How Your Car’s AC Works and Its Potential Failure Points

August 5, 2021 9:57 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The temperature inside your car can get hot in a hurry when the sun’s out, even if it’s not a particularly hot day. Thank goodness for air conditioning, right? But if your vehicle’s AC isn’t working correctly, you’re going to need some auto AC repair in a hurry.

There’s a chance you might be able to diagnose the problem on your own with a little knowledge of how car AC systems work. Here’s some general info on car AC systems, as well as some of the components that may be causing the problem.

How does a car AC system work?

The air conditioning system in a car works by changing a refrigerant material between a gas and liquid state. This refrigerant, either R-134a or R-1234yf, absorbs heat and humidity from the vehicle during this transformation and produces that cool, dry air that makes life tolerable on those long commutes during a heat wave.

The AC system does this by controlling the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant with a few different components, including a compressor, condenser, dryer, metering device and an evaporator. Any one of these components, or the connections between them, may be a failure point in the AC system if it’s not working correctly.

How to fix common car AC problems

There are some common problems with a car’s AC system you may have experienced in the past. Maybe the fan blows normally, but the air coming out is not cold. Maybe the airflow is very weak, or it’s not blowing air at all. You may be able to fix these problems in the short term to hold you over until an auto mechanic can take a look at it.

If the AC is on but the air coming from your vents is not cold, it may be due to a leak in the system. Because the auto AC system works under pressure, any broken seals will cause a loss in pressure, and therefore a loss in the cooling power of the system. As a temporary fix, you can recharge the system with new refrigerant. This will give you time to find the leak and possibly fix it on your own. From there, you will need to flush and recharge the refrigerant one final time.

Another issue may be that there is not enough air coming into the car AC system. If the air intake manifold is blocked by debris, this can cause the AC not to work properly. If the airflow from your vents feels weak, this may be the problem. Make sure to check the intake and clear it out as needed.

Hire a professional

There are many components and potential points of failure in a car’s AC system, and for this reason it’s best to hire a professional to quickly diagnose and fix the problem. Whether you need car AC repair or a major engine overhaul, when you need a reliable, trustworthy auto mechanic, be sure to contact Gabriel’s Automotive & Towing for efficient, high-quality car care.

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