Why Your Air Conditioning Isnt Working
Like most things under the hood, air conditioners can stop working for a number of different reasons. Knowing what to look for can help you troubleshoot why your car A/C is not working and let you know what steps you need to take next. Lets look at five common reasons your car A/C might have stopped working.
Symptoms Of A Bad Or Failing Ac Condenser
The AC condenser is a very important component found on virtually all modern automotive AC systems. Its primary function is to convert the refrigerant coming from the compressor from a high temperature, high pressure vapor into a high pressure liquid through condensation. Similar to how the cooling system radiator functions, the vehicle moves cool air passes through the condenser fins, cooling the refrigerant as it passes through until it is liquified. The cooled liquid refrigerant is what is used to cool the cabin when the AC is turned on.
As all of the AC systems refrigerant passes directly through the condenser, if there is any problem with the condenser, it can negatively affect the operation of the entire system and should be replaced if necessary. There will usually be a few ways to spot a bad or failing condenser.
How Do You Check A Cars A/c Condenser
What should I do to check that my carâs A/C condenser is working properly? Iâve been having problems with my cooling system, and I think thatâs the issue. Iâd rather not pay for an expensive diagnosis on top of repairs, so Iâd like to identify the problem before I bring it into the shop.
telltale signs can help you identify a faulty A/C condenser
- Your A/C emits a burning smell.
- Your A/C puts out lukewarm air rather than cold air.
- You see a warning light on your dashboard.
- There is a coolant leakage.
- Your car overheats when idling.
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A Guide To Your Cars Air Conditioner Condenser Before The Summer Heat Hits
April 17, 2021 by Denver Express Car Care
Springtime in the Rockies. It can be in the 70s one moment, and a blizzard the next. You may find yourself turning on your cars air conditioner in the afternoon underneath the blazing sun, followed by the heater as the sun dips behind the mountains.
Is your cars air conditioner condenser up for the job? Is it ready and waiting for the hottest days of the year?
To Maintain Your Ac System:
Check the air conditioning compressor belt for cracks and damage on a regular basis
Watch for any leaks or damage in the air conditioning system
Regularly check the function of the air conditioning system and other components
Empty out the refrigerant from the system
Do a vacuum test on the air conditioning system
Recharge your cars air conditioning system by using the right refrigerant type and quantity as specified by the manufacturer
Perform regular service on air conditioning system components including the compressor, condenser, evaporator, and electrical controls
As a general guideline, you should have your Christian Brothers Automotive Jackson service center inspect your AC system every 12,000 miles in order to ensure your air conditioning is working properly and efficiently.
Our specialized staff goes out of its way to provide the best and most precise service the first time with our 2-year/24,000-mile Nice Difference Warranty. To schedule an inspection of your cars AC system, call Christian Brothers Automotive in Jackson, Tennessee today!
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How To Tell If Car Ac Compressor Is Bad
Do you remember the fire from the movie Final Destination? Its alright if you dont remember because of the extremely hot weather and no AC will remind you all if it!
Its summer and you are out with your family for a small tour. How about the car AC starts to act wrong! You do not want to face those fireworks on your whole body that drive you crazy, right?
They say better safe than sorry. And so, before the hot weather burns you, test the AC compressor. How to tell if the AC Compressor is bad?
Dont worry we are here to tell you the smallest details of car AC compressors. Go through our tips and tricks and you will know everything!
Air Conditioner Condenser Replacement Cost
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The cost of replacing an A/C condenser varies based on the type of vehicle and whether or not other parts in the A/C system need repairs or replacement as well. In most vehicles it should cost between $400 and $900 to replace the condenser, with about $200 to $400 of this going towards labor and the remainder for parts.
Its not recommended for a home mechanic to try to replace the A/C condenser as this can be a dangerous job due to the high-pressure properties of the system and because specific tools are needed.
For example, the refrigerant which will be released when the system is opened must be contained with specialized recovery equipment as it is illegal to vent it into the atmosphere.
Its a good idea to periodically clean the A/C condenser to preserve the life of the unit. You can either do it yourself following some simple online video tutorials or take it in to a mechanic for maintenance, either option will still be cheaper than replacing the condenser completely if its still working well.
Other parts in the A/C system, such as vents, cabin air filter, and the A/C condenser fan, should also be cleaned regularly for maximum efficiency.
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Car Condensers For Air Conditioning System
The condenser is a heat exchanger. It is located at the front of the vehicle. The condenser cools down the refrigerant and becomes a liquid by transferring its heat to the flow of ambient air passing through it. Valeos OE expertise are present throughout the wide range of 460 part numbers which covers 85% of the European passenger cars and Light Commercial Vehicles car parc. The benefits are as follows :
- Optimized design of the condenser, depending on the vehicles requirement and space allowance in front of the vehicle
- Well designed micro-port condenser tubes to provide efficient and effective heat transfer performance.
- Enhanced corrosion resistance, tested under tough weather conditions, to suit high humidity areas
- Leakage, durability and vibration tested for noise reduction and for optimized driver/passenger comfort
*SWAAT: Sea WAter Acidified Test The Valeo condenser range is entirely aluminium brazed.
The receiver drier can be directly integrated to the condensers to preserve the overall structure and decrease the level of vibration. Valeo Info: The condenser must be replaced following a crash, a breakdown or a leak. During replacement, following condenser disassembly, you should plug or cap the lines immediately after disconnecting them to avoid contamination with moisture and dust. Valeo also recommends replacing the receiver drier cylinder, the joints, changing the oil and injecting the tracer for leak detection.
The Compressor Clutch Does Not Engage
The clutch may not engage for several reasons, the most common being low refrigerant in the system, but it may also be an electrical issue.
Reason 1: Voltage. Voltage is not sent to the clutch when the air conditioning is turned on due to an open circuit in the electrical circuit.
Reason 2: Pressure switch. An air conditioning system pressure switch can disrupt the circuit if certain pressures are not met or if the switch is failing.
Reason 3: Input issue. More up to date systems are computer controlled and use numerous other inputs including vehicle interior and exterior temperature to determine whether or not to turn the compressor on.
You need to determine if there is refrigerant in the system.
Step 1: Turn the engine off.
Step 2: Install the gauges. Install the gauge set by locating the high and low side quick connections.
- Tip: The location of these vary on every car, but most of the time you will find the low side on the passenger side of the engine compartment and the high side towards the front. The size of the fittings are different so you will not be able to install the gauge set backwards.
Step 3: Observe the pressure readings on the gauges.
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Reason #: The Compressor Has Gone Bad
The compressor keeps your A/C moving at all times. Without it, the refrigerant cannot circulate through the system and youll never get any cold air. The most common reason that a compressor goes bad is due to long periods of time without use. Lack of use tends to shock the system when it finally is used again such as in the spring or summer after sitting dormant all winter long.
To best combat this issue, we recommend running your A/C system on full blast for at least 15 minutes roughly once every three weeks or so, regardless of the outside temperature. This will help keep the compressor fresh and extend its overall lifespan.
Reason #: Your Car Is Leaking Refrigerant
A refrigerant leak can occur at any point in the air conditioning process and so its sometimes difficult to pinpoint the exact location of the leak. The most common places where leaks are found are at A/C unit hose connections.
Its sometimes possible to see an oily substance accumulating around these connection, which is likely the source of the leak. You or a technician can use a sealant found at most auto parts stores to close the leak.
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What Is An Evaporator
The evaporator is responsible for cooling air and removing moisture. If cold, refreshing air is hitting your face, your evaporator is working like a champ.
- Located right behind your dash. The evaporator is the last and most important stop before cold air can hit your face.
- Cools air with refrigerant. Low pressure Refrigerant traveling through the evaporator absorbs heat from the passenger compartment dropping the temperature of the evaporator. Air blown over the cool surface of the evaporator then comes out the vents providing the chill you expect.
- Commences cold air flow. The best and final stage. Cold air should now be blowing out your vents thanks to the hard work of the evaporator.
Symptoms of a worn evaporator:
- Poor A/C system performance
Air Conditioning System Operating Principle
Basically, the AC system works by 2 principles: evaporating liquids absorb heat, while condensation from vapor to liquid transmits heat to objects and their surroundings.
The refrigerant is pumped from the compressor under high pressure and under high evaporation temperature. During this stage the refrigerant is pumped to the condenser or the hot rig in steam. At the condenser the temperature of the medium is very high, the fan blows the condenser, the vapor liquid is cooled, condensed into a liquid under high pressure and low temperature.
The liquid refrigerant continues to circulate to the filter or desiccator, where the refrigerant is purified by absorbing all moisture and impurities. The expansion valve regulates the flow of liquid into the evaporator . It lowers the pressure of the refrigerant. Due to the drop of pressure, the liquid becomes a vapor in the evaporator.
During evaporation, the refrigerant absorbs heat in the car cabin. It means cooling the air mass in the cabin. The air taken from outside comes through the evaporator. Here, the air from the evaporator takes away a lot of energy through the radiator leaves, therefore the temperature of the air will be reduced very quickly. Meanwhile the moisture in the air will also condense and expose. At refrigeration platforms, when the liquid medium is at a high temperature, the pressure becomes a vapor liquid with a low temperature and pressure.
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Can An Auto Ac Condenser Be Repaired
Anyone who has spent one blistering summer in Port Charlotte understands the need for pitch-perfect air conditioning in your car. That means making sure that every part of your vehicles HVAC system is in good working order. One of the most critical parts of your cars air conditioning system is the condenser. If your AC isnt cooling your cabin as well as it should, you could require immediate auto repair in Port Charlotte, FL.
What Is The Montreal Protocol
No, this isnt a treaty you learned about in history class. The Montreal Protocol is actually the official title of the banishment of R-12 and other CFC emitting products from further use anywhere on the planet. And for good reasonCFCs were discovered to be tearing big holes in our ozone layer.
The Montreal Protocol was first signed into law in 1987. If the entire industrial world follows the environmental standards meant to eliminate the use of ozone depleting gases , the ozone is said to fully recover by 2050.
The Montreal Protocol is why we now use R-134a instead of the ozone depleting R-12. Starting in 2013, certain U.S. vehicle models will begin transitioning to an even more efficient and safer cooling agent called HFO-1234yf. Talk about a mouthful. HFO-1234yf is said to have almost no environmental impact what-so-ever. And thats something we can all look forward to.
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What Is An Ac Condenser
When cold air flows into the cabin of your car, it cools things down, in part, by absorbing all of the heat in your vehicle. When that warm air flows back into your engine, it is channeled through the condenser, which removes the heat from the vapor and turns it back into a cooling liquid that can be processed by the cars evaporator and turned back into cold air.
Without the condenser releasing heat, your car wont cool as well as it should, or at all. And thats just the beginning of your problems.
Are There Ways To Maintain The Air Conditioning System
Luckily, your AC compressor isnt something most car owners replace. If your car is well cared for, your compressor can last for tens of thousands of miles.
But that doesnt mean you should take a back seat, and wait until warning signs occur. Like other systems inside your vehicle, there are general maintenance items you can occasionally do to ensure the air conditioning system continues to work well.
Your vehicles cabin has an air filter, which is positioned between the air conditioning system under the hood and the vents that blow air inside your car. Check this regularly, and replace it if its clogged or blackened with debris.
Dont forget to clean your entire vehicle, inside and out. Running it through an occasional car wash is a great way to ensure the outside looks great. But dont forget that salt, mag-chloride, and other contaminants can spray up into the engine compartment as you drive on Colorado roads throughout the year. The condenser sits in front of the radiator. A simple flow of water from a garden hose can clean the grille, which allows the airflow needed for the air conditioner to work.
When was the last time you pulled your vehicle in for an inspection?
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What Exactly Is Freon
Sounds like an automotive A/C history class is in order. Well, welcome, pull up a chair and put on your thinking cap.
Freon, better known as R-12, was the primary chlorofluorocarbon used in car A/C systems up until it was banned in the mid 1990s after the EPA discovered that it was depleting our planets ozone Layer. Talk about toxic.
The auto industry has since switched to the CFC free R-134a. Since the elimination of CFCs from the auto industry and all industries for that matterthe ozone layer has regained its structure, and the ozone holes caused by CFCs are expected to fully close by about 2050 according to the EPA.
Did you know? The CFC ban thankfully also marked the end of the CFC heavy hairspray craze that swept the nation in the 70s and 80s. For many people, this change was a welcomed advancement in American hair culture.
How Do I Know If My Condenser Is Clogged
Clogging can give itself away in different ways. For example, you may hear a grumbling or howling from your A/C. You may experience automatic shut-off due to low pressure in the system. Or you may notice signs of intermittent cooling, where the air blowing from your vents changes from cold air to warm and back again.
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How To Vacuum Your A/c System
If theres air or oil trapped in your cars A/C, youll have to make sure all of it is removed before attempting to charge your A/C again. Bear in mind that youll need an A/C vacuum pump and a refrigerant gauge manifold set before you can do this, but otherwise this is an easy procedure that you should be able to do on your own.