It’s easy to simply flip a switch on the hottest summer day and enjoy the cool air, but how does your car’s A/C work and what makes it so efficient? Better yet, how do you keep it running at top performance on those hot days? Shockingly enough, the cold air generated by your system is in fact hot air reconditioned. Changes in air pressure cause that hot air to cool. When the A/C is turned on, the compressor compresses refrigerant or Freon. The air loses it’s heat as it passes through the condenser and then works its way through the receiver where moisture is removed from the air. It’s next step in the journey is the expansion valve, slowing down the refrigerant even more. This step drops the pressure and temperature prior to finding its way to the evaporator. This small radiator removes moisture further and continues to lower the temperature. At last, the ventilation system blows the now cool air throughout the interior of your vehicle.
With this synopsis, one might begin to wonder how often the A/C unit should be inspected to keep it working properly. The answer is – if your A/C isn’t cooling you off quickly, there may be a problem with one or several parts of your ventilation system. The easiest and often most common issue is refrigerant. Freon can get low in a vehicle, causing temperatures to remain on the warm side.
Most cars are built with the following:
– Compressor – the primary part of every A/C system, the compressor pressurizes the refrigerant the cools the air. It also monitors and controls temperature output with a clutch. If your compressor needs replacing, your vehicle may be leaking oil or freon.
– Condenser – reduces air temperature and pressure, turning hot refrigerant gasses into a liquid that moves on to the A/C dryer. Leaks are another indicator of part problems along with clogs and poor performance.
– Receiver Driver or Accumulator – if your vehicle has a thermal expansion valve, it has a receiver. This catches harmful debris, moisture, and liquids from reaching other parts of your A/C system. A warn receiver will result in poor A/C performance, moisture, or poor defroster performance. The accumulator provides the same acts, but is found on vehicles with an orifice tube.
– Expansion Valve or Orifice Tube – both an expansion valve and orifice tube constantly monitor the pressure and temperature of the system to determine how much refrigerant is necessary to cool down your car. Signs of trouble include poor A/C performance or clogs.
– Evaporator – responsible for cooling air and removing moisture, the evaporator plays a large part in your system. It’s the home stretch before cool air is circulated throughout your vehicle. It is critical that the evaporator is in working order to get the most out of your system. Poor performance indicates that this should be checked by a professional.
Contact us at Master Tech Automotive if your A/C is lagging. Let our expert technicians perform a diagnostic on your cooling system along with any other part of your car that you have questions about. We’d be happy to review your vehicle’s performance to ensure that your car will be on the road and functioning safely for both you and your family. As temperatures begin to rise, you can count on Master Tech Automotive to equip your vehicle for the summer.