Tool Review: MAHLE ArticPRO ACX2150

The reviewers attest to the machine’s ability to save time by allowing technicians to multitask.

Acx2150 Left

The MAHLE ArcticPRO ACX2150, No. 460 80445 00, is an R-134a refrigerant handling system. The ACX2150 features an ergonomic design with a hinged service door to simplify unit service, a 7" capacitive touch LCD display, and an intuitive user interface. Its data and reporting metrics have the ability to log and monitor services which allows analytics for proactive service reminders, refrigerant use optimization, warranty reporting, and more. The unit also includes automatic updates, remote support for technicians, oil system management, network printing to print services provided for the customer, UV dye injection for leak detection, and a two-year warranty.

The review

Return on investment can be measured in minutes; time saved in the shop equates to lower costs. When integrating new equipment into the shop, the time-to-be-saved is always a priority consideration. Matt Chappell of Mad Matt’s Diesel Performance in Aledo, Texas, and lead technician, Darrell Pile, attest to the ACX2150’s ability to save time.

“I don’t have to babysit the machine … I can set the automatic features to recover, vacuum, and recharge,” Pile says. The freedom granted through the ACX2150’s automatic functions allows Pile to work on multiple aspects of the vehicle simultaneously.

“The unit arrived to the shop on a pallet and was well packaged,” Chappell says. “It had everything but the refrigerant to get started.” The ACX2150 was also packaged with an owner’s manual, including set-up and operating instructions. Pile states that after figuring out where the buttons were located on the machine, it was “really simple” to operate.

“Overall – real good," he says. "Really easy to pick up right off the bat. The only feature I had to really ‘learn’ was how to refill the internal vessel … you have to know where it is.”

Chappell admits to a bit of a learning curve, stating he had a difficult time figuring out how to navigate the different windows through the machine’s operating system “because it's android based – and I use iPhone [iOS]. But that was my issue – not the machine’s,” he says, noting that the manual is a good source of reference material. While he does not have to rely on the manual much, it serves to provide insight when utilized.

Along with the machine’s automatic functions, Pile says a favorite feature of his is the post-operation print-out screen. This summary details critical data, such as how long the procedure took, how much refrigerant was pulled or charged through the vehicle, and whether oil was pulled or injected. Since the ACX2150 has Wi-Fi capabilities, this data can be sent directly to a shop’s printer, or it can be emailed to technicians or even customers.

Chappell enjoys the machine’s ability to update its software and systems using Wi-Fi. “We will leave the machine on overnight and it is ready to go next morning; we’re not waiting hours for the update, having to stop what we are doing,” he says.

Mad Matt’s Diesel Performance’s previous A/C service unit was eight years old; both Chappell and Pile claimed there is a major difference in technology between their previous machine and the ACX2150. “[The] MAHLE machine is a lot nicer,” Chappell says.

Pile states that there were two features he wishes the machine could perform. The first being the ability to check the vehicle’s pressure levels while the engine is running. The other being a vehicle-assist on charging, utilizing the vehicle’s compressor to pull refrigerant into the vehicle in instances when the machine cannot force refrigerant into the vehicle itself.

Overall, both Chappell and Pile give the MAHLE ArticPRO ACX2150 a solid rating. With the machine’s advanced technology, ability to free up technicians to perform other services, and the multi-functionality of the Wi-Fi capabilities, they are glad to have it in their shop.

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