The hot and humid days of summer are here and if your AC isn’t working there will be many unbearable, sweltering hot days driving ahead. AC not only removes latent heat, it filters the air of impurities.
A/C system may break eventually with usage, hose pipes may clog and drip if not serviced, causing reduced efficiency heating and cooling capabilities. Regular maintenance is key.
A comprehensive evaluation of A/C system includes:
- Examining the internal controls and blower
- Inspecting the compressor belt
- Checking radiator coolant operating temperature, hoses, pressure radiator cap and thermostat
- Inspecting system and seals for leaks or various other damages.
- A cooling system pressure test
- Verifying the A/C pressure meets manufacturer specifications
Our repair and maintenance services include:
A fan belt, also known as a drive belt, is a belt connecting your car’s engine to the front mounted accessories. The fan belt rotates the water pump and engine fan, which maintains a cool environment for the engine and its components. Sooner or later, your vehicle’s fan belts will dry out and crack.
Why does my A/C have weak airflow?
There are a lot of factors at play. If you notice reduced airflow early on –rather than later– take the right step and have it looked at before other fatal A/C system damage can occur.
Main causes of weak airflow:
- Mold or mildew may have accumulated in the evaporator core from residual moisture that occurs during the cooling process. When this happens, air will have trouble reaching your air vents.
- A hose has come loose. This usually happens with the blower hose that supplies air to the blower unit.
- Ventilation fan is fried. If the fan’s not blowing, air won’t be flowing very well.
- Seals. No, not those seals down by the pier. Core case seals, blower house seals or evaporator core case seals; All can open up and diminish air flow. A/C ventilation systems are very sensitive and must remain sealed. Once they’re opened, the whole system is compromised.
Are there any system warning lights to alert me to an A/C problem?
You may notice that the air coming out of your vents is not as cold as it used to be. The only real way to verify is to hook up your low and high side to a R3 machine (Recovery, Recycling, Recharge). The machine will tell you whether you’re running low or normal. Refer to your Owner’s Manual for more information.
My A/C isn’t as cold as it used to be, what’s going on?
There are several reasons an A/C system can lose its cool. Here’s what can cause your cold air to lose its cool.
The lack of precious cold air could be caused by:
- A Freon (HFC 134a) leak caused by a failed o-ring, seal, hose or component
- A clogged expansion tube or refrigerant charging hose
- Damaged compressor or compressor clutch
- Failed blower motor or blower motor resistor
- Damaged or failed condenser (heat exchanger) or evaporator
- Vacuum leaks (A vaccum pump lowers boiling point of water and removes moisture vapor)
- Failed switch, fuse, relay, control module, blend door or solenoid
The A/C starts out cool then starts getting warm, what’s happening?
Well, like many complicated stories, there’s never one simple answer. A/C systems are a fickle breed. Your best bet is to have us inspect your system for any of the following listed symptoms.
From cold to hot and all the symptoms in between:
- The clogged expansion valve (TXV): The expansion valve distributes the proper amount of refrigerant to your evaporator. If the valve is blocked, the refrigerant can’t flow into the evaporator. With the valve clogged, the refrigerant will start to freeze the valve altogether if moisture is present.
- Faulty compressor clutch: If the clutch is not engaging with your compressor, than your compressor can’t maintain the correct pressure. Hot air will result.
- The blown fuse scenario: Fuses sometimes short out. If the fuse associated with your A/C system goes, the power to certain parts will stop.
- Leaks are caused by damage or moisture. When moisture and refrigerant mix, nasty corrosive acids will eat away at seals and components, causing a leak. EPA doesn’t require leaks to be repaired but in some states it is required.
- Black light enabled dyes. A lot of refrigerants are pre-mixed with a special Ultraviolet. dye that shows up under black light. We’ll run a black light over your A/C system to see if any dye shows up.
- Bring in the “sniffer.” A sniffer is a special device that hones in on the refrigerant’s chemical components.
What causes an A/C system leak?
Age and moisture. Plain and simple. Rubber seals and hoses can also lose their elasticity over time and breakdown allowing Freon to escape and moisture to enter your vehicle’s A/C system. Moisture is bad for your A/C system, mixing with refrigerant and creating a system destroying corrosive acid.
If the water pump goes bad, it won’t directly affect your AC system, but since it’s run on the same belt as your compressor, it will indirectly effect resulting in a major coolant leak.
Quick fact: If moisture is present, it could damage your accumulator, receiver or drier. Remember, these devices are responsible for removing moisture from the A/C system and will eventually stop functioning once they are exposed to an open system (leak or crack). During a standard evacuation, no moisture is removed. Recycling refrigerant does not remove moisture — it only removes oil.
If we need to replace your AC, we must first recover the refrigerant to an A/C system.
Refrigerants is harmful the ozone layer. Specifically chlorine causes ozone depletion. Ozone is critical because it protects us from ultraviolet radiation. The Montreal Protocol calls for a production phase out of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) which is Chlorine, Fluoride and Carbon.
The Federal Clean Air Act requires all persons working on refrigerants be certified in recovery procedures. The cylinders must be SAE approved. After charging a system using manifold gauges the refrigerant in the hoses must be recovered.
Reclaimed refrigerant must be purified to A.R.I 700-93 standard