Will The Air Conditioner In Your Car Work This Summer?

By User:Mattes (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Usually what happens is it is the hottest day of the year,and Dad has the car fully packed for vacation and the air conditioning  does not work!  On top of that the shop you bring it to it having problems with their A/C charging station. Let me start off by first mentioning one of the most over looked problems with a poorly performing A/C system, is

 the heat temperature control. The technician should make sure that nothing in the temperature control for your heater is out of adjustment or binding. I have seen situations where A/C systems were misdiagnosed at the customers expense, only to have it be a cracked $5.00 temperature control knob. Some of you may think that it may be a little early in the season to be talking about your vehicles air conditioning system, but it is actually the best time. If you have a newer model car chances are you will not have a problem with your vehicles A/C system,but with older model cars 90% of the time A/C performance suffers do to refrigerant loss. I am unable to tell you how many times I have heard people say this: “It was just low on charge and they just topped off the Freon.” They hand over their money to pay for refrigerant that is just going to slowly leak out into the atmosphere. Hopefully their A/C system will work through the hot summer months, then winter comes, then comes spring and guess what your A/C in your car does not work again. The customer goes back to the shop that “Topped off” the system last year and they are furious that warm air is coming out of their vents again! There is a diagnostic procedure that must be followed to properly diagnose a vehicles A/C system. The first thing you must understand is this, THE REFRIGERANT IN ANY A/C SYSTEM DOES NOT EVAPORATE OR BURN IN ANY WAY WITHIN THE A/C SYSTEM. If you are having an issue with your vehicles A/C system and you are told this: ” Your system was just low on charge and we just topped it off.” You need to ask this question, : “Well where did the refrigerant  go?” Most shops today will add a tracing dye to assist them with finding a leak with an ultraviolet light at a later date  if your system stops working again.When a vehicle gets older one of the most common areas of refrigerant leaks would be from a component in the system called a “condenser.” The A/C condenser is mounted in front of your radiator and it actually resembles a radiator. This A/C condenser takes the brunt of road debris and corrosion from road salt etc and is always the first place that I start at  trying to locate refrigerant loss. The next  areas for refrigerant loss would be any fittings in the system that are loose along with bad rubber “O” rings. The  compressor is the heart of the A/C system and leaks can also be found there at the compressor shaft seal or fittings that are attached to the compressor. If your A/C system has been back to the shop several times to be recharged, dye has been added and no one can seem to find a leak the, evaporator could be the likely source of the leak. The evaporator is a component in the A/C system that is tucked up under the dash board and it is more difficult to find leaks there. In a case like this where dye has been added to the system close attention would need to be focused on the A/C drain located on the lower portion of the firewall. Seeing signs of dye from the A/C drain with an ultraviolet test light would be a tell tale sign that the evaporator is the source of refrigerant loss. You can test your vehicles A/C system fairly easy with a thermometer placed in the center vent of your dashboard. Make sure that the outside temperature is at least 70 degrees and your interior vent position is on the recirculate position, A/C on with fan speed on high. Hold the engine R.P.M at 2K  output temperature at the center vent should be around 40 to 43 degrees. If your A/C output temp wont go below 50 degrees there is likely an issue with your vehicles A/C system. Oh yeah and don’t forget to get that cabin air filter checked or replaced!

A/C Activation button

Will Your A/C Work this Summer?

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