Your vehicle’s A/C system is important any time of the year. Many drivers think that the A/C is strictly for cooling air in the summer. In fact, it is almost more important to use it during the cold and rainy seasons. Ask your auto mechanic to explain how the A/C system works and to find out what does car ac service include.
Here’s How It Works:
For cold air: A vehicle A/C system is comprised of a compressor, condenser, Expansion Valve and evaporator. Refrigerant (aka Freon) is compressed in the compressor and turns into a hot gas. In the condenser, this hot gas is cooled to a liquid state and travels to the expansion valve. As the Freon goes through the expansion valve it returns to a low-pressure gas and rapidly cools in the evaporator. A fan blows over the evaporator and cools the air that eventually blows out your vents.
For warm air: Hot engine coolant is circulated through a small radiator, called a heater core. A fan in front of the heater core blows cold outside air over the fins. As this air travels over the heater core, it heats up and becomes the hot air which blows out your heater vents. If the heater core becomes clogged with rust or sludge, you will no longer have heat. Also, if there a small leak in the heater core, the passenger cabin can get steamy with fogged-up windows, or you may smell coolant (a sweet aroma).
A vehicle’s A/C system consists of five major parts, all working together to cool you off in summer, and to keep you dry and warm in winter. These major parts are:
- Receiver dryer or Accumulator
- Orifice tube or Expansion valve
Your A/C system also consists of hoses and refrigerant charging ports, but the significant work occurs in the five parts listed above.
Tip to Remember: Have the A/C system inspected by a certified mechanic and have any car ac repair taken care of before winter arrives in full force.
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