Air Conditioners, including that fitted in your cars, are designed to remove unwelcome ‘heat ‘ from inside, dehumidify the cabin atmosphere and supply cool air for the comfort of the occupants. Each automotive air conditioning system works by taking the heat from the cabin air to heat and evaporate the refrigerant liquid like Freon.
The liquid is pressurised by the compressor and while it takes the heat from the air it vaporises in the growth valve and the ‘hot ‘ gas is circulated thru a series of tubes to disperse the heat and in the act the Freon gets cold. By now it is clear that the most vital component, in the rather complex layout verbally explained above, is the compressor which is like the heart in your body and the Freon is like blood. At first cold Freon is passed thru metal tubes to the dash area in your car to the ‘evaporator zone’.
This where the heat should be removed from and has an ‘evaporator core ‘ looking a little like a tiny radiator with thin tubes and metal fins, the only difference being there isn’t any coolant or anti-freeze and this is cold not like the radiator which is always hot. A tiny fan or blower, which is controlled for its speed and volume of air delivery from your cabin, fitted behind the evaporator blows the air through the evaporator grills and into your cabin. Freon absorbs the heat from the cabin with assistance from the ‘condenser ‘ fitted in the front next to the radiator.
Freon circulating back from the cabin carries the heat through rubber and metal tubes and the condenser has coils of aluminum and Freon is forced thru fine slits while the electric cooling fan mounted in front or behind the condenser takes away the heat. The cycle is repeated steadily so the atmosphere in the cabin remains cool.
After having been familiarized with how your car air conditioner works and what its major parts are, it’ll be interesting to see what all most likely could go bad and the way to remedy them. Some of the most common of such Problems include:
– Low or total lack of air movement across the condenser- this is going to be due to Problems with the electric cooling fan. Check to determine if this is turning (in models with fan blades identifiable) or if undecided you have to call your mechanic
– Low Freon level – this should be doubted if the cooling potency is low i.e, even with the automobile AC fully ON there’s very small cooling inside. That problem could only be attended by a certified AC technician.
– AC is working in total but cooling is poor and engine is overheating “this happens in models where there are no separate fans for condenser and radiator, which shares a typical large fan or engine is overheating due to other Problems and cuts down the condenser potency. In all cases reach for the telephone and call your garage, before you’ve more serious problems with your vehicle.
– If the air conditioner does not begin at all check and confirm that there’s blown fuse or the switch isn’t disconnected while cleaning for example. Electric connections can be often the culprit, which can sometimes be found out with a little experience.
– If your car requires a complete change or replacement of major parts like compressor, get it from the OEM and check that the refrigerant is the right one. (R12 is being Withdrawn)
It should be borne under consideration the refrigerant which in older models is R-12, substance known for its adverse effect on the environment due to ‘ozone layer depletion’. Additionally, the substance is liable to cause injury to your skin and eyes if you try and mess with the car air conditioning system and inadvertently lets it leak. In short car air conditioners have little ‘user serviceable ‘ parts or parts and require the help of a professional and authorized technician.
Whenever low Freon level is suspected or low cooling is felt despite everything else seemingly fine, don’t desist from seeking professional help from qualified personnel. It could be opportune to mention here that old models of cars using R12 as the refrigerant has only up to 2013 to continue to replenish the banned substance.
No new vehicles are permitted to use R12, but has to change to R134A or similar environmentally-friendly refrigerants as laid out in the Montreal Protocol and directives by the EPA. Some vehicle makers have just started promoting retro-fit kits and if or when your vehicle wants servicing or repair of AC, check if you’re still using R12 or any other illegal substance and change over to authorized refrigerants A.S.A.P.
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