The air conditioner is an essential element for a car because it keeps the interior cool during the hot season. In winter, it prevents the windows from fogging up. As the seasons go by, various breakdowns start to appear due to the age of the components or the lack of maintenance. Repairs are necessary in this case. However, it is mandatory to entrust them to a professional because, in addition to the complexity of the car’s air conditioning system, the fluid handling is delicate.
The Operation of the Air Conditioner
The car air conditioner works like any other air conditioning system. The principle is based on the condensation, compression, and expansion of a refrigerant gas. First, the gas is compressed and rises in temperature, thanks to the compressor.
Then it passes through the condenser to be cooled. This process transforms the gas into a liquid state. The gas is then passed through equipment that removes all unwanted particles from the liquid to protect the rest of the system.
Finally, the gas is depressurized to reduce its temperature. To do this, it passes through the expansion valve. The evaporator cools the ambient air through the pipes containing the cold liquid.
Signs of Air Conditioner Failure
An air conditioner failure is usually easy to recognize. Various malfunctions usually characterize breakdowns.
A Loss of Efficiency
Obviously, a broken air conditioner is less efficient. This is reflected in the slowness with which the cabin cools. This type of problem is often the result of a leak in the system or a clogged cabin filter. Sometimes a simple cleaning can correct the problem.
A Metallic Noise When the Air Conditioner Is On
When you turn on the air conditioner and hear a metallic noise, it’s often a sign of a problem of varying degrees. In this case, it’s often the compressor, or more specifically the clutch that disengages it from the system, that is the cause. It is usually easy to avoid this problem by regularly maintaining your air conditioner.
A Foul Smell in the Cabin Every Time You Turn On the Air Conditioning
A leak in the system also causes this type of problem. In this case, the problem is located in the pipes or the filter of the cabin. A diagnosis with a specialist will help identify and solve the problem.
The Most Common Causes of Air Conditioning Problems
Because of the complex structure of the air conditioner, damage in only one of the air conditioner elements is enough to cause the dysfunction of the whole system.
Faulty Control Circuit
The air conditioner comprises electronics such as fuses, connectors, relays, and switches. A problem with any of these components can cause the entire air conditioner to fail.
The Compressor Problem
The compressor is an integral part of the air conditioner. The compressor is driven by a belt connected to the motor. If there is a problem with the compressor, the air conditioner may not function properly. The failure of this equipment sometimes causes an increase in fuel consumption.
Leaks are also common in air conditioners. These problems can occur in several areas of the system.
Leaks at this point are rare, as this part is well protected. In this case, replacement is the only way to repair the leak, and it requires the removal of the dashboard.
Unlike the evaporator, the condenser is a part that is more or less exposed to external debris. Collisions of debris often cause the formation of breaches that lead to leaks.
The Different Connections
Leaks at the fittings are common. They are detected during diagnosis or maintenance.