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In the early ’50s, only luxury cars offered air conditioning systems. It may be why the A/C system was overlooked more than any part of the car.
Today that belief has changed among most car owners. The air-conditioning system gives the drivers and passengers a comfortable experience when in the car, especially driving a long hot Summer.
In this article, we will examine the air conditioning system, how it works, proper maintenance tips to keep it in good shape, and signs that tell you your air-conditioning system needs an auto AC service.
What is a car air conditioning system?
A car air conditioning system functions similarly to that of a normal air conditioning system. It is designed to be more compact, consisting of the compressor, condenser, fan, expansion device, and evaporator.
The car air-conditioning system is powered by the engine crankshaft and operated electronically by pressing buttons.
Components of a car air conditioning system
A car’s AC system comprises modified components of a normal AC system. Its modification makes the system more compact and fits into the engine, unlike early versions. These components include:
The condenser works hand in hand with the compressor. It helps to lower the temperature and pressure of liquid refrigerants produced by the compressor.
The compressor is the major component of the AC system responsible for converting gaseous refrigerant into liquid to enable proper flow through the condenser.
The refrigerant is used as heat exchange in the a/c system. Its liquid comes at a low boiling point.
It is responsible for expanding high-pressure and low-temperature refrigerant from the condenser to the evaporator.
How Do Air Conditioning Systems Work in a European car?
Refrigerant is the heart of the air-conditioning system. The air conditioning system functions by manipulating refrigerant from gas to liquid.
The compressor works by converting gaseous refrigerant to liquid. The refrigerant is responsible for absorbing heat from the vehicle.
The condenser controls the temperature and pressure in the air-conditing system to give off cool air.
Signs your AC is faulty
Loud noise from your car a/c system signals that the compressor is failing. A broken bearing in the compressor may cause the noise you hear from the system.
2. Car A/C blows hot air
The air-conditioning system works as a cabin cooler. That is to get cold air into the car through its vent. When the air supply is not as cold as its use to or supplies hot air, it may be because of a compressor failure. You will notice that the air supplied is hotter.
3. Moisture leak
The compressor is designed with an internal bearing that prevents the refrigerant from leaking. Over time, the bearing will wear and cause the fluid to leak. Once noticed, you should take your European car for auto ac service.
An unusual odor from your AC vent may result from burnt wire and may be a sign that your AC system is bad and needs repair.
5. Compressor clutch failure
The compressor clutch works as a pulley that allows the compressor to engage and disengage from the car engine. It allows the air-conditioning to be energy efficient. A damaged compressor clutch is a sign your European car needs auto ac service.
Maintenance Tips for your car’s A/C
Maintenance will go a long way in improving the air conditioning system’s life span and quality of service. Here are five maintenance tips for your European car A/C system.
● Replace air filter regularly
It is recommended that you replace the air filter yearly. The filter traps dust particles and may clog, preventing air from flowing. The trapped particle may store moisture causing the spread of germs.
● Using a/c regularly
A common misconception is that using the air-conditioning frequently may cause it to break down. Using the a/c at least once a week helps keep it functioning well.
● Get auto ac service at European Motors.
Get auto ac service for your European car at least once a year to keep it in top shape. We recommend European Motors in Silver Lake for your European car.
● Keep the car clean
Keeping your car neat and clean prevents dirt and particles from clogging the air filter. It also helps to prevent bacteria.
● Avoid precooling
Put your A/C at the highest when driving to operate more efficiently. Avoid opening the windows to keep hot air out and cold air in.
Auto AC services for European cars
When you take your European car for routine service, the following are the services you can expect to be carried out on your car:
● Refrigerant leak fix
● Condenser repair
● Compressor repair
● Electrical fix
● Fan repair
1. Is an air conditioner gas leak in a car dangerous?
Long exposure to gas leaks can be lethal and cause dizziness and asphyxiation. However, a gas leak from the car air-conditioning system happens gradually and usually evaporates quickly.
2. How long does it take to regas my car’s air-conditioning?
It takes about 45min to refill regas (recharge) your car air-conditioning. Although, it may be longer if other faults are discovered during the refilling.
3. How often should you service your vehicle’s air-conditioning system?
You should service your car’s a/c every one to two years. The service will include refilling and fixing damaged components of the air-con system.
4. Why is my car blowing hot air?
The reason your car blows hot air may be caused by a refrigerant leak. Once there is a leak, none of the other components of the air-conditioning system will function properly.
We too often take our car’s air conditioning system for granted until we face issues with the system. Your European car should be taken for an auto ac service at least once a year to keep it in good shape.
At European Motors in Silver Lake, our European car specialists are equipped with the most advanced tools required for many cars, such as Audi, BMW, VW, Mini, Mercedes, Jaguar, Fiat, Land Rover, Porsche, and Volvo. Our shop has been located on Ivanhoe Hill since 1975, across the street from Whole Foods Market. We have been proud to be a neighborhood favorite auto repair shop for over 40 years. If you need help carrying out an auto ac service, give European Motors a call.