Air Conditioner Repair
Kentucky heat can be lethal on cars and drivers. Your cars engine is constantly generating heat which needs to be dissipated to prevent oveheating. Your radiator and cooling system do an excellent job (assuming you have fluid in the system).Your other cooling system is the air conditioning system.Based upon our lack of winter, we are in for a very long hot spring and summer. If your air conditioner is not blowing as cool as it used to you need to have your system serviced. The fluid may be low or you may have a small leak in a hose but NOW is the time to have it looked at and repaired.
How Your Air Conditioning System Works
The very very basics. The fundamental components found inside an automobile AC unit are the compressor, condenser, evaporator, accumulator and expansion valve. Depending on your car, there may be an orifice tube or receiver-drier as well. All these components have a precise job.
The compressor operates exactly the same way almost any other AC unit functions. The difference is instead of being driven by electricity, it is powered by a belt on your engine. Its responsible for compressing a refrigerant gas, which used to be called Freon. When most gasses are compressed they become hot, R-22 now R-410A (Freon) is no different. R-410A gets very hot. Once it is compressed, it is sent through a series of coils to the condenser.
The condenser is where the heat is actually separated from the gas. Hot air is removed from the gas inside the condenser, the remaining of the gas is compacted even further but now it becomes a into a cool liquid.
Cars either possess a receiver-drier or perhaps better known as an accumulator. This is necessary after the gas becomes a liquid and is cooled in the condenser. the accumulator insures the liquid refrigerant goes to the expansion valve.
The expansion valve
Your car will either have an expansion valve or orifice tube. This is what regulates amount of flow between the evaporator and is what you are controlling when you change the temperature in your car. The higher the flow of cooled liquid, the cooler your car is going to be.
The evaporator is the final stop for the cool liquid before you really feel it inside your car. Right after the liquid passes through the the expansion valve, fans blow the cool air from the evaporator throughout the car.
Your air conditioning system should be blowing air 25-30 degrees cooler than the outside air. It will feel cooler because the humidity will be removed. We can measure the temperature and recharge the air conditioning, repair a compressor or fix a leak.
Air Conditioning Repair by Protech
Air conditioning repair can be tricky. There are a lot of small problems that can keep your car from blowing cool air. Signs that your vehicle may have a malfunctioning air conditioning system include:
- Your air conditioner blows only hot air from the vents
- The air conditioner blows cold only sporadically
- There are noises when you run your air conditioner
- You notice fluid under your car after running the car AC system
Here is how we can help your car AC:
Check for leaks
We will use a dye based air conditioning test that uses a colored dye to find freon leaks in your air conditioning system. Using this test, a colored dye is injected into the car AC system which will be visible under an ultra-violet light at the exact point of a leak. The test is performed under full pressure with the air conditioning system on full blast and the car running. This is a great first step because if we charge your ac system and there is a leak, we have just wasted your money.
Convert it to the newest AC system
Many cars manufactured before 1995 use R12 Freon. This refrigerant was phased out in the mid-1990s and replaced with R134. All vehicles manufactured in the U.S. since 1995 use R134 refrigerant in the AC system. If your pre-1995 vehicle is cooling well, there is no need to modify it. However, if a recharge is required, because the air blowing out is warm, you’ll need to retrofit the AC unit to R134. R12 Freon is highly regulated and it cannot be handled or recharged by anyone other than a certified technician because of its damaging effect on the atmosphere. Freon is now very extremely expensive and very difficult to find. Here are the details regarding the conversion:
- All conversions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Different vehicles may require slightly different procedures.
- We get rid of all R-12 and most of the existing refrigerant oils from the air conditioning system.
- In some instances, certain parts, such as the O-rings, hoses, accumulator or receiver/dryer, must be replaced to assure complete compatibility with R-134a.
- In addition, special fittings and labels must be installed on the vehicle to so other mecanics know that it has been retrofitted.
Recharge the car AC system
Low refrigerant is actually the most common cause of a car AC system not cooling well. But there are many other reasons a car’s AC may be blowing out warm air.
Realistically, we understand that many people are only looking for a quick fix and will purchase a do it yourself charging hose or a charging kit to add R 134. Keep in mind that if a car has a very slow leak, just adding a can every summer may be an option although we will always check for leaks before adding R-134.
A top-off involves simply adding refrigerant into your vehicle that we determine is not leaking. An evacuation and recharge service includes removing whatever remaining refrigerant is in your vehicle, removing impurities from that refrigerant using our recycling equipment, and putting it back into the vehicle, then adding new refrigerant to replace whatever has leaked out. Again, this is only done after determining the system is leak free.