During the summer months, we often take our vehicle’s A/C system for granted. It’s easy to push a button or turn a dial and feel the cool air blasting in your face. But when your A/C system fails, the warm air can create a very uncomfortable environment inside the vehicle. There are only a few components of an A/C system that could be problematic and cause it to fail, and we’ve explained them so that you can have a better understanding.
Three Main Components Of A Vehicle A/C System
Every vehicle’s A/C system has three main components that all need to be functioning properly for the system to work correctly. Those components are:
- Condenser - This component is in front of the radiator and it’s where the cool air moving in the vehicle from driving dumps the heat it’s collecting inside the vehicle.
- Evaporator - This is the coil that sits inside the vehicle behind the dashboard that takes the heat out of the air.
- Compressor - This component moves the liquid inside the lines between the other two components.
So with this knowledge, you can see how the A/C system works by the refrigerant coming into the evaporator, collecting the heat from inside the cabin of the vehicle, pushing the refrigerant out to the condenser where it dumps the heat outside the vehicle while it’s moving.
Common Problems With A/C Systems
While A/C systems only have three main components, we see seven common problems with them in our shop:
- Low on refrigerant - Simply filling it up or charging it may not solve the overall problem. It usually means there is a leak that needs to be addressed.
- Failed compressor - The compressor has many different components within it that could fail, so we will check them all to determine the problem.
- System blockage - If a blockage occurs and the refrigerant can’t cycle through, it can’t dump the heat, which leads to warm air coming through your vents.
- Blend door failure - These are small doors that move when you turn the knob from hot to cold. The mechanical or electrical components can fail and leave it stuck in the hot or cold position no matter which way you turn the knob.
- Fan problems - The blower motor is located inside the cabin and another fan is located in front of the vehicle at the condenser. If either fan fails, the A/C system will have trouble cooling.
- Restrictor device failure - This controls the process of the refrigerant being turned into a gas from a liquid. If this component gets plugged or fails in other ways, the system will not cool.
- Clogged evaporator drain tube - A sign that this is a problem is if you have a puddle of water underneath your vehicle when you have let it idle for several minutes. When the evaporator tube is clogged, the condensation has nowhere to go so it can end up inside your vehicle or even in your blower motor.
DeBoer’s Auto wants to ensure you have cool air blowing inside your vehicle at all times this summer. If you’re experiencing any A/C troubles at all, contact us and we will take a look at your vehicle as soon as possible.