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Caring for your Car Air Conditioning

March 28, 2019 | Author: | Posted in CARS AND TRUCKS

Air Conditioners, including that fitted in your vehicles, are designed to remove unwelcome ‘heat ‘ from within, 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 although it takes the heat from the air it vaporises in the expansion valve and the ‘hot ‘ gas is circulated through a collection of tubes to diffuse the heat and in the midst the Freon gets cold. By now it is clear that the most significant component, in the rather complex layout verbally listed above, is the compressor which is similar to 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 vehicle to the ‘evaporator zone’.

This where the heat must be removed from and has an ‘evaporator core ‘ looking rather like a miniature radiator with thin tubes and metal fins, the sole difference being there’s no coolant or anti-freeze and this is cold not like the radiator which is always hot. A little fan or blower, which is controlled for its speed and volume of air delivery from your cabin, fitted behind the evaporator blows the air thru the evaporator griddles and into your cabin. Freon absorbs the heat from the cabin with the help of 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 aluminium and Freon is forced thru fine slits while the electrical cooling fan mounted in front or behind the condenser takes away the heat. The cycle is repeated steadily so that the atmosphere in the cabin remains cool.

After having been familiarized with how your car air conditioner works and what its major elements are, it is going to be fascinating to see what all possibly could go wrong and how to cure them. Some of the commonest of such Problems include:

– Low or total shortage of air circulation across the condenser- this may be due to issues with the electrical cooling fan. Check to confirm if this is turning (in models with fan blades identifiable) or if unsure you must call your mechanic
– Low Freon level – this could be doubted if the cooling efficiency is low i.e, even with the vehicle AC fully ON there is very tiny cooling within. That issue could only be attended by an authorized AC mechanic.
– AC is working in total but cooling is poor and engine is overheating “this occurs in models where there aren’t any separate fans for condenser and radiator, which shares a typical giant fan or engine is overheating due to other issues and cuts down the condenser efficiency. In either case reach for the telephone and call your garage, before you have more serious problems with your auto.
– If the air conditioner doesn’t start at all check and confirm that there’s blown fuse or the switch isn’t disconnected while cleaning and so on. Electric connections can be frequently the offender, which can sometimes be found out with a little experience.
– If your auto needs a complete change or replacing of major elements like compressor, get it from the OEM and check that the refrigerant is the proper one. (R12 is being Phased Out)

It should be borne under consideration the refrigerant which in older models is R-12, substance known for its harmful effect on the environment due to ‘ozone layer depletion’. In addition, the substance is liable to cause injury to your skin and eyes if you try and mess with the car air-conditioning system and accidentally lets it leak. In short auto air conditioners have very little ‘user serviceable ‘ parts or components and need the assistance of a certified and authorized mechanic.

Whenever low Freon level is suspected or low cooling is felt in spite of the rest reputedly fine, don’t refrain from seeking professional help from qualified personnel. It may be opportune to mention here that old models of vehicles using R12 as the refrigerant has only up to 2013 to restore the banned substance.

No new vehicles are allowed to use R12, but has to switch to R134A or similar environment friendly refrigerants as laid out in the Montreal Protocol and directives by the EPA. Some vehicle makers have just started selling retro-fit kits and if and when your vehicle desires servicing or repair of AC, check if you’re still using R12 or any other illegal substance and change over to approved refrigerants Asap.

By Sean Ryatt. Read more: or Stokes and Renk.



This author has published 1 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.

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