Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

  • Why this rating is the most accurate.
  • Our editors gather deep company info.
  • Performance is Guaranteed.

Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Auto Radiator, Heating and Cooling Repair Shops Rated Highest in Quality?

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose an auto radiator shop that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified radiator repair technician. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated car radiator repair shop and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

Read moreRead less

DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Contra Costa County – Auto – Radiator, Heating & Cooling CATEGORY

Agustin Cruz is a 18-year veteran of the automotive industry and owner of Cruz Auto Repair, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (510) 431-2541 or by email.

Agustin Cruz

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Agustin Cruz: Cruisin’

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

RICHMOND — Like most kids, Agustin Cruz had lofty aspirations for his future career when he was growing up. And even though these aspirations faded with time, the reality turned out to be better than he could’ve imagined. “When I was young, I wanted to be an engineer, but when I realized how much school was involved, I decided it wasn’t very realistic,” he says. “I had some experience working on cars, so I decided to try a career in auto repair. I found that working in the automotive field satisfied my technical interest and also allowed me to work with my hands, so it was really a perfect fit.”

Today, as owner of Cruz Auto Repair, Agustin says he appreciates the personal rewards he gets from his daily occupation. “I really enjoy working on cars, but what’s even better is the opportunity to serve my community. I find it very rewarding to help people and make them feel safe on the road.”

Originally from Mexico, Agustin now resides in San Pablo with his wife, Alma, and their children, Isaac and Deborah. Outside of work, he likes spending time with his family and enjoying the sunny, scenic atmosphere of his Contra Costa County locale. “My family and I like being outside, so we go for walks at local parks and spend time at the beach,” he says. “I also like reading and going running.”

In regard to his professional career, Agustin espouses the importance of honesty. “Besides doing quality work, I think the most important thing in business is being honest with people,” he affirms. “Communication is key, so every time you work on someone’s vehicle, you have to keep them in the loop throughout the process and be upfront about what measures are needed.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Agustin says he’d take an extended holiday. “I’d probably take my family on a vacation and relax a little. However, after I got back, I’d have to find some way to keep myself busy. I’m not the kind of person who can just do nothing—I like to keep moving. Maybe I’d go after that engineering degree!”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: I’d go to China to see the Great Wall.

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Portumex in Richmond.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Hang out with my kids and watch a movie.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Thank you cards and gifts from happy customers.

Read more

Aiding the Diagnostic Process

Shares

RICHMOND — If you have a problem with your car, you’ll likely take it to a mechanic for diagnosis. However, you may not realize that you can personally assist with the diagnostic process. How? By communicating any details you can recall… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Aiding the Diagnostic Process

Shares
Complete Video Transcription:

RICHMOND — Host, Sarah Rutan: When it comes to diagnosing a vehicle problem, an often-overlooked source of insight is the personal input of the owner. Today we’re… Read more

SELECTED PHOTOS FROM THESE TOP RATED COMPANIES

View Comments
Shares

INDUSTRY INFORMATION AND RESEARCHED ARTICLES BY THE DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESOURCE

  • ACDelco

  • Acura

  • Honda

  • Hyundai

  • Infiniti

  • Jaguar

  • Conoco/Phillips/76

  • Delphi

  • Kendall

Modine Car Radiators
Nissens Radiator
OES Auto Radiator
Behr Auto Radiators
CRS Vehicle Radiators
CSF Car Radiator
Fluidyne Radiators
Griffin Auto Radiators
Koyo Radiators
Mishimoto Vehicle Radiators
Replacement Auto Radiator
Silla Radiators
Transpro Radiator
AC Delco Radiator
Action Crash Auto Radiators
Be Cool Radiators
Visteon Vehicle Radiators
Visteon Radiators
Spectre Performance
Reach Radiators
Omix-Ada Car Radiators
Proliance Radiators
Valeo Auto Radiator

ac evaporator repair
air conditioner compressor repair
auto air conditioner service
auto air conditioning refrigerant recharging
auto air conditioning repair
auto air conditioning retrofit
auto air conditioning troubleshooting
auto heater fan repair
auto radiator repair
auto thermostat check
car air conditioner recharge
car air conditioning diagnostics
car heater repair
car radiator fan repair
car radiator flush
car radiator hose repair
car radiator installation
car radiator leak repair
car radiator repair
car radiator replacement
classic auto air conditioning installation
radiator leak repair
replacement radiators

Alamo
Antioch
Bay Point
Bethel Island
Blackhawk
Brentwood
Briones
Byron
Canyon
Clayton
Clyde
Concord
Cowell
Crockett
Danville
Diablo
Discovery Bay
El Cerrito
El Sobrante
Hercules
Hilltop Mall
Kensington
Knightsen
Lafayette
Los Medanos
Maltby
Martinez
Moraga
North Richmond
Oakley
Orinda
Pacheco
Pinole
Pittsburg
Pleasant Hill
Point Richmond
Port Chicago
Port Costa
Rheem Valley
Richmond
Rodeo
San Pablo
San Ramon
Tara Hills
Vine Hill
Walnut Creek
Walnut Heights
West Pittsburg

94506
94507
94509
94511
94513
94514
94516
94517
94518
94519
94520
94521
94522
94523
94524
94525
94526
94527
94528
94530
94531
94547
94548
94549
94553
94556
94561
94563
94564
94565
94569
94570
94572
94575
94582
94583
94595
94596
94597
94598
94801
94802
94803
94804
94805
94806
94807
94808
94820
94850

American Automobile Association (AAA) (http://www.aaa.com/)
Automotive Service Association (ASA) (http://www.asashop.org/)
Alliance Of Automotive Service Providers (AASP) (http://www.autoserviceproviders.com/)
National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) (http://www.asecert.org/)

California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) (http://www.autorepair.ca.gov/)
California State Automobile Association (CSAA) (http://www.csaa.com/)
International Automotive Technicians Network (IATN) (http://www.iatn.net/)

Know What You Want
Know What You Really Want and Need from Contra Costa County Auto AC, Heating and Cooling Shops, Including Those in the Cities of Martinez, Brentwood, and Danville

Before you start looking for an auto AC shop in Contra Costa County, or for a heating and cooling or radiator garage in the cities of Concord, Walnut Creek, Richmond, Pittsburg, Antioch, San Ramon, Danville, Brentwood, Martinez, and Pleasant Hill, think about the specific questions you may have.

Write a few things down. Maybe you are mostly thinking about auto AC expense, or the quality of the heating and cooling system repair. You may want someone to take extra time explaining auto AC or radiator options.

Being precise about your auto air conditioning needs will help a lot as you hear the responses of AC and radiator repair shops. Here are a few good questions:

1.     Do I want a Diamond Certified auto AC or heating and cooling company that is rated best in quality and has the Diamond Certified Guarantee?

2.     How long has the auto AC shop been in business?

3.     How will the auto air conditioning shop decide the price of the AC or radiator service?

4.     What are the prices for some typical causes of auto AC or heating and cooling system failures?

5.     Will the auto AC shop or technicians have any certifications, such as ASE?

6.     Does the auto air conditioning or radiator place have a good reputation with Contra Costa County heating and cooling system customers?

Read moreRead less
What To Ask In Person
What to Ask Contra Costa County Auto AC, Heating and Cooling Representatives at the Shop, Including Those in the Smaller Cities of Alamo, Bay Point, Bethel Island, Blackhawk, Brentwood, Briones, Byron, Canyon, Clayton, Clyde, Cowell, Crockett, Danville

You may visit some auto AC or heating and cooling places in Concord, Pittsburg, Walnut Creek, Antioch and Richmond and other areas of Contra Costa County. Questions like the following may help you choose between auto air conditioning and radiator repair shops:

1.     Is it likely that my auto AC problem can be determined and repaired quickly?

2.     What are the possible causes for the auto AC or radiator and cooling system problems that my car is having, and how much is that likely to cost?

3.     What will typically happen in a routine auto AC or heating and cooling system service visit, and what will it cost?

4.     What are common auto air conditioner or radiator problems and typical repair costs?

5.     How likely is it that the initial estimates for auto AC or heating and cooling work will be the right amount?

6.     How should we be in contact during my auto air conditioning (AC) work process?

Read moreRead less
  • What To Ask References
    Questions for Previous Auto AC, Heating and Cooling Shop Customers in Contra Costa County, Including Those in the Smaller Cities of Hercules, Hilltop Mall, Kensington, Knightsen, Lafayette, and Los Medanos

    How can you tell that customers of a particular auto AC, heating and cooling shop in Contra Costa County have really had good HVAC work experiences? Has a particular auto AC or radiator shop satisfied them?

    That's a pretty important issue, perhaps the biggest one, and not that easy to answer without reliable independent auto AC shop information.  Diamond Certified auto AC, heating and cooling shops give consumers a big advantage in Contra Costa County and the greater Bay Area. You can be sure of quality with Diamond Certified auto AC and radiator companies. Consider the ability to read word-for-word answers from lots of auto AC, heating and cooling customers in Contra Costa County. You won't have misleading auto AC customer satisfaction info, because you will see the researched experience of many auto heating and cooling customers. And you will have the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee.

    But if you can’t find a Diamond Certified auto air conditioning (AC) shop, check the other shops' references yourself, and don't be careless. A given auto AC, heating and cooling shop may give you some recent customers you can talk to. But that's not like reading random customer comments from auto AC shops evaluated by the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because another auto air conditioning or radiator shop can provide only customers with good experiences and keep you away from those that have had bad ones.

    If you do call non-Diamond Certified auto AC, heating and cooling shop customers, ask for a list of recent auto AC shop users (to avoid the shop giving you only satisfied people). Ask a few general questions about the auto AC shop and some specific questions about the heating and cooling repair process.  Questions could include:

    1. What auto AC or heating and cooling trouble did the shop find, and how much repair was necessary?
    2. Did you feel good about the overall auto AC or radiator repair process?
    3. Were you okay with the time the auto air conditioning or heating and cooling system work took?
    4. Did the auto AC, heating and cooling people treat you well and explain things fully?
    5. Was the auto AC or radiator cost reasonable, and close to the estimate?
    6. What parts of the auto heating and cooling work were done particularly well by the AC shop?
    7. Will you go back with any more auto air conditioner (AC) work?
    8. Do you recommend this radiator or heating and cooling shop?
    Read moreRead less
  • Review Your Options
    Find and Hire a Trustworthy Auto AC, Heating and Cooling Service in Contra Costa County Including One in the Major Cities of Concord, Pittsburg, Walnut Creek, Antioch and Richmond

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    You may already feel able to make an auto air conditioner (AC) shop choice at this point.

    Before that though, think about these auto AC and radiator shop issues:

    1.     Can the auto AC, heating and cooling shop you're looking at in Contra Costa County do the really important things, providing good, courteous, cost-effective auto air conditioner and radiator service?

    2.     Will the auto AC shop reps give you clear information and treat you politely?

    3.     Is the auto AC, heating and cooling shop respected by customers in Contra Costa County for air conditioner and radiator work?

    Find and Contract a Good Auto AC, Heating and Cooling Shop in Contra Costa County or the Greater Bay Area, Including One in the Smaller Cities of Maltby, Martinez, Moraga, North Richmond, Oakley, Orinda, Pacheco, Pinole, Pleasant Hill, Point Richmond, Port Chicago, Port Costa, Rheem Valley, and Rodeo
    The last question in your choice of an auto AC, heating and cooling shop in Contra Costa County could be this one: have you found an air conditioning location that will meet the specific heating and cooling needs you have identified?

    And you shouldn't forget the random customer satisfaction info available from customers of prequalified and guaranteed Diamond Certified auto AC, heating and cooling companies.

    Read moreRead less
  • How To Work With
    Before you Hire: Consider How to Get the Best Auto AC, Heating and Cooling Shops in Contra Costa County, Including the Smaller Cities of San Pablo, San Ramon, Tara Hills, Vine Hill, Walnut Heights and West Pittsburg

    California auto AC and radiator shops are all licensed by the Bureau of Automotive Repair, but you want to know that the one you choose will be the best for your air conditioning and cooling needs. All Diamond Certified auto AC shops have been checked in advance for high quality.  If you don't choose a Diamond Certified auto heating and cooling shop in Contra Costa County, you should search carefully yourself for a shop that can really meet your AC and radiator.

    Some auto AC, heating and cooling shops in the larger Contra Costa County cities of Pittsburg, Concord, Antioch, Walnut Creek and Richmond may have more experience or better certifications than do other auto HVAC and radiator garages.

    Now that You Have the Auto AC, Heating and Cooling Shop, Get Accurate HVAC and Radiator Estimates in Contra Costa County
    Be sure you understand the auto air conditioning or radiator work you need, or may need once the AC or heating and cooling system diagnostic process has been fully worked through. You should be comfortable with the auto AC, heating and cooling facts and the possible repair choices. Ask auto AC questions as needed, and make notes on the responses.

    Ways to Make Their Job Easier and Smoother at the Auto AC, Heating and Cooling Shop
    Remember to find out in advance exactly what the basic auto AC or heating and cooling system service process will cost. Be sure you arrange to receive an estimate for any heating and cooling repair work before it is started.

    Sign a Contract for Auto AC, Heating and Cooling Work in Contra Costa County, Including Air Conditioning and Radiator Work in the Larger Cities of Pittsburg, Concord, Antioch, Walnut Creek and Richmond
    When you’re reasonably satisfied with the cost info from the Contra Costa County auto AC, heating and cooling shop, sign the estimate and service contract. Be certain that the auto AC, heating and cooling place has the best phone number or numbers for reaching you while the AC or radiator repair process is underway.

     

    Read moreRead less
  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Auto AC, Heating and Cooling Shop Customer in Contra Costa County, including the cities of Brentwood, Danville, and San Ramon?

    Good auto HVAC and radiator repair service is the Contra Costa County AC shop's area of responsibility.  But you have your part in the heating and cooling service process also. Some good ideas:

    • Be simple and direct with the auto AC or radiator shop people
    • Be friendly with them and polite in talking about auto air conditioning or HVAC matters.
    • Be clear on when to call or be called about auto heating and cooling work updates.

    It works for you and for the auto AC shop when you take the time to be a good radiator and cooling service customer. Contra Costa County auto AC, heating and cooling shops work better with good customers.

    Read moreRead less
Check The Work
Check the Completed Auto AC, Heating and Cooling Work Against Your Written Invoice

When the auto AC, heating and cooling work is done, your shop must provide:

·      The auto AC or radiator shop ID number.

·      The auto heating and cooling system repair work description.

·      The total price charged for auto AC, heating and cooling labor and parts.

Read moreRead less
Written Warranties
Get Warranties from Contra Costa County Auto AC, Heating and Cooling Mechanics

Confirm warranties at the auto AC, heating and cooling shop before you leave. You should have:

·      The auto AC or radiator shop ID number.

·      A description of what's covered by the auto air conditioning shop, including reworking or cash back.

·      Instructions for taking action on the auto air conditioner (AC) warranty.

·      The length of time for which the auto heating and cooling shop warranty is in effect.

Read moreRead less
Top 10 Requests
Top 10 Requests

Auto air conditioning (AC), and auto healing and cooling services in Contra Costa County involve different needs. Here are some common issues in heating a vehicle and cooling it:

Auto AC
Auto air conditioning (AC) failure can be caused by several problems, the most common of which is a lack of refrigerant in the air conditioner.  AC refrigerant can get out of the air conditioning system in several places, such as at an O-ring seal or compressor shaft seal, tiny holes in the condenser or evaporator, or a leaking hose. The source of AC refrigerant leakage must be found before fresh refrigerant is put into the air conditioner (AC). Many AC systems will not allow the compressor to activate when the air conditioning refrigerant is too low, to prevent compressor damage from poor lubrication.

Air Conditioning
Auto AC units will not cool if the compressor does not run. One cause of an auto air conditioner compressor failing to run is a wiring problem in the AC system. A blown fuse could also keep the AC compressor from running. In the case of a blown fuse in the AC system, the underlying air conditioning problem must be found by an auto air conditioning professional to keep the same problem from coming back once the fuse is replaced.

Air Conditioner
The failure of an auto air conditioner (AC) compressor to run, which will keep the AC unit from cooling the car, can come from a problem in the AC compressor's magnetic clutch. The AC clutch will need to be replaced by an auto air conditioning technician with an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or after-market compressor part. The technician will also check the air conditioner compressor shaft seal, and replace that part if it is allowing refrigerant to leak out. If the AC compressor clutch is working but the compressor refuses to spin, perhaps with a screaming noise from the belt, the air conditioner (AC) compressor has frozen up and a new one will be needed.

Problems with Heating a Vehicle
Heating a car isn't easy when the heater is blowing cold air. Heating a car isn't good when your heater leaks. Heating a vehicle is largely something done by a little thing called a heater core, really a small radiator. The heater core has pipes to let let hot coolant in and out, and the heating and cooling system has an air blower to force cool air over the hot fins of the heater core: resulting in the process of heating a vehicle interior. If the heating and cooling system is not allowing hot engine coolant to move through the heater core, or if the heater blower isn't moving cool air through the heater core to be warmed, you won't get the desired result of heating a car.

Auto Parts
AC auto parts sometimes fail and need replacement. Your air conditioning unit may have a bad compressor. AC compressors generally go down because of a lack of lubrication. Poor AC lubrication may result from leaks in the system which allow loss of refrigerant or oil, clogging in the air conditioning system which keeps oil and refrigerant from reaching and lubricating the AC compressor, or the use of incorrect oil. Other air conditioner (AC) parts which sometimes fail include seals, hoses, and compressor clutches.

Heating and Cooling
Heating and cooling a vehicle are both important matters. The heating and cooling go together in the work of the automotive heater, which is heating the passenger area while it is cooling the engine. Heating and cooling are slowed by anything that keeps hot engine coolant from flowing through the heater core to warm up the interior of your car and cool off your engine. Problems with heating a car that block flow of hot engine coolant include a bad heater control valve for allowing the coolant to enter the heater core, and a build-up of sediment clogging the inside of the heater core.

Radiator
What does your radiator do in the heating and cooling system? The action of the radiator is to give off excess heat. About a third of the heat from your engine is wasted into the cooling system, so your two gallons or so of automotive engine coolant have to carry a lot of heat to the radiator for transfer into the air. Your heating and cooling system is made up of several key elements: coolant of good quality and adequate volume, a good radiator which can also be called a heat exchanger, a fan to pull cool air through the hot radiator, a water pump to push hot coolant into the radiator and the heater core, and a thermostat for keeping the engine temperature good. For good heating and cooling, there should be regular checks of the coolant for the proper level and strength, and the coolant should be replaced before the protective additives are gone.

Radiators
Radiators, also know as heat exchangers, are a crucial element in the car's heating and cooling system. Taking care of the automotive coolant will protect the radiator and other parts of the heating and cooling system, such as the heater core. Older lead-soldered radiators having copper and brass can fail, but newer aluminum radiators can also weaken, and radiators can also be damaged by rust and scale build-up over time. An average OEM (original equipment manufacturer, new car maker) copper/brass radiator will last 6-10 years, and an aluminum one will have a range of about two years longer.

Car Parts
Car parts for heating and cooling problems include air conditioners, AC refrigerant, AC compressors, AC compressor clutches, heat blowers, heater cores, radiators, heat exchangers, and automotive coolant. Car parts may be OEM (made by the original manufacturer of the car parts to be replaced), or after-market parts (made by other manufacturers). The important idea in choosing among replacement radiators is to be sure that the cooling rating is equal or better than the radiator being replaced. This is especially important if your car radiator will be handling heavy loads or will be used in very hot conditions.

HVAC
HVAC is another word for the work of heating a vehicle and cooling it, i.e. heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (AC). Heating a car can be impaired by problems with ventilation (fanning) of the heater core, or by problems with flow of coolant in the heating and cooling system. Air conditioning problems can be due to low amounts of refrigerant in the system, wiring problems, compressor clutches, and bad compressors. The Department of Transportation lists cooling system failure as the leading reason for highway breakdowns, and surveys show neglect of automotive coolant is a prime cause of failure of the heating and cooling system.

Read moreRead less
Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Terms Used for Vehicle Heating and Cooling Systems

Below are some vehicle heating and cooling system terms which may be of help in communicating with your auto radiator mechanic.

antifreeze
Automotive coolant. The fluid passing through your radiator and other parts of your car's heating and cooling system.

Also known as: radiator coolant, heating and cooling system fluid

auto AC
Auto air conditioning. The air conditioner (AC) is the part of your car's heating and cooling system that moves cool air into your car's interior and controls its relative humidity.

Also known as: auto air conditioning, auto air conditioner, vehicle cooling system

auto air conditioner (AC)
Equipment for managing air cooling, purity, and humidity in your auto heating and cooling system. The typical auto air conditioning system has a compressor, condenser, evaporator, orifice tube or thermal expansion valve, and receiver-drier or accumulator.

auto air conditioner compressor
The AC part that is considered the center of the auto air conditioner. The AC compressor is a pump that squeezes and pushes the refrigerant fluid of the auto air conditioning system for transferring heat from the inside of the car to the outside air.

auto air conditioner condenser
The AC element where heat from the auto interior is actually passed to the outside air. The auto air conditioner condenser is really a radiator; it looks like a radiator, and often sits in front of the radiator. It takes in heated refrigerant gas from the auto AC compressor, and transfers the heat from that gas to the outside air being blown over the AC condenser. This cools the air conditioning refrigerant down to a liquid, which passes back to the AC evaporator to pick up more heat from the inside of the car.

auto air conditioner evaporator
The auto AC element where heat from the auto interior is transferred to the air conditioning refrigerant, warming the refrigerant from a liquid to a gas. The auto air conditioner evaporator has aluminum fins like a radiator, which also remove water from the air conditioning system air. The moisture condenses on the auto AC evaporator fins and drips down beneath your air conditioner as you have often seen on humid days.

auto air conditioner refrigerant
The fluid used in the auto air conditioning part of your auto heating and cooling system. Air conditioner refrigerant has the unique ability to boil at hot air temperatures.

Also known as: auto AC refrigerant, auto AC system fluid, auto air conditioning system fluid

auto air conditioner refrigerant charging
Adding AC refrigerant to the auto air conditioning system.

Also known as: auto AC recharging, auto air conditioner recharging, auto AC refrigerant

auto air conditioning filter
Auto air conditioning (AC) part for keeping dirt and impurities from outside air from entering the heating and cooling system.

Also known as: auto AC filter, auto heating and cooling system filter

auto heating and cooling system
The set of equipment for heating a car and cooling it. Auto heating and cooling, or HVAC (which stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), involves a heater core (heat exchanger), a radiator, fans, hoses, coolant (antifreeze), air conditioner refrigerant, and all the other components of the AC unit.

Also known as: auto air conditioner, auto air conditioning, radiator, radiators, auto HVAC, HVAC auto parts, HVAC car parts auto

HVAC
Auto heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (AC). Auto HVAC is the system for heating a car and cooling it, including the heater core, the fans, and the air conditioner.

Also known as: auto AC, auto AC system, auto air conditioner, auto air conditioning, auto heating and cooling system, heating a car

coolant
The fluid for heating a vehicle and cooling it. The auto heating and cooling system liquid is a mixture of water and ethylene glycol having an increased boiling temperature and a lowered freezing temperature.

Also known as: antifreeze, automotive coolant, auto heating and cooling system fluid

cooling fan and cooling shroud
A fan for moving cooler air through the car radiator to remove heat from the auto heating and cooling system. The shroud improves the auto heating and cooling system's effectiveness by making a direct path between the fan and the radiator.

Also known as: radiator fan, radiator fans, auto heating and cooling system fan

climate control
Computer regulation of systems for heating a car and cooling it to a set temperature.

heater
The heat exchanger in the auto heating and cooling system that cools the engine and warms the inside of the car. The heater core is a central piece of the auto heating and cooling system.

Also known as: heater core

heater core
A heating and cooling system heat exchanger. The auto heating and cooling system cools the engine and heats the passenger area by passing heated coolant from the engine to the heater core.

heater hoses
Hoses that carry coolant through the auto heating and cooling system.

Also known as: auto heating and cooling hoses

radiator core and AC condenser
Parts of the system for heating a vehicle and cooling it, including the air conditioner (AC). The radiator core and the auto air conditioner condenser have tiny tubes for coolant or refrigerant that pass around metal fins for heating a car and cooling it.

Also known as: auto heating and cooling system, auto AC, auto air conditioner, car air conditioning, radiator

radiator hoses
Hoses for carrying coolant between the engine and the radiator in the auto heating and cooling system.

rear auto HVAC
Regulation of the heating and cooling system and AC behind the front seats.

Also known as: rear HVAC, rear auto heating and cooling system, rear auto AC, rear auto air conditioning

Read moreRead less
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ About Vehicle Radiators and Car Heating and Cooling Systems

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified auto AC, heating and cooling shop?
A: Diamond Certified ends the guessing game by offering the auto service customer a choice of top-rated auto AC, heating and cooling shops who have passed the most in-depth rating process. Most auto air conditioning companies can’t pass such a high standard, which means only local auto AC, heating and cooling shops rated Highest in Quality earn the Diamond Certified award.

American Ratings Corporation also looks at every Diamond Certified company with in-depth and ongoing research and ratings. And your auto AC, heating and cooling service purchase is always backed up by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you're able to feel confident about having chosen a Diamond Certified heating and cooling shop for your auto air conditioning needs.

Q: What are my rights as an auto AC, heating and cooling customer in Sonoma County?
A: Since 1974, the Automotive Repair Act has given you the right to an estimate in advance on automotive AC, heating and cooling work, and to a list of charges when the AC service is finished. More information on your rights can be seen at the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) (http://www.autorepair.ca.gov/).

Q: What can I do when the AC compressor switches on, but the air from the air conditioner isn't cold?
A: In general, this means there is not enough liquid refrigerant in the AC evaporator part of your air conditioning system. You need to find out why the auto AC system is low on fluid and possibly have the refrigerant refilled.

Q: What can cause a low AC refrigerant in my auto air conditioning system?
A: Probably one of two things is causing the AC problem. The air conditioner refrigerant flow to the AC evaporator may not be good. Or, the amount of AC refrigerant in the air conditioner may be too little.

Q: How can I test for a low AC refrigerant problem in my auto air conditioner?
A: You can add a few ounces of AC refrigerant. If the auto air conditioning problem is solved, you know that your auto AC has developed a leak somewhere. The AC leak must be found and fixed, and then the air conditioning system must be recharged. If adding auto AC refrigerant does NOT work, you have a flow problem in the auto air conditioning circuit which must be diagnosed.

Q: Will it damage my auto air conditioner to operate it when it's not making cold air?
A: Yes, it may damage your auto AC. Don't run your auto air conditioner this way, because it is probably low on AC refrigerant. If so, your air conditioner compressor is not being cooled or lubricated properly when your air conditioner is running. That can cause failure of your auto air conditioner and cost you a new AC compressor, which you don't want to have happen. You’re your air conditioner off by leaving your AC controls in the vent position until you can have the auto AC serviced.

Q: How often should I have my auto air conditioner refrigerant recharged?
A: Vehicle air conditioning systems are closed systems and shouldn't ever really need recharging. However, AC fluid leakage, especially during long periods when the air conditioner is not being used, can occur. You should have the auto AC system checked and recharged if you notice that your car’s air conditioner has lost cooling power.

Q: Can't I just top-off the AC refrigerant in my auto air conditioning system when it's low?
A: Not exactly. The problem is that you don't know how much AC refrigerant is already in the auto air conditioning system, so you don't know how much to add to reach the proper amount specified by the manufacturer. Manifold gauges only provide a pressure reading of the auto air conditioning system, but not a measure of auto refrigerant fluid volume.

Q: Can I drive safely with water in the heating and cooling system instead of antifreeze or coolant?
A: No. It's better than having no fluid at all in your auto heating and cooling system, but it's not a good general solution. When the water in your heating and cooling system gets cold enough, it will expand and freeze, which can crack your engine, radiator, or water pump.  Use half water and half antifreeze in your auto heating and cooling system.

Q: Why doesn't my auto heating and cooling system heat the inside of the car very well?
A: You might have a thermostat problem. If your thermostat is stuck open, the fluid in the heating and cooling system only warms up a little, and so it doesn't deliver much heat to your heater core radiator for heating a car interior. You will get only warm air instead of hot air from the heating and cooling system.

Q: Other than thermostat problems, what auto heating and cooling system problems could result in heating a car poorly?
A: Your car might be low on heating and cooling system fluid, i.e. antifreeze, which could allow air pockets and decrease heating in the car interior. Your heater core radiator could be clogged, and require flushing of the auto heating and cooling system. Heater control valves are also an important part of heating a car and cooling it, and could be causing problems.

Q: There's a strange smell when I turn on my heater. What could that mean for my auto heating and cooling system?
A: If you smell antifreeze in the heating and air conditioning (AC) ducts, it could be that you have a leak in the little radiator called the heater core. Coolant carries heat from the engine through the heating and cooling system to the heater core, to cool the engine and heat the passenger compartment. If the heater core radiator is broken, coolant could come out through the heating and air conditioning (AC) vents and get on the windshield or floorboards. Wait until the engine is cool, and check the level of coolant in the heating and cooling system to see if there has been a loss of coolant.

Q: What kind of heating and cooling system problem would cause my engine to overheat in traffic jams?
A: When your car is moving, the wind it generates forces air through the radiator, but when you're sitting still, the air has to be blown through the radiator by an auto HVAC fan driven by a belt or by an electric motor. If you're hearing a squealing noise, your HVAC fan belt could be loose, failing to properly drive the radiator fan for the heating and cooling system.

Q: What's the best way to find a good auto AC, heating and cooling shop or technician?
A: One good way is to use a Diamond Certified auto AC, heating and cooling shop. Diamond Certified radiator shops offer advantages that are hard to beat: like random customer references, certified technicians, good qualifications, and great guarantees on heating and cooling services.

Read moreRead less