Car air conditioning is now a standard inclusion in new vehicles due to the love we have for our automobiles and the comfort we expect. Automotive air conditioners these days are quite reliable in comparison to the first models which surfaced in the 1940’s and therefore an auto air conditioning repair is thankfully few and far between. Modern units are computerized climate controlled systems with variable air flow which is also ducted to the rear seat areas if required.
In the past an automotive air conditioner repair was commonly susceptible to refrigerant gas loss during winter due to the compressor seal losing its lubrication of oil in the inactive winter months. This refrigerant (R12) was harmful to the environment and has since been replaced with a less harmful gas (R314A). Repairing auto air conditioning in older vehicles that still have the harmful gas can be retro fitted with new parts and the new R314A refrigerant.
The major parts of the automotive air conditioning system consist of:
- Indoor evaporator – located in the front dash board area
- Outdoor condenser – located in front of the car radiator
- Compressor – located in the engine bay, powered by the car engine
- Connecting tubes of flexible piping
- Thermal expansion device – engine bay
- Sight glass / accumulator – engine bay
- Filter drier – to catch particles and moisture in the system
- Computer / electrical controls for climate control
From the drivers point of view an automotive air conditioning system is something we only think about on hot days and when it breaks down. Considering the battering the system endures over the years it’s reliability has improved with improvements being made constantly by the manufacturers. Obviously the driver isn’t aware of the technology involved, we are only grateful that it exists. If the unmentionable happens and you need to repair your auto air conditioning after it fails to cool then you have little option than take the vehicle to the nearest qualified and licensed technician.
The car air conditioning system is not a simple piece of machinery and the lay person should not attempt to repair or adjust any part of it. Apart from the safety aspects, in most countries complying to the Montreal Protocol it is illegal to work on the refrigeration system without the correct license.