Until just a decade or so ago, air conditioning (AC) was generally only fitted in the most luxurious, expensive and powerful cars. However, AC units have now become more compact and require less power to run and have become virtually standard equipment in today’s cars.
The systems have also developed and are far more complex and able to deliver precise temperature regulation, now commonly referred to as climate control. As the name suggests, climate control allows the driver and passengers to minutely adjust their in-car environment. In addition, these systems now come with dual or sometimes quad climate ‘zone’ options, in order to further optimise comfort.
Yet many drivers are still unaware of the necessity of running the AC system throughout the year to prevent moisture build-up and subsequently unpleasant odours coming from the vents. It is recommended that workshops inform drivers to run the AC every two weeks and for at least 10 minutes to allow the coolant to circulate through the system and neutralise the risk of these smells.
Head of Business Development for Behr Hella Service, Steve Hudson, commented on the opportunity to upsell in the coming season. “Today, virtually every vehicle in the marketplace has been factory-fitted with an AC system, and with summer just around the corner, this is traditionally the busiest time of the year for a service, as even the most modern air conditioning system will need servicing at least once every two years,” he explained.
“When carrying out an AC service, workshops should also consider the associated replacement parts as a welcome source of extra revenue. Throughout the service, every part in the system represents a potential additional sale. For example, when replacing the compressor, technicians should also look at the receiver dryer and thermo expansion valve to check whether they too need replacing, and additionally not overlook all of the associated ‘O’ rings, oil, dye and flushing fluid commodities, he added.”
At every stage of the service and repair process, Behr Hella Service has a comprehensive replacement product range to guarantee a first time fit solution. More than 7,500 products currently encompass the Behr Hella Service range, which are grouped under two different markings. The Premium Line includes around 4,500 products produced by original equipment (OE) manufacturers, with the remaining 3,000 products forming the basis of Behr Hella Service’s standard product range.
In many cases, customers will still be able to choose between an OE or standard product for specific applications. Standard products will produce equal performance under normal conditions, whereas the OE Premium Line offers higher performance reserves to cope with extreme conditions and are designed to last for the entire life of the vehicle.
To further assist technicians, Behr Hella Service has a Compressor App for smartphone and tablet (available in Apple and Android), providing convenient and practical access to all the relevant and important information relating to the specification, application and installation of compressors and associated components. It also identifies the relevant oils, coolant filling quantities and other characteristics of vehicle air conditioning systems.