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MACS mobile A/C field service study 2016

MACS has tracked the mobile air conditioning field service experience for many years to identify trends that may assist members to align their business with current developments and plan for future changes.

The most recent survey conducted by MACS sought to gather information about the number and types of A/C services and repairs during a 60-day period (May 1 through end of June). Respondents were asked to summarize their shops’ repair activities to create the general service profile. The data collected represented shop owners’ estimates, so it should only be used as a general indication of trends.

Following are just a few observations based on the collected estimates:

  • The estimated average number of vehicles with A/C complaints serviced, per facility, during the subject two-month period was 119.
  • The number of vehicles serviced within specific vintage ranges were estimated as:
    • 1 – 5 years old: 12%
    • 6 – 10 years old: 42%
    • 11 – 15 years old: 34%
    • 16+ years old: 12%
  • The number of vehicles serviced within specific mileage ranges were estimated as:
    • Less than 10,000 miles: 6%
    • 11,000 – 50,000 miles: 9%
    • 51,000 – 100,000 miles: 26%
    • 101,000 – 150,000 miles: 26%
    • 151,000+ miles: 33%
  • Almost 80% of service activity involved the refrigerant circuit.
  • Identifying refrigerant leaks is requiring both electronic leak detectors and trace dye.
  • The current service facility refrigerant usage estimates are 5% R-12, 95% R-134a and less than 1% R-1234yf.
  • Approximately 8.6% of the surveyed fleet had contaminated systems. Contamination from excess air was must common (50% of contaminated systems), with the remaining contamination of systems unidentified (except for hydrocarbons).
  • Fifty-three percent of the poor cooling complaints were due to a low refrigerant charge, and 23.5% were component failures resulting in a complete loss of system refrigerant.
  • Sixty-eight percent of facilities reported adding lubricant at time of service. The amount averaged 2.4 ounces. (The factory lubricant charge in today’s compressors, in many cases, is only 3.5 ounces (100 grams).

Note: Some question whether legacy standards for the amount of oil to be added for component replacement are still valid, given that current systems use less lubricant and there are some compressor designs that retain the lubricant reducing the amount in circulation.

  • None of the respondents reported that they install performance or sealer additives.

The full report is available on the MACS website to MACS members only. Not a MACS member yet? Join us now or call 215-631-7020 x 0.

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