• Ashley Bradish

Air Conditioning Facts That Will Blow You Away

Updated: Aug 23

It's starting to get hot outside! Get ready for the peak of summer with a functioning A/C system in your vehicle. It's not a bad idea to check and ensure that your car's A/C system is ready and up for the task.

What are the parts of a car's A/C system?

Your vehicle's A/C system has a Serpentine Belt, Compressor, Condenser, Dryer, Expansion Valve, and Evaporator.

Car AC Unit, Quality Automotive, Blairstown, NJ, 07825

The serpentine belt powers the compressor. It powers several other components, like the power steering pump, alternator, and more. Usually, the serpentine belt lasts between 50,000 and 100,000 miles.

You know you need to replace your serpentine belt when:

  1. There are cracks, frays, etc.

  2. It is squeaking or chirping.

  3. The function of parts powered by the serpentine belt dwindles. i.e., rapid battery drainage, power steering failure, etc.

The compressor takes the cold gas refrigerant from the evaporator and turns it into a hot gas.

Some signs that you have a damaged compressor are:

  1. Leaks

  2. Works on and off, or not at all

If there is any moisture in your compressor, you should replace it as soon as possible. If left unattended, it will mix with the refrigerant and cause corrosion.

Once the refrigerant becomes a high-pressure, high-temperature gas, it moves onto the condenser.

Your vehicle's condenser is what turns the hot gas into liquid refrigerant. You can usually find the condenser right by the vehicle's radiator.

The air passes through the condenser, and then the cold liquid moves to the dryer.

You should have your condenser replaced if:

  1. There are leaks.

  2. The tubes get clogged, eroded, or damaged.

  3. Your vehicle's air conditioning is not performing well.

The dryer, also known as the receiver, keeps debris, moisture, and liquid away from vital A/C parts. You must replace the dryer every time someone opens the A/C system.

But besides that, other signs that the dryer needs replacement include:

  1. Condensation on the windows and glass that the defroster cannot remove.

  2. A decrease in the A/C's performance.

  3. The moisture and debris kept inside damage the dryer's efficiency.

Your vehicle's A/C system will either have a thermal expansion valve or an orifice tube. It tracks the pressure and temperature of the air produced. Then it decides how much refrigerant can go into the evaporator.

If the wrong amount gets into the evaporator, it can cause permanent damage. One possible outcome is a burnt-out compressor. You might even have to repair the entire system if there is enough damage.

The system's evaporator handles the removal of moisture and cooling of the air. You know it's working when the cold air comes out of the vents and into the vehicle's cabin.

The evaporator is the last step of the air conditioning system. The low-pressure refrigerant absorbs the warm air from the passenger compartment. And then, it lowers the temperature of the evaporator, allowing the air it blows out to be cold.

If the air blown out is not cold, it could mean the evaporator isn't working.

Why is my car's air conditioning not working?