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AC Machine or Programming setup

  • John Curtis
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08 Apr 2021 17:45 - 08 Apr 2021 17:46 #48074 by John Curtis
AC Machine or Programming setup was created by John Curtis
I’ve been really expanding my operation in an attempt to recover from some major financial blows. A part of this has forced me to service the general public more and also take on more shops. Almost every shop asks if I can program, which I have yet to invest in the cardaq 3 but that is on my list. I also get daily inquiries for AC work. I’m thinking getting an AC setup will be more profitable more quickly. But I also seem to get a decent amount of work from shops sending cars to get programmed and programming isn’t the answer and I believe that the ability to program will open doors for more diagnostic work.

Making Pressure Differential Sensors (PDA Sensors) for pressure pulse diagnostics.
Currently servicing Central Texas.
Last edit: 08 Apr 2021 17:46 by John Curtis.

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08 Apr 2021 18:11 - 08 Apr 2021 18:15 #48076 by Chad
Replied by Chad on topic AC Machine or Programming setup
If it's one, or the other, I would get an A/C machine, first. It is one of the MOST profitable pieces of equipment (R-134a only) that I have purchased.

I have a Cardaq-M, and while I would not part with it, on average, I use it less than once per month. Sometimes, more. If you have more demand for programming than that, than you may consider that, first. In my, not so, humble opinion, Programming is a bigger pain in the @ss than it is worth. Constant software Updates, Incompatible Software between Manufactures have to be installed on a separate HDD partition, or a different computer. (GM, Chrysler, and Ford are all compatible and can be on the same partition.) GM is the easiest, and one of the cheapest, to do. I don't mind doing GM, at all. Ford is not bad. Chrysler is a pain in the @ss. You must request and get your laptop/J box marriage approved, which will take a couple days after requesting. Rolling authentication is another hoop to jump through that requires a 3rd party APP on your phone. Then, it's THREE different subscriptions to purchase, making Chrysler the most expensive. One you get passed all that, their programming software is, actually, very nice.

My advice would be to get an A/C machine.

"Knowledge is a weapon. Arm yourself, well, before going to do battle."
"Understanding a question is half an answer."

I have learned more by being wrong, than I have by being right. :)
Last edit: 08 Apr 2021 18:15 by Chad.
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08 Apr 2021 18:24 #48077 by AJeep18
Replied by AJeep18 on topic AC Machine or Programming setup
Not just servicing the AC system either. There are some jobs that simply can not be completed without a way to evacuate and recharge the AC system. (a line in the way of something else, pulling some engines, etc... And I agree with what Chad says, programming can really be a pain, I have done Fords and pre-2018 Chryslers and while certainly doable, the first few times certainly have a bit of a learning curve. This is all from the perspective of a tech not an owner though so take that for what it is worth ;) Also, being in Texas... I'm sure AC service is an even better business than it is up here in the North!
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08 Apr 2021 19:20 #48079 by Chad
Replied by Chad on topic AC Machine or Programming setup

Not just servicing the AC system either. There are some jobs that simply can not be completed without a way to evacuate and recharge the AC system.


Great point! My A/C machine is used on a daily basis. A/C Services account for only about 30-40% of the machine use. (More in the Summer. Less in the Winter.) The rest is removing interference.

"Knowledge is a weapon. Arm yourself, well, before going to do battle."
"Understanding a question is half an answer."

I have learned more by being wrong, than I have by being right. :)
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08 Apr 2021 20:25 #48082 by John Curtis
Replied by John Curtis on topic AC Machine or Programming setup
I was leaning toward the AC machine but thanks for the input! I figure either one is a step in growing my business and while I don’t think either will be a wrong choice, I figured one will get me to where I want to go faster than the other.

I have actually turned down some repair jobs due to needing to evacuate systems that needed to remove things like AC compressors to remove other components.

Making Pressure Differential Sensors (PDA Sensors) for pressure pulse diagnostics.
Currently servicing Central Texas.

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09 Apr 2021 08:43 #48100 by Matt T
Replied by Matt T on topic AC Machine or Programming setup
R134A machine is gonna be the fastest ROI for sure. Downside is it'll "force" you to deal with the general public even more. Most shops can do their own R134A work one way or another.........

Sounds like you prefer dealing with shops, so either a J-Box or a R1234YF machine may be a better choice. Unlikely to be as profitable short term but more likely to move your business in the direction it seems you want to go.

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09 Apr 2021 15:02 #48107 by John Curtis
Replied by John Curtis on topic AC Machine or Programming setup

R134A machine is gonna be the fastest ROI for sure. Downside is it'll "force" you to deal with the general public even more. Most shops can do their own R134A work one way or another.........

Sounds like you prefer dealing with shops, so either a J-Box or a R1234YF machine may be a better choice. Unlikely to be as profitable short term but more likely to move your business in the direction it seems you want to go.


I do prefer working with shops but at the moment I need to make every bit of money I can and am getting better at communicating with the general public. I have a mobile guy who only does AC work with a dual r134a and 1234yf machine. I do think going r134a will only offset me getting programming equipment by no more than 2 months. Goal is to turn it into a business ASAP and hire an employee so I can get back to my norm.

Making Pressure Differential Sensors (PDA Sensors) for pressure pulse diagnostics.
Currently servicing Central Texas.

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09 Apr 2021 17:11 #48109 by Chad
Replied by Chad on topic AC Machine or Programming setup
A preview of, I assume, a new ScannerDanner video...The Joys of Programming.

www.facebook.com/ScannerDanner/videos/1241464562937976

"Knowledge is a weapon. Arm yourself, well, before going to do battle."
"Understanding a question is half an answer."

I have learned more by being wrong, than I have by being right. :)

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11 Apr 2021 08:36 #48141 by John Curtis
Replied by John Curtis on topic AC Machine or Programming setup

A preview of, I assume, a new ScannerDanner video...The Joys of Programming.

www.facebook.com/ScannerDanner/videos/1241464562937976

He should have called Keith.

Making Pressure Differential Sensors (PDA Sensors) for pressure pulse diagnostics.
Currently servicing Central Texas.

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