The air conditioning unit in your vehicle operates similarly to a refrigerator. Your vehicle’s air conditioning unit is designed to move heat from the inside of your car to outside of it.
Your vehicle’s air conditioning unit has six major components:
- The refrigerant carries heat. In modern cars, refrigerant is a substance called R-134a. Older cars’ refrigerant is called R-12 freon, which is more expensive and difficult to find than R-134a.
- The compressor circulates and compresses refrigerant within the vehicle’s cooling system.
Your vehicle’s condenser changes the refrigerant from gas to liquid and expels heat from the car.
- The expansion valve (sometimes called the orifice tube) is a nozzle that simultaneously drops the pressure of the refrigerant liquid, meters its flow and atomizes it.
- Your vehicle’s evaporator transfers heat to the refrigerant from the air blown across it, cooling your car.
- The receiver or dryer filters your vehicle’s refrigerant and oil, removing moisture and other contaminants from them.
When you start your vehicle’s air conditioning system, the compressor works by putting the refrigerant under pressure, sending it to the condensing coils, which are generally in front of your vehicle’s radiator. The condenser expels hot air to outside the car, cooling the air within the vehicle. When this happens, the refrigerant is cooled, and it changes from a gas to a liquid, which then passes through the expansion valve and to the evaporator.
Once the evaporator receives the liquid-state refrigerant, it loses pressure and cools the remaining liquid. The vehicle’s blower moves air across the evaporator and into the vehicle’s interior. If you keep your air conditioning unit turned on, the refrigerant goes through this cycle continuously.
If any of these components is damaged, it can turn your cool car into a furnace during the summer months. Your vehicle’s air conditioning issue could be as simple as topping off refrigerant to replacing a valve. When your air conditioning unit is not working as it should, bring your vehicle to Acequia Automotive, Inc.. One of our trained air conditioning specialists will inspect your car’s air conditioner, all lines, the evaporator and the compressor for leaks and wear.
Air Conditioning Systems need periodic maintenance. This will prevent a complete system failure. Running your system with too low or excessive refrigerant severely limits the life of your Air Conditioning Compressor. Here are some indicators that mean your system needs attention:
- Blowing only slightly cooler air compared to the exterior air
- Air conditioning or heater only work while driving, not when the car is idling or moving slowly.
- Low air flow even at the highest setting
- Odors or smells coming from the vent
We can help with all your air conditioning needs, whether that is maintenance, a system failure, or if you have a refrigerant leak.
In Idaho, heaters are necessary. Occasionally, problems occur in the heater system. Does air blow out the wrong location? Knob control not work properly? Did a rodent crawl inside and die? Do you have a lukewarm output? Does it take forever to warm up? Does your fan motor squeak? We can help. Give us a call and we’ll help with your specific needs!