Automotive Air Conditioning 101

Feeling hot, hot, hot? Accurate Auto can help you with any of your car air conditioning needs in Portland.

Air conditioning is one of those things that you don’t need all the time, but you sure do need it when the condition warrants it. Now standard on almost all cars, the air conditioner cools and removes humidity from the air. Think of it like a refrigerator: It moves heat from inside your car to the outside.

The air conditioner uses refrigerant: R-134a is used in cars manufactured in 1995 to 2014. In 2014, the new refrigerant R-1234yf was introduced. is a near drop-in replacement for the R134a refrigerant, but with a Global Warming Potential of just 4 – a figure 99.7% lower than R134a. Moreover, HFO1234yf has an atmospheric lifetime of only 11 days, compared to 13 years for R134a and more than 500 years for CO2 (carbon dioxide).

Your car air conditioner has three main components, the compressor, condenser, and evaporator that work together to cool the air flowing across the condenser coils and condense it into a liquid. As the air blows across the evaporator, the liquid part of the cold refrigerant evaporates, which lowers the temperature, thus cooling the warm air.

What can go wrong with your air conditioning?

Let Accurate Auto take a look to diagnose and fix your air conditioning issues. Here are some common trouble spots:

  • When the refrigerant starts to break down in the compressor, it releases metal particles that can infiltrate the rest of your car’s air conditioning system.
  • Mold or mildew can build up caused by the residual moisture that occurs during the cooling process.
  • Seals or hoses can crack, clog or come loose causing leaks or blower issues.
  • The compressor can wear out
  • The ventilation fan can break down
  • The electrical system can fail

How is air conditioning fixed?

Got air conditioning problems? No sweat! Accurate Auto has experience with air conditionings systems to keep you cool on the road.

To check for leaks, the auto repair shop will conduct a pressure diagnostic and leak evaluation test, often using a fluorescent dye, which will identify where the leaks are so they can determine how to fix them.

How can you keep your air conditioning in good working order?

Rely on Accurate Auto in Portland to fix any air conditioning issues. Here are some ways to help keep your system running its best:

  • Both overuse and underuse can be bad for your car’s air conditioner so make sure to turn it on every now and then even in winter.
  • Air conditioners need regular recharging, just like an oil change. It entails adding fresh refrigerant. If you just need some, the auto repair shop can just top it off. Otherwise, if it’s too low, they need to drain what’s in there and replace with fresh refrigerant.
  • Watch for signs something is amiss, such as decreased output, warmer air or a screeching when you start the vehicle.
  • At the first sign of an issue, you should sweat it, as they say. Make an appointment to visit a reputable auto shop like Accurate Auto ASAP. Especially in the case of a leak, your repair will be far less costly if discovered early. If your system has been compromised for a while, moisture can enter the air conditioning system which can damage other parts.