Technically, air conditioning in a car is not the most important system. Moreover, it is not mandatory – you can drive the vehicle without it. However, cars are becoming more comfortable, and today it is hard to imagine them without a climate control system.
Of course, the air conditioner, like any other equipment, requires timely maintenance. This affects the reliability and efficiency of the system. And also - the health of the driver and passengers. In this post, we gathered information about car AC - how it works and how often it requires to be serviced.
This unit creates high pressure to make the refrigerant (freon) move along the lines. The compressor can be driven by:
Structurally, this is a conventional radiator. It converts the refrigerant from a gas to a liquid. When the aggregation state changes, the working fluid of the air conditioning system is cooled.
The heat from the condenser is transferred to the radiator of the engine cooling system, which dissipates it into the atmosphere.
During the AC operation, moisture enters the system, which crystallizes when cooled. In turn, the formed ice crystals can disable the compressor and harm other system components.
A dehumidifier prevents this - a tank with filter meshes and a filler that traps and binds moisture.
The expansion valve controls the pressure in the system. Freon also begins to evaporate in it.
In some car models, an alternative solution is used - a throttle paired with a battery. The first is responsible for pressure regulation. The second is for the accumulation of excess refrigerant.
An evaporator is structurally another radiator. It is installed under the front panel of the passenger compartment. It is designed to evaporate freon and, as a result, absorb heat from the environment.
Water vapor is collected from the air as a liquid on the surface of the radiator, after which it is removed from the passenger compartment using a drainage system.
Used to increase the intensity of air recirculation in the cabin.
Electrical equipment performs the following functions:
The list of electrical equipment and sensors may vary.
The air conditioning system includes two types of lines - high and low pressure. The former has special requirements: they must withstand pressures up to 44 psi and temperatures of 302°F or more.
The following method is not the most reliable one, but you can use it periodically if the air conditioner operates normally - without obvious issues.
During the AC operation, oil lubricates the moving parts of the compressor. With a lack or excessive contamination of the lubricant, the compressor will rapidly lose its working life, resulting in premature unit failure.
To check the oil level, you need to take the following steps:
The oil level must not be below the minimum or above the maximum mark. Additionally, you should pay attention to the appearance of the lubricant: bubbles may indicate a depressurization of the system and, accordingly, the ingress of refrigerant into the oil.
Note: checking the tightness of the system is a mandatory procedure. However, one cannot do this without special equipment. The reason is that R134A freon (the most common) is colorless and does not leave pronounced traces.
However, the following signs may indicate depressurization:
Maintenance of an air conditioner is not only filling with freon.
The list of operations includes:
Refueling the car's air conditioning system is carried out in the following order:
Note: The air conditioner is charged once every 2–3 years for cars up to 5–6 years old and annually for 7 years old and older.
Refueling an air conditioner is not an easy task. Getting it right is even more difficult. That is why the most rational decision is to address professionals. Schedule your visit to the Indy Auto Man service station for AC maintenance or repair.