If you try to blast cool air in your automobile and all you get is uncool or even hot breezes, then there could be a technical malfunction. Before seeking out a car air conditioning repair service, it helps understand a bit about the inner workings of the cooling system.
The A/C system consists of four main components. First, the compressor does just what it sounds like; it compresses refrigerant gasses. Then an evaporator takes heat from the air and passes it through the refrigerant agent. Next, the heat boils off of and the water vapor, reducing the overall temperature and humidity levels in the vehicle. The condenser also plays a valuable role. Its prime function is to keep the refrigerant cool by converting the heat from the gasses in the compressor to highly pressurized liquid. The final component is called the orifice tube or expansion valve, depending on your vehicle. It converts the liquid refrigerant from the condenser into a lower pressure liquid for entry into the evaporator unit.
The car air conditioner works through a complex interplay of the aforementioned components, and any number of things can wreak havoc with the system. There are several typical warning signs that indicate car air conditioning repair is needed. A weak airflow could be caused by broken hoses, worn down seals, mold or mildew, or a fried ventilation fan. On the other hand, cooling capabilities can be diminished by condenser or evaporator damage, a vacuum or chemical leak, or a blown fuse. If the A/C works for a short period of time and then produces warmth, there are four potential culprits: leaks, blown fuses, a faulty compressor clutch, or a clogged expansion valve. In some cases, there may be a bad odor coming from the vents. This is caused by either an old filter or mold in the evaporator case.
DIY Repairs vs. Professional Assistance
To save yourself time and possibly money, there are home kits for checking the basics, such as if there is an excess of coolant seeping out. These kits include a special dye that detects if coolant is leaking, and a gauge for properly testing pressure and the coolant flow. Most car A/C issues, however, are best left to the professionals. It is recommended that you schedule a car air conditioning repair once a year to keep the vehicle’s A/C in working order. Most issues, after all, are easily dealt with, as long as you take regular maintenance precautions.
With this knowledge, you can better diagnose and treat any A/C problems in your automobile.