Auto Air Con Tips

by John Wright

Automotive Air Conditioning is designed to remove unwanted 'heat ' from within, dehumidify the cabin atmosphere and supply cool air for the comfort of the occupants.

Every air conditioning system works by taking the heat from the cabin air to heat and disperse the refrigerant liquid like Freon. The liquid is pressurized by the compressor and although it takes the heat from the air it vaporizes in the growth valve and the 'hot ' gas is circulated thru a collection of tubes to disperse the heat and in the procedure the Freon gets cold.

By now it is clear that the most important part, in the rather complicated layout verbally described above, is the compressor which is the same as the heart in your body and the Freon is like blood. Initially cold Freon is passed thru metal tubing to the dash area in your vehicle to the 'evaporator zone'.

This where the heat should be removed from and has an 'evaporator core ' looking a bit like a miniature radiator with thin tubes and metal fins, the single difference being there is not any 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 thru rubber and metal tubes and the condenser has coils of aluminum and Freon is forced thru fine slits while the electrical cooling fan mounted in front or behind the condenser removes the heat. The cycle is repeated steadily so that the atmosphere in the cabin remains cool.

After having been familiarized with how your automotive air conditioning works and what its major elements are, it'll be engaging to see what all presumably could go wrong and how to cure them. Some of the most common of such Problems include:

- Low or total lack of air movement across the condenser- this may be due to issues with the electric cooling fan. Check to see if this is turning (in models with fan blades visible) or if undecided you must call your engineer
- Low Freon level - this could be doubted if the cooling efficiency is low i.e, even with the car AC totally ON there is very tiny cooling within. This problem could only be attended by an authorized AC technician.
- AC is working completely 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 standard huge fan or engine is overheating due to other issues and cuts down the condenser potency. In either case reach for the phone and call your garage, before you have more major issues with your vehicle.
- If the air conditioner does not begin at all check and confirm that there is blown fuse or the switch isn't disconnected while cleaning etc. Electric connections can be often the culprit, which can sometimes be found out with a little experience.
- If your car needs a complete change or replacing of major elements like compressor, get it from the OEM and check that the refrigerant is the right one. (R12 is being Retired)

It should be borne under consideration that the refrigerant which in older models is R-12, substance famous for its unfavorable impact on the environment due to 'ozone layer depletion'. Additionally, the substance is responsible to cause injury to your skin and eyes if you attempt to interfere with the auto air conditioning system and coincidentally lets it leak. In short car air conditioners have very little 'user serviceable ' parts or parts and need the help of a qualified and licensed mechanic.

Whenever low Freon level is suspected or low cooling is felt despite the rest plausibly fine, don't desist from looking for professional help from qualified staff. It could be opportune to say here that old models of autos using R12 as the refrigerant has only up to 2013 to continue to replenish the banned substance.

No new autos are permitted to use R12, but has to switch to R134A or similar environment safe refrigerants as specified by the Montreal Custom and directives by the EPA. Some vehicle makers have just started marketing retro-fit kits and if or when your automobile desires servicing or repair of AC, check if you're still using R12 or any other illegal substance and change over to authorized refrigerants AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

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