Many people rely on their vehicle’s air conditioning, but don’t understand the complex components that make it run. Here at Austin’s Automotive Specialists we don’t expect our clients to be experts in automotive a/c, but it can help to have a basic understanding of how a car’s a/c works, so you can be aware of what needs to be done to keep it in good working order, and when it should be maintained.
Refrigerants are similar to radiator coolant that are responsible for converting the hot air inside a vehicle into colder air. The refrigerant absorbs the hot air and releases it back out, resulting in cooler air. One type in the past was called freon, a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) that was discovered to be harmful to the ozone layer in the 90s. Since then, much safer products for the environment are used.
An a/c system in a car is made up of a compressor, condenser, receiver dryer—also known as an accumulator, an evaporator, and an orifice tube or what’s called an expansion valve. There are also hoses in your a/c and refrigerant charging ports.
The compressor is what pressurizes the refrigerant so you get cool air. It can sense temperature changes to work more efficiently at cooling your vehicle. If you choose a different temperature, it knows when to shut off.
The condenser is what is responsible for turning hot gasses from the refrigerant into liquid. It’s found at the front of the vehicle and is often called a “mini radiator”.
The receiver will separate gases from liquid, while the accumulator monitors and controls the refrigerant. Your vehicle may not have one if you have a thermal expansion valve. The evaporator is what’s responsible for cooling the air and taking out the moisture, and pushing that cool air in your face.
As you now know, automotive a/c systems are complex and require a professional to make repairs and keep it working well. If your car or truck’s a/c is not providing the cold air you expect, please book an appointment today with auto a/c repair experts in Buda, TX. Our technicians can quickly fix your a/c so you feel cooler.