Get To Know Your Carís A/C
Air conditioning. Living in Florida, itís a necessity that allows you to enjoy driving your car year Ďround. So what makes cool air in your car a simple turn of a knob?
Your carís air conditioning system is made up of a compressor, a condenser, an evaporator (or drier), refrigeration lines and a couple of sensors, depending on the make/model of your car. At the heart of your system is the Compressor, which pressurizes the refrigerant so it cools the air. The Condenser is typically located at the front of your car, right next to the radiator. As the hot air passes through the Condenser, it cools and becomes a liquid.
The Evaporator takes the liquid, forces it through its tubes and gets really cold as it brings a welcome blast to your face. As it warms up again, it turns back into gas. The Thermal Expansion Valve controls how cold the air gets as it blows on you. The safety catch for your carís air conditioning system is known as receiver-drier. Basically, should any liquid manage to get into your compressor, it can cause damage to the system, so the receiver-dryer absorbs any moisture chemically by using whatís called a dessicant. It also has a filter that catches any gunk that might be caught in there.
Originally, cars used Freon (R-12) until it was discovered that it is harmful to the Earthís ozone layer. Over the years, it has been phased out for automotive use. Today, cars now use the harmless R-134a refrigerant, although it is less efficient than R-12. One advantage for those of you who like making your own car repairs is that with the R-134a refrigerant, it is now legal for you to repair your carís a/c system.
Obviously, you know there is a problem when you turn on the a/c and all you get is hot air. Another problem is when the a/c gives off an odor. The most likely culprit is the lack of refrigerant. The challenge is finding out why the refrigerant is low. For those of you who donít relish mechanical challenges, itís best to take your car to your service technician and let him diagnose and fix, the problem.
Johnny Nocera has been on the radio airwaves in Southwest Florida with ďDr. Johnnyís Car ClinicĒ on FOX News radio 92.5 FM, 1240/1270 AM every Saturday morning from 9-10 for over 27 years. He also owns, along with his sons JR and Jimmy, Supreme Auto and Collision located in downtown Naples, and has been in business for more than 37 years. You can contact him via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org