Are things heating up in your car? Air conditioning, although it’s not essential to the mobility of your car, can certainly be essential to your comfort during Utah’s hot summer months. Don’t just sweat it out. Our Brigham City Master Muffler team offers A/C checks, and we can make sure that your system is operating at its best.
Understanding Your Car’s A/C System
Air conditioners work by cycling freon (or refrigerant) through a closed system, which manipulates the pressure and temperature, in order to capitalize on the rapid cooling that happens when refrigerant is depressurized and changes from a liquid to a vapor.
Refrigerant cycles through your compressor, which powers the whole system and pressurizes the vapor, to the condenser, which cools the gaseous refrigerant enough to force it into a liquid form. After going through the receiver-drier, which filters out impurities, the refrigerant passes through the thermal expansion valve and the evaporator. Here, the liquid is finally depressurized, and evaporates into a vapor again. During this transition, the air is rapidly cooled, as the refrigerant quickly absorbs heat from the air.
A Warning about Refrigerant
Most cars today use R-134A as refrigerant, since it’s more eco-friendly than the R-12 that we used to utilize in air conditioning systems. The most useful thing about refrigerant elements is that they have a low boiling point and a high condensation point. This allows for dramatic changes in temperature as they are compressed and expanded.
R-134A can cause health problems if it’s inhaled in large quantities, or if your skin comes in direct contact with it. It’s important to use great care with refrigerant and allow professionals to handle the disposal and refill of this form of freon. Furthermore, an air conditioner’s closed system depends on a tight seal and moderated pressure. Topping off refrigerant should be handled by the professionals in order to ensure the healthy function of your air conditioner.
Troubleshooting Common Problems
Fortunately, the most common problems with air conditioner systems in cars aren’t safety hazards. However, they can be progressive, and greatly reduce the perceived value of your car. Here are some of the most common complaints that we hear about a car’s air conditioning system:
- Air isn’t blowing cold enough: This is the most common problem, mainly because it can be caused by many different things. Leaks in the systems, damaged or underperforming parts, and low refrigerant levels can all account for the lack of chill.
- Airflow is weak: It could be that a ventilation fan isn’t working anymore. Otherwise, there could be buildup at some point in the tubing, or a leak that’s reducing the pressure.
- Air isn’t even blowing: If there’s no air whatsoever coming from your vents, it could be that something is wrong with the compressor, which is the impetus for the flow throughout your entire system.
- There’s a strange smell: This commonly happens after a winter of disuse enables bacterial growth in the hoses and pipes of your air conditioning system. The pros at Master Muffler can do a full system flush to bring back cool, fresh-smelling air.
Come in to our Brigham City auto shop today, or give us a call.