I received this message on a problem with a Pontiac Grand Am air conditioning system. There is a lesson in here - never assume that you are getting the correct parts when repairing your vehicle. A thorough check up front will save you a lot of time later. I have copied Juan's message to me just as he sent it to me - it is interesting to be getting auto repair tips all the way from the Panama Canal!! Juan's English may not be perfect but it is obvious that his air conditioning and observing skills are superior.

Hi Bob: I am an air conditioning mechanic, sorry for my speling but this is my second lenguage. The feeld that I am most involve is in cars air conditioning. I own a shop, and one of my competitors (friend of me) call me last week and ask me if I ascept a car of une of his customers that he was working on and can not fix it. Well Bob, I assept the challenge and told the collegy to send me the car.

It was a Pountiac Gran-am 1994.At the begining the first problem was a leak in the evaporator. My friend put the original evaporator after flush the system, change the expansion valve (yes expansion valve) and change the drier. The problem was a poor cooling, he spend a lot of money charging and re-charging the sistem w/R-134a but with no lock.

First I check for proper identification of type of refrigerant in system w/my refrigerant identification machine and check the book for proper charge. Then I recovery and recicle the R-134a and proper charge the sistem w/a charge cylinder. I put back to work the air conditioning and the same, poor cooling. I open all the system to look for something wrong and check w/the book but all was looking good, except for something that call my atention and was a welding fitting in the liquid line of the evaporator. This car use a metric R-134a expansion valve, my friend was looking for it but with no lock. I pull out the valve and order one from my supplier in texas, and wait for 2 weeks it arrival in my country Panama (Panama Canal!!), finaly the valve arrived and I put it on and the system start cooling like new. This car use one valve for the R-12 vercion and other valve w/R-134a vercion. You can not mix it because it will not cool.

Thanks Juan

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