When J.W. Smith opened his first repair shop in 1936 auto airconditioning was just an idea on a drawing board. The first models were made in 1933 an installed as after-market units in some luxurey vehicles. In 1939 the Packard Automobile Company started retrofitting some of its models with theIf your car’s air conditioning isn’t working up to par, don’t sweat it. In most cases, Smitty's Auto Service can solve the problem. The most successful part of the business, without a doubt, is air conditioning repair. Smitty's has specialized in AC repairs since auto air conditioners were invented. In fact, 65 percent of the company's total sales come from AC and cooling system repairs.

In addition to cars and trucks, Smitty's specializes in the repair of dual AC systems in limousines and vans, taking on repairs other shops just don't want to do. Smitty's also specializes in retrofitting vintage cars and trucks with AC systems. The most unusual repair was in 1980 when the Smitty's team added air conditioning to 12 refurbished vintage Willy's Jeeps. Nine were sent to Africa and three went to Hollywood for use in movies.

Smitty's recommends that you have your vehicle's air conditioning system be checked each spring prior to the hot weather months or any time it isn’t working to your satisfaction. Our standard AC service includes a system performance check and a thorough system inspection.

Are there environmental concerns with air conditioning?
Because the refrigerant used in most air conditioning systems is considered harmful to the environment, it is critical that it not be allowed to escape during servicing. We begin each air conditioning service with a leak detection test. Our technicians use a sealed, environmentally friendly process which captures the refrigerant, cleans it, replenishes it and returns it to your car’s air conditioning system good as new.

What if my car still uses Freon?
Air conditioning systems in cars built before 1995 use the refrigerant R-12 or (CFC-12) also referred to as Freon. The EPA determined that Freon was destroying the ozone layer and in 1995 all production ceased. Freon is now extremely expensive and difficult to find. PTAC offers a retrofit service that enables your a/c system to use the inexpensive R-134a refrigerant. The retrofit pays for itself in cost savings on the refrigerant.

What does the retrofit service include?
All retrofits are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Different vehicles may require slightly different procedures. We evacuate all R-12 and most of the existing refrigerant oils from the air conditioning system. In some instances, certain parts, such as the O-rings, hoses, accumulator or receiver/dryer, must be replaced to assure compatibility with R-134a. In addition, special fittings and labels must be placed on the vehicle to properly identify that it has been retrofitted. This is required by law and is a mandatory part of any air-conditioning retrofit procedure.

A retrofit does not fix a broken air conditioning system. If your AC is not cooling properly then a diagnosis must be performed to determine the problem. Only after a complete diagnosis, can a decision be made whether to repair the AC system and then plan a retrofit. If a retrofit is desired, then it is important to know this when planning the repair.