air conditioning illustration


Auto Care Plus technicians are committed to finding the most cost-effective solution for your automotive repairs. Our A/C Check tests for leaks, equipment failure, and contamination. In the event that repair is required, our mechanics are schooled in all regulatory requirements concerning refrigerants, parts replacement, and retrofitting.



UNDERSTANDING YOUR VEHICLE’S A/C UNIT

If you open your mouth wide and blow air from your lungs, it will be warm. But if you purse your lips into a tight circle, the air feels cool. This is the simplest example of compression cooling and it is utilized in all refrigeration technology.

Air conditioning units not only pump cool air, they remove super-heated air. Hot air from within the car and around the engine is vented into a compressor that contains refrigerant, (4). Within the compressor, rising temperatures create a rapidly-moving vapor that gets released into a condenser coil after reaching its peak temperature. Here, the “pursed lips” of the small coil, (1), cool the vapor, assisted by the fast-moving air entering at the front of the radiator. At this point, the vapor becomes a liquid; (in the same way that clouds rising into the cold upper atmosphere produce rain). The liquid is then routed through a thermal expansion valve, (2). This valve reduces the pressure, turning a portion back into gas. The remaining liquid returns to the compressor to repeat the cycle, while the gas is directed to the evaporation coil, (3), where it is regulated and filtered before entering the vehicle. The result can be likened to the cool breeze that accompanies a summer storm.


WHY AIR CONDITIONING UNITS FAIL

Leaks comprise more than 80% of all refrigeration issues. The most common leakages occur at the junctions between components; i.e., between the condenser and the coil; the coil and the accumulation unit; the coil and the evaporation coil, etc. Solutions can be as simple as replacing gaskets and hoses.

Working components can also fail. The list below includes all manner of AC designs. Most systems only have three or four parts per unit. Replacement/repair costs vary according to manufacture specs:

  • The Compressor
  • The Condenser
  • The Evaporator
  • The Orifice Tube
  • The Thermal Expansion Valve
  • The Receiver/Dryer
  • The Accumulator

Refrigerant issues include system contamination or refrigerant loss. These issues are by far the most expensive to repair. Refrigerant regulations designed to protect the environment both before the turn of the century and since, have dramatically altered the face of refrigeration. In order to utilize current refrigerants, some A/C parts may have to be retrofitted, increasing the cost of repair. Since decontamination consists of flushing and recharging the entire system and replacing its major components, it too can be a costly proposition. Our technicians will walk you through any specialized issues they detect within your A/C system so that together, you can determine the best course of action for you.



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