A/C Performance Inspection

 

When your auto air conditioning systems break down, A/C refrigerant leaks. Not only is this refrigerant harmful to our environment, it’s also harmful to your car. Leaking refrigerant can damage your vehicle’s evaporator and compressor; two major components in your A/C system. Getting your vehicle air conditioner service at the first sign of trouble will save you both money and time. Come to Dales Auto Service for an A/C service or repair before any damage spreads.

All A/C repair and A/C services are handled by our ASE-certified technicians. Your car is in good hands with our expert auto technicians; they will examine your car’s A/C system to see if there is a leak – and if there is, we will issue a firm estimate for the repair. When temperatures rise, there’s nothing more refreshing than climbing into a cool, air-conditioned vehicle or either quickly defrosting your windshield on those cold, rainy days.

Over time, however, A/C fittings become loose, O-rings, hoses and seals wear out – and your refreshingly icy blast … stops. Get the blast back at Dales Auto Service. Our expert auto technicians offer the best car AC service and AC repair at competitive prices.

 


 

COMMON CAUSES OF A/C MALFUNCTION

 

Compressor

ac compressorThis is the heart of your a/c system. The compressor is what takes the refrigerant (the gas) and pressurizes it so it will cool the air. It’s run by an engine belt. The compressor also has an electrically operated clutch that turns the compressor on and off as you demand more cool air.

To keep your car’s compressor in shape throughout the year, it’s recommended that you run the A/C compressor regularly, to keep the system working properly and to extend its longevity. Many cars use the A/C compressor for functions of heating and ventilation in the defrost cycle, too. But if your car doesn’t, you should run the compressor for at least 10 minutes each month, even during the winter months.

 

Condenser

ac condenser

The condenser is like a miniature radiator, usually mounted at the front of the car right next to your engine radiator. Sometimes the condenser will have its own electric cooling fan, too. The hot, compressed air passes through the condenser and gets cooler. As it cools, it becomes a liquid.

Condensers can suffer a seam or weld failure, resulting in leakage. Because of the condenser’s “up front” mounting location, they can easily suffer physical damage, from debris like small stones and such kicked up off the road, or from front-end collisions.  In the vast majority of circumstances, internally clogged, leaking, or damaged condensers are not repaired, but replaced with new units.

 

Thermal Expansion Valve / Orifice Tube

ac expansion orriface tube

 

You don’t always want to freeze your toes off, so the a/c system has either an Expansion Valve or Orifice Tube that controls the flow of super-cool refrigerant to the evaporator. This way you can regulate how cold the air blowing on you gets. There are a few types of valves in use these days, but they all do the same thing.

Reasons why they stop working:

◾Clogging or blockage

◾Sticking either open or closed, or partially open or closed

◾Loss of proper metering ability due to wear, or an internal failure

 

Driers/Accumulators

ac dryer

As the refrigerant moves out of the condenser, the liquid goes through a little reservoir (drier) installed in the line. This drier/accumulator contains desiccants, small granules that attract water.  In the drier/accumulator, they remove any water that has entered the system. If the water is allowed to remain and possibly form ice crystals, it can damage the air conditioning system.

Receiver/driers and accumulators rarely fail themselves, but as mentioned previously, need to be replaced whenever the system is opened for any other type of service. When a failure does occur with a receiver/drier or accumulator, it is usually due either to clogging from debris inside the A/C system (like from a failing or failed compressor), or that the bag containing the desiccant has broken open, allowing desiccant material to circulate throughout the system with refrigerant and lubricant.

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