Understanding Your Car’s Air Conditioning System
As the name implies, air conditioning not only cools the air, but it also reduces the amount of moisture or humidity in the air. All air conditioners work the same way, whether they are installed in a building or in a car.
The air conditioning system in your car is made up of a compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator. If you have ever used a can of compressed air to clean the components on your computer, you might have noticed the can gets very cold in a short amount of time. This happens because of the rapid expansion of the compressed gas.
The same thing happens in your car’s air conditioning system. Refrigerant, sometimes referred to as Freon, is compressed in the compressor and turns into a hot gas. In the condenser, this hot gas is cooled to a liquid state and travels to the expansion valve. As the refrigerant goes through the expansion valve, it returns to a low-pressure gas and rapidly cools in the evaporator. A fan blows over the evaporator and cools the air that eventually blows out of your car’s vents.
From time to time, your air conditioning system needs to be recharged to bring it back to maximum efficiency. Sometimes a leak may cause loss of refrigerant and will need to be fixed before refilling. It’s difficult to tell if there is a leak without specific test equipment, so seeing a professional is your best bet.
The EPA phased out the use of R-12 Freon in all refrigeration systems and R-134 has become the new standard. If you have an older system that uses R-12, you may need to retrofit your system to handle the new R-134 refrigerant. Sometimes seals, hoses, and even the compressor need to be changed in order to be compatible with the R-134.
Corrosion will cause the heater core to leak. You will know there is a leak by the sweet smell coming from your vents.
Getting your car air conditioner serviced at the first sign of trouble will save you both money and time. See a certified air conditioning specialist and enjoy the comforts of a cool ride.
For all of your tire, oil and lube needs, see the specialists at Jack’s Tire and Oil. With eleven locations in Utah, Idaho, California, and Arizona, our knowledgeable staff will be happy to assist you. Contact us today.
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