Local News

Summer is Not a Good Time for a Coolant Crisis

Posted June 24, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— The heat of summer is definitely here and one of the hottest spots around is inside your vehicle after it's sat in the blazing sun all day.

If you're lucky, your air conditioner works. If it doesn't, you could be in for an expensive repair or a really miserable summer.

The hotter it gets, the busier it gets for Larry Hunter and the other technicians at 4 Brothers Air Conditioning Service. With the temperatures well into the 90's and yours not working, you need it fixed yesterday.

For some, that means an injection of freon or the newer coolant, R134-A. Air-conditioning units on older cars usually take freon, but since that substance hasn't been made in several years, it can be hard to find. The R134-A is much less expensive than freon and is more environmentally sound. But technicians say freon is more reliable and leaks less.

So what should you do if your car needs a cooling repair? Hunter says to know what the problem is.

"You might be saying 'I was going down the road a certain amount of miles and all of a sudden it stopped cooling,'" Hunter said. "That gives us some idea of what area to look for."

He also says to listen for strange noises and, if the isn't working well, turn it off and find someone who can fix it.

If your car or home air-conditioning unit uses freon you can't use R134-A, unless you overhaul the cooling entire system.