The primary function of a car’s air conditioning system is to cool the environment in order to comfort the people within the vehicle. When the summer sun is scorching, an air conditioning system can keep you cool and comfortable.
A well-maintained car air conditioning system can run for years with minor checks and refrigerant top-ups every 2-3 years.
How Does the Car A/C System Work?
The A/C system is comprised of the following components:
Simply, the air conditioning system in a car or other heavy-duty vehicle works by manipulating refrigerant between a liquid and a gaseous state. The refrigerant absorbs heat and humidity from the vehicle as it changes states, allowing the system to produce cool, dry air.
What Components Are in a Car A/C System?
An A/C system includes the following components:
The foremost component of an A/C system is a compressor. Its function includes pressurizing the refrigerant to cool the air and temperature that changes inside and outside the vehicle. It also monitors and evaluates temperature output and afterwards, moves it to the air condenser.
In the car air conditioning system, the condenser is located in front of the radiator. It was dubbed a mini-radiator because it resembled a radiator. Its purpose is to reduce the temperature and pressure of hot gasses emitted by the refrigerant as the compressor pressurizes it. A condenser also transfers cooled liquid refrigerant to the receiver/dryer or accumulator.
Dryer or Accumulator
Depending on the model, a vehicle can use either a receiver or an accumulator. The receiver is found in vehicles equipped with a thermal expansion valve, whereas an accumulator is found in vehicles equipped with an orifice tube.
The receiver’s function is to separate gas from liquid in order to prevent liquid from entering the compressor. Compressors are designed to contain gas; liquid may introduce contaminants into the system; however, some filters protect the system from contaminants.
A desiccant is used by compressors to remove moisture. Desiccants are similar to the small, bead-filled packets found in new electronic packaging.
Thermal Expansion Valve
The thermal expansion valve is localized in between the condenser and the evaporator. Furthermore, the thermal expansion valve includes a receiver or dryer. An accumulator is used in vehicles with orifice tubes. The car cooling system’s purpose is to monitor the system’s pressure and temperature. They also calculate the amount of refrigerant that can safely enter the evaporator.
The evaporator is located directly behind the dashboard and is responsible for cooling the air with refrigerant before it is blown into the vehicle’s cabin.
How Do I Know If My A/C Compressor Needs Attention?
A compressor can experience numerous technical glitches and provides the following warning signs:
A/C Is Not As Cold As It Should Be
If the air coming from the vents when the A/C is turned on is not as cold as you remember, you may have a problem with the A/C compressor.
Other issues with the system could be causing the air to be warmer than usual, but a bad compressor is certainly one possibility.
You can have the temperature of the air tested to see if it is indeed higher than it should be.
Noises Coming From The Engine Compartment
All sorts of culprits can be blamed for strange sounds near the engine. A squealing belt, a whining power steering pump, a worn-out pulley, and brake pads are in need of replacement. If, on inspection, you hear chattering, whining, squealing, chirping, or rattling sounds coming from the A/C compressor, it is time for service.
Sometimes the commotion only erupts when you engage the A/C switch. Some noises remain constant. Compressor noises result from either a faulty clutch or a seizing shaft.
Failure is likely to happen if the compressor oil used for lubrication becomes contaminated (usually with water vapour), is not in sufficient supply, or is of the wrong type.
Damage Evident On The A/C Compressor
Physical damage to the compressor or its clutch may indicate an internal issue. Corrosion is the same way. Humidity is the enemy of your air conditioning system, so corrosion on the outside could indicate a problem on the inside.
Oil leaks will cause the compressor to fail. As a result, any damage – whether bent, broken, corroded, or leaking – should be evaluated to ensure that your system is in working order.
The Compressor Clutch Will Not Engage
When you turn on the air conditioner, the clutch attached to the compressor’s pulley should engage. When viewed from the front of the compressor, the clutch appears as a plate on the front of the pulley. The clutch does not spin when the air conditioning is turned off.
When you turn on the air conditioner, the clutch may make a brief click before spinning with the belt and pulley. If the clutch does not engage or makes a screeching or whining sound when it does, the compressor needs to be serviced.
7 Warning Signs That Your A/C Needs Repair And Maintenance
Drivers frequently report poor airflow in their vehicles, which can be attributed to a variety of factors. This symptom has the potential to harm or even kill the A/C system. The following are the causes of poor airflow:
A faulty ventilation fan is the source of poor airflow. This occurs when the system’s fan fails to blow, causing Air to flow inefficiently.
Mould may have accumulated in the evaporator core as a result of residual moisture. This prevents air from entering the vents.
When the hose breaks, it causes a loss of airflow in the car’s air conditioning system. When this hose becomes tangled, airflow to the blower unit is obstructed.
The Compressor Clutch is Not Working
Another sign of a failing car A/C is the compressor clutch. The most expensive component in your A/C assembly is the compressor. Its clutch allows the engaging and disengaging of the pulley to extract power from the engine whenever required. A failed compressor clutch can either leave the compressor permanently activated or deactivated. This is also a sign of a failing system. Changing only the compressor clutch is not recommended, while replacing the compressor can be expensive.
Circuit Breaker Tripping
You may have been in a situation where the circuit breaker frequently tripped. This is because your vehicle’s compressor has worn out and is extracting too much power, causing the system to overheat.
Most people reset the circuit breaker, oblivious to the fact that it was protecting the system from overheating. The trip of the circuit breaker is one of the most obvious signs of a failing car air conditioner.
Electrical faults are another important sign of a failing car air conditioner. When a wire fails, the compressor receives low voltage, resulting in inefficient cooling. If you suspect an electrical or wiring problem with your air conditioning, take it to Superior Tire & Auto near you right away. A minor electrical fault can cause the A/C compressor in your car to fail in the long run.
Jammed Suction Lines
If your compressor fails to operate, the suction lines are likely to become clogged. If this occurs, you will notice hot air inside your cabin. We do not recommend entrusting this to just any local mechanic. This requires expertise and cannot be performed flawlessly by every shop.
If you notice strange odours, your vents may require immediate attention. This could be due to particle and mould buildup inside the vents. If it is not repaired on time, it can cause the compressor to work harder to provide cooling inside the cabin, eventually leading to its failure.
Bring your Vehicle to Superior Tire & Auto for Complete A/C Repair Services
Are you looking for A/C repair services for your vehicle? If so, then you have landed at the right destination, Superior Tire & Auto. We perform complete, warranty-approved vehicle maintenance and repair to keep you on the road with peace of mind. Don’t forget to check out our specials and coupons to save even more money with current discounts. Visit a location near you today and receive the Superior Service you deserve!