Carz R' Us

Understanding Your Vehicle’s Air Conditioning System

What would you do if your air conditioning stopped working in your car? You would be miserable, right? The amount of time we spend in our cars makes properly running air conditioning a necessity, not a luxury and if it stops working, we’re going to do whatever it takes to make it work again ASAP.

Fixing your car’s air conditioning on your own is often times not the best solution. Car air conditioning systems work differently than many people are aware. What you might think is a simple fix might actually cause more damage than good. For example, if your AC system stops working you would go to the auto parts store and buy a can of Freon. However, in order to properly charge an AC system it must be put under a vacuum, so using a can to charge the system is not a good solution to the problem. Often times, after charging the system with the can of Freon, it still does not work. You may think that the vehicle is still low on Freon, so you buy another can and charge it again with the same results.

What potential issues can happen if you keep trying to charge the system with Freon? What is the Freon capacity for the vehicle and how much did the system have initially? If you don’t have this information you may be doing more harm than good. Air conditioning systems are designed to operate within very tight parameters. If the system were six ounces low and the air was not cold, adding a 16 ounce can is not going to fix the problem. It will now be overcharged and not function properly, potentially causing the hi-side line to blow right off the vehicle.
Another issues is the fact that car air condition systems contain oil. This oil travels through the system keeping the compressor and other expensive components lubricated. If your system is low on Freon it is causing damage to other components. Waiting to take care of the problem just makes it more expensive.

The best way to fix an AC system is to make sure a recharge includes oil and a vacuum put on the system. When this is not done in a timely manner more issues arise. If the system is not working properly have it addressed immediately at a repair facility as you would other systems on your vehicle, hopefully avoiding more expensive repairs down the road!

Posted in: AC Repair, Air Conditioning, Auto Repair

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