FIELD LEVEL TROUBLESHOOTING INTRODUCTION - Continued
Do not work in an area where refrigerant may contact an open flame or any burning
material, such as a cigarette. When it contacts extreme heat, refrigerant breaks
down into poisonous phosgene gas. Which if breathed, causes severe respiratory
irritation. Do not breathe fumes from an open flame leak detector.
5. Even though refrigerant does not burn, when it contacts extreme heat or flame, a poisonous phosgene
gas is created. This gas is also produced when an open flame leak detector is used. Phosgene gas
fumes have an acrid (bitter) smell.
6. You must work in a well ventilated area when the AC system is discharged, purged, flushed, evacuated,
charged, and leak tested using an open flame leak detector.
7. Under current federal laws, refrigerant must be recovered and recycled by all users to protect the
environment. Many service operations not directly involving the air conditioning system, require the
release of the refrigerant charge. Under new regulations, shops not having the required recovery and
recycling equipment (and properly trained and certified personnel) will not be allowed to do any of this
8. Because of its very low boiling point, refrigerant must be stored under pressure. To prevent the
refrigerant cans from exploding, never expose them to temperatures higher than 125°F (52°C). Never
leave refrigerant cans in the sun, or store them in sun-exposed areas where heat can build up, such as
in gloveboxes, automobile trunks, etc.
g. Abbreviations and Commonly Used Terms.
1. AC - Air Conditioner: either component, subsystem, or system.
2. BAT - Battery.
3. CKT - Circuit.
4. COM - Common.
5. R-134a - AC refrigerant.
6. System - A collection of devices which are related to each other because they depend on each other to
do some function or job.
7. Test Chain - A series of tests to be followed in a particular order or sequence (numbered).
8. Troubleshooting - The process of making measurements and observing the operation of the vehicle to
find out if, and where any problems exist.