Check Electrical Current Flow and Device Functions

Perform the following steps to check the current flow and electrical device functions:

  • Turn on the ignition. 
  • Turn on the A/C system. This will power the thermostat and clutch. If it does not come on, use the A/C mode switch to check the leads to the switch. You should hear a “click” from the thermostat and hear the clutch drive plate “snap” against the clutch pulley. 
  • Check fuses. If all the connections are clean and tight and there’s still a failure, check the fuses in-cab as well as in-line.
  • Check A/C clutch engagement. Since you can’t see and may not hear the clutch engage, get out and look at the clutch. If it’s engaged, you will see that the drive plate is against the pulley and not slightly spaced from it. If you aren’t sure the clutch is engaged, look for the lead wire connector near the clutch. Break and close that connection. The clutch will disengage and engage again.
  • Test blower speed operation. Some systems have a common switch that turns on the air conditioner and powers the blower motor. Test blower speed operation by adjusting this or the separate blower control switch. Feeling the air flow from the ducts or note blower sound (speed) changes.
  • Inspect roof-mounted condensers. Don’t forget to inspect roof-mounted condensers and A/C units for dirt and debris. Be sure the condenser fan(s) are working properly and all parts and electrical connections are securely fastened. The roof-mounted condenser fans may come on when the system is turned on. Like the thermostat and most clutches, the normal on-off cycling action cannot be observed until the engine is running with the A/C system on.
Once your visual inspection is complete, talk to a qualified A/C technician about what you found. Your troubleshooting efforts will be rewarded with a speedier repair and perhaps a lower repair bill.

Quick Heater Service Tip from Reddot
  • When the status is “heater fan doesn’t work,” check the ground connection for rust, paint, grime, or some other obstruction at the terminus.
  • If the motor doesn’t have a ground wire, its mount serves as a ground connection. Make sure nothing impedes the mount’s ground path.
  • Use a multimeter to make sure you’re getting full voltage to the motor. Once you know the voltage is adequate, you can then look for worn brushes, dirty squirrel-cage fans, damaged fan blades, and other more typical motor problems.

Arctic Traveler Canada
is an MSD/Master Stocking Distributor and Authorized Technical representative for many industry-leading products. Call us today at 1-800-295-4156 to see what 55 years of excellence can do to achieve your business objectives.

Cabin Air Filters

Cabin Air Filters – Increase A/C efficiency and Reduce dust, dirt and allergens
A relatively new feature in the heavy duty industry, the cabin air filters are often overlooked in regular vehicle maintenance. That’s unfortunate because the cabin air filter is just as important to the passengers as the engine air filter is to the vehicle and a likely cause of “A/C Not Blowing Cold“. A cabin filter processes the air that enters the passenger compartment via the vehicle’s heating and air conditioning system, increasing passenger comfort by trapping particulates, pollen, and other irritants.

For people with allergies and other sensitivities to airborne agents, the cabin filter represents a significant advance. Replacing the cabin air filter at the recommended interval or sooner, especially in areas of high particulate, allows the A/C system to run at optimal efficiency and passengers to breathe cleaner, fresher air, which makes any journey more enjoyable. Courtesy of Denso Corporation


Arctic Traveler Canada  carries a complete line of Off Road/Agricultural Cabin Air Filters. Call 1-800-295-4156 for more info.

A/C Preventative Maintenance

When it comes to air conditioning, a good preventative maintenance program will increase operating time and save money by identifying concerns before they become problems. Once the hot weather arrives, implementing planned maintenance allows you to schedule repairs instead of reacting to sudden unexpected issues. A/C filters, coils, and fins require regular maintenance to ensure optimum performance and neglecting necessary maintenance results in a steady decline in performance and increased energy use. 

Filters

Clogged, dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce a system’s efficiency. When airflow is restricted, the air that bypasses the filter will carry dirt directly into the evaporator coil and reduce the coil’s heat-absorbing abilities. To ensure efficiency, routinely clean or replace filters.

Coils

The condenser and evaporator coils collect dirt over time but a clean filter helps to keep the evaporator performing well. Debris reduces air flow, insulates the coil and reduces its ability to absorb heat. Being exposed to the elements, it is easy to see the dirt collecting on the fins. Cleaning the coil fins and removing any debris around the coil will ensure optimal performance.

Coil Fins

The aluminum fins on evaporator and condenser coils are easily bent and can block airflow through the coil. Air conditioning wholesalers sell a tool called a “fin comb” that will comb these fins back into their original condition.

Remember to always use caution when performing preventative system maintenance, as ambient conditions (heat load) will increase refrigerant hose temperatures and don’t forget, having the right quality parts on hand makes all the difference.

See How To and Which Components to Inspect and watch this video to learn more about Basic A/C Troubleshooting.

A/C Preventative Maintenance - a regular HVAC PM program will save you money and decrease down time.

A/C System – How a simple inspection can save

RedDot

Tech Tips From RedDot

Heavy-duty A/C system components rarely fail. In fact, the system fails the components because of contaminated refrigerant oil and general lack of preventive maintenance.

One of the best ways to improve uptime and reduce maintenance costs for the customer is to promote a basic visual check of major A/C components, hose connections, and fittings at regular intervals, like with every engine-oil change. This inspection routine has another benefit: it can generate business for your parts and service department. 

Many A/C components are consumable items. It’s more cost-effective to replace them than to repair them. So preventive maintenance is an opportunity to sell a range of OEM-quality all-makes replacement parts for the air conditioner. Here are some examples:

1. RECEIVER DRIERS

The receiver-drier’s moisture indicator provides a quick visual cue about the refrigerant’s condition: a blue dot means the refrigerant is dry; pink, white, or grey indicates acid or moisture in the system. Checking the sight glass during an oil change or any scheduled maintenance procedure means the truck can receive necessary service while it’s there in the shop, before moisture and acid damage critical A/C components and lead to a failure on the road.

2. CONDENSERS

Dust, bugs, feathers, and other debris collect on the face of fins and tubes and act as a thermal barrier, making it hard for the condenser to shed heat. Condensers also fail because of vibration, which can cause hose connections to come loose and fatigue the condenser tubing adjacent to the fittings. Every 12 months, the condenser should be cleaned (taking special care not to bend or damage the fins) and the hose connections securely clamped.

3. COMPRESSOR/CLUTCH ASSEMBLY

The compressor provides the mechanical energy to circulate refrigerant and manipulate the pressure inside the system. It’s the heart of the A/C system, and the No. 1 HVAC maintenance expense item. Excessive noise and poor cooling performance are the two most obvious symptoms that a compressor is failing. Replacing the compressor involves pulling down the system, which adds refrigerant recovery and recharge to the repair cost.

Next time you see, “A/C won’t blow cold air” on a work order, note that the repair and downtime probably could have been avoided with a simple visual inspection of the truck’s air conditioning system. Any time you change the truck’s oil, check the A/C.

Arctic Traveler Canada is a master distributor and technical service expert for many of our suppliers.
Call us today at 1-800-295-4156 to find your HVAC solutions.

More Tech Tips
A/C Preventative Maintenance Tips from RedDOT 
How To Inspect an A/C Compressor
A/C Compressor Check Up
How To Troubleshoot your A/C Electrical system
Why Do a Winter time PM on your A/C System

A/C Compressor Check

Wondering why your system has a low refrigerant charge?
It could be because of a leak that needs repair, or a high-side blockage that limits refrigerant flow to the compressor. Diagnose those problems first, and if not resolved, perform this simple 4 step A/C compressor function check, before you remove the compressor from a vehicle. 

Service Tip: Remember when you open the A/C system, you should change your filter drier to remove contaminants and minimize damaging moisture in the system.
AC Compressor - The heart of your air conditioning system.
4 step tech tip
1. Is the compressor rotation smooth? With the vehicle off, turn the compressor shaft with a 14-mm socket. If you feel grinding or hanging as you rotate the shaft, there may be broken components within the compressor. If the rotation is smooth, move on to Step 2.
 
2. Is the coil getting more than 11.5 volts? Take a reading with the engine running and the clutch engaged. If there’s insufficient voltage, get to work on that. Otherwise, move on to Step 3.
 
3. Is the coil resistance between 2.8 and 4.4 ohms for a 12 vdc system and 11.2 to 17.6 ohms for a 24 vdc system? Any resistance outside these ranges will prevent the clutch from engaging or will cause used circuits to open. If the resistance measures correctly, continue to Step 4.
 
4. Is the compressor able to produce 350 psig or more? The compressor should be able to build over 350 psig on the high side with the condenser airflow restricted, and also able to pull the suction side down to 5 psig when the TXV is closed. If needed, the technician can close the TXV by chilling the charge head using a can of dust-off held upside-down.This will temporarily freeze the TVV charge head and cause it to close. If the compressor is operating correctly, the suction pressure will drop below 5 psig.

Need more info. Go to our blog, ATCNEWS or view more tips on the links below
Arctic Traveler Canada has a complete line of replacement parts & HVAC systems for all makes, any HVAC Part or System. Call us today for more information .  

Why do a Wintertime PM on your A/C system

Tech tip courtesy of RedDOT

If you are wondering about how to increase defroster performance and visibility for drivers, wonder no more. The simple solution is to do a wintertime PM on your A/C system!
Ensure your A/C system runs at optimal performance all year by including a complete HVAC inspection (PM) before winter.

How to increase defroster performance and visibility for drivers. Do a wintertime PM's on your A/C system.

Arctic Traveler Canada (ATC) is a Master Distributor (MSD) for RedDOT HVAC product line. Call us today at 1-800-295-4156 to find your solution.

ESPAR Hydronic Heaters – Preventative Maintenance

Espar’s Hydronic Heaters uses the vehicles coolant system to pre-heat the engine coolant to allow for effective vehicle starting in extreme climates. With some modifications, vehicles can be configured to allow for warming the passenger compartment through the existing vehicle heating system.

Espar Hydronic heaters are integrated into the cooling system of the engine and work independently of the engine, thus offers pre-heating of the engine and the vehicle’s passenger compartment. The thermal energy gained is then distributed through the vehicle’s own heat exchanger as forced hot air which heats the interior of the vehicle via existing air vents. The engine is warmed up with the residual heat in the cooling water.

Pre-Season Preventative Maintenance For Hydronic Heaters 

Before the cold weather arrives, it’s recommended that your Espar HYDRONIC  heaters receive a preseason check to ensure the heater is clean, free running and ready for a trouble-free season. Please use the recommended tools and follow the procedures as outlined in the heater manual while removing and reinstalling the different heater components.The heaters should be inspected and repaired by an Espar trained Technician, as follows: 

1. Check all electrical connections from the heater to the batteries. Check for wear and abrasion along the length of the harnesses. Repair or replace the harness whenever the harness insulation is broken or damaged. Check the battery connections. Clean any corrosion at the terminals. Replace the battery terminals if the corrosion is severe. Check the fuse for corrosion and the correct rating.

2. Check all clamps and hoses. Replace as required.

3. Check the condition of the exhaust system. Check for holes and breaks in the exhaust piping. Replace the exhaust as necessary.

4. Check the fuel pump filter ‐ clean or replace it as necessary. For heaters with external fuel pumps, ensure that the mounting angle of the fuel pump is in between 15‐35o. An incorrectly mounted fuel pump may lead to excessive carbon issues. Check the fuel lines for possible leaks, loose clamps, etc. Once the entire fuel system has been checked and issues, if any, are corrected, it is advisable to do a fuel quantity check.

5. Check and clear clogged weep holes on the side of the heater body. Look for any indication of coolant leakages. If leakage is suspected then remove the cover with water pump assembly and inspect and replace “O” rings on the water pump housing. Closely inspect the heater waterjacket for leakages and replace the “O” ring between waterjacket and heat exchanger. If the waterjacket is cracked, replace it.

6. Remove and replace the glow pin screen. Make sure that the new screen is installed correctly as outlined in the repair manual for the heater.

7. Remove and check the glow pin. If it shows signs of dissimilar colour or if the glow pin is in any way distorted, replace it.

8. The coolant pump should be removed and the impeller checked for damage. Any dirt or metal particles on the impeller magnet should be removed and the cavity in the pump should also be cleaned. Please Note: coolant pumps are not covered by warranty if the vehicle’s coolant system is excessively contaminated. Refer to Technical Circular 250.

9. Remove the flame tube and check the condition of the flame tube end. The flame tube should be light brown in colour with no excessive carbon at the end of the flame tube. Check for carbon build up on the burner “nose” at the cold end of the flame tube. Any carbon covering the air slots should be removed. Check the inside of the heat exchanger and scrape any loose carbon out from between the fins in the heat exchanger. Re‐install the flame tube replacing all gaskets.

10. Re‐assemble the heater and test operation. The heater should be bench tested for 15‐20 minutes before returning it to the vehicle.

11. Regardless of the season, run the heater every month for a minimum period of 15 minutes. This will help the heater burn away any combustion residue in the burner chamber and prevent corrosion in the waterjacket and decay of “O” rings.

Preventative Maintenance procedures – see below to ensure all your Eberspaecher heaters perform as expected.
Airtronic Heaters Preventative Maintenance
Carbon Build up – How to check and remove


Arctic Traveler Canada is an MSD (Master Distributor) for Eberspaecher productsand a technical leader actively involved in projects driving the mobility of tomorrow. Call 1-800-295-4156 for more information about mobile heating solutions.


ESPAR Airtronic Heaters – Preventative Maintenance

Arctic Traveler Canada is a master distributor and technical service expert for ESPAR Airtronics and Hydronics Heaters.

Preventative Maintenance For Espar Airtronic Heaters

It’s recommended that Espar Airtronic heaters receive a pre-season check-up to ensure the heaters are ready for a trouble-free cold weather season. Always use the recommended tools and follow the procedures as outlined in the manual while removing and reinstalling the heater components. 
The heaters should be inspected and repaired by an Espar trained mechanic, as follows:

1. Before the initial operation, ensure that the heater is not being subjected to external loads by heavy objects being placed over it. This may cause damage to the heater parts and affect its normal operation. Ensure that sufficient clearances, as recommended in the heater manual, are being maintained around the heater, even while the vehicle is in operation.

2. Check the return air inlet port and the hot air outlet port for any blockages. Inspect the length of ducting for any damage and replace as necessary. Ensure all ducting connections are secure. Discourage heat sensitive materials from being placed too close to the heater, ducting components or hot air outlet ports.

3. Check all electrical connections from the heater to the batteries. Check for wear and abrasion along the length of the harnesses. Repair or replace the harness whenever the harness insulation is broken or damaged. Check the battery connections. Clean any corrosion at the terminals. Replace the battery terminals if the corrosion is severe. Check the fuse for corrosion and the correct rating.

4. Remove the glow pin and, if necessary, clean it. If the glow pin shows signs of dissimilar colour or distortions, replace it. Inspect the glow pin wires for damage and if necessary, replace it. Remember to clean the glow pin chamber and ensure the glow pin ventilation hole is clear of any obstructions, then replace the glow pin.

5. Regardless of its condition, remove and replace the glow pin screen every pre-season. Make sure that the new screen is installed correctly. Install the new screen.

6. Check the condition of the exhaust pipe. Look for any holes or breaks in the exhaust piping. Replace if necessary. Ensure the exhaust pipe is securely located and correctly routed.

7. Check the condition of the combustion air intake tube. Clear any blockages. If damaged, replace it. Ensure that the combustion air intake tube is securely located and correctly routed.

8. Ensure the mounting angle of the fuel pump is in between 15-35 degrees. An incorrectly mounted fuel pump may lead to excessive carbon issues. Check the fuel lines for possible leaks, loosened clamps, etc., inspect the filter on the suction side fuel pump filter, clean or replace it as necessary. Once the entire fuel system has been checked and any issues corrected, it is advisable to do a fuel quantity check.

9. If the fuel quantity result is above specification, then it will be a cause for excessive carbon issues and the fuel pump would need to be replaced. If the fuel quantity result is within specifications, but on the higher side, then any possible excessive carbon issues may be corrected by increasing the mounting angle of the fuel pump to the near vertical position. If the fuel quantity result is below specification, then it is recommended that the fuel pump be replaced, but only if the heater repeatedly flames out during operation.

10. If there are complaints about the heater smoking excessively during operation, then remove and check the condition of the burner. The burner should be light brown in colour. Clean any carbon buildup inside the burner tube. Check the inside of the heat exchanger and scrape out any loose carbon.

11. When reassembling the burner and the heat exchanger, use a new thermal insulator. Likewise, when reassembling the blower motor assembly use a new blower gasket.

12. Reassemble the heater and test operation. The heater should be bench tested for 15-20 minutes before returning the heater to the vehicle.

13. Regardless of the season, run the heater every month for a minimum period of 15 minutes. This will help the heater burn away any combustion residue in the burner chamber. It will ensure that the fuel in the lines to the heater does not gel and solidify and that the heater will start reliably when the heating season arrives.

Preventative Maintenance procedures – see below to ensure all your Eberspaecher heaters perform as expected.
Hydronic Heaters Preventative Maintenance
Carbon Build up – How to check and remove

Arctic Traveler Canada is an MSD (Master Distributor) for Eberspaecher productsand a technical leader actively involved in projects driving the mobility of tomorrow. Call 1-800-295-4156 for more information about mobile heating solutions.