Everything You Need to Know about Your Vehicles AC

Have you recently noticed that your vehicle’s AC isn’t functioning as it should? Or do you suspect it isn’t working properly, but you’re not quite sure? Before you take your car to a reputable auto service center like Dave’s Auto Repair, it’s an excellent idea to learn more about your car’s AC. 

auto repair near lakewood ranch

Our blog will discuss everything you must know about your vehicle’s AC, including its parts, how it works, and how often you should have yours inspected. 

How Many Parts Are There In A Car’s AC System?

Before we discuss how your car’s AC system works, we want to touch briefly on the parts you can expect your AC system to have. Ultimately, there are five major parts in a vehicle’s AC system, and these parts work together to ensure your vehicle’s cabin is cool while you drive on hot days. These five parts are the following:

  • Condenser.
  • Compressor. 
  • Evaporator.
  • Receiver dryer (sometimes referred to as an accumulator).
  • Orifice tube (otherwise known as an expansion valve).

In addition to these five parts, your AC system has refrigerant charging ports and hoses.

How Does Your Vehicle’s AC System Work? 

Now that you know the parts that make up an AC system in a car, we want to discuss how your vehicle’s AC works. Knowing how a vehicle’s AC system works is important to survive sweltering summers and hot and sweaty days. 

Firstly, despite what you might believe, no ice maker–esq machine is installed in your vehicle that cools it down. Instead, the cold air you feel when you turn on your vehicle’s AC is hot air that has had its hot gasses removed during a multi-step thermodynamic process under the hood. We have briefly detailed this process below so that you have an idea of how it works:

  • The changes in pressure inside your AC system cause changes in temperature. 
  • When the car’s AC is turned on, and the compressor compresses the FREON (the system’s refrigerant), the temperature is raised. 
  • This heat is then lowered once the air begins flowing through the condenser, which is the part that resembles a radiator.
  • After reaching this point, the air passes through a receiver (dryer), where moisture and contaminants are removed. Once this has occurred, it continues to move through the expansion valve (accumulator) until the refrigerant is slowed even further. 
  • Once the refrigerant has been significantly slowed, it loses pressure and temperature on its way to the evaporator. 
  • Your vehicle’s evaporator resembles a mini radiator inside the dash. This part begins lowering the refrigerant temperature even more at this stage. Once this occurs, your vent system will blow out the air via the motor over a cold evaporator, allowing your car to be cooled. 

How Often Should You Actually Have Your Car’s AC System Inspected?  

Now that you know how the AC system works, it’s a good idea to know how often you should have it inspected. Curiously, there is no pre-determined timeframe in which you should have your system checked other than when you complete routine maintenance. 

Additionally, you need to inspect your vehicle’s AC system when you notice a difference. For example, if it is blowing warm or hot air instead of cold air, is blowing cold air that turns to hot air quickly, or has an AC system that won’t switch on. When you suspect something is wrong, you can stop in at Dave’s Auto Repair for an AC performance check so that we can help you continue cruising in the summer heat while staying cool.

Speak To An Expert Technician At Dave’s Auto Repair For An AC Service

If you feel that your vehicle needs an AC service to get it in tip-top condition, you can speak to us at Dave’s Auto Repair. Our auto technicians are trained and know how to complete AC system services to ensure you stay cool while driving. 
We can also complete an inspection to ensure your system is functioning as it should be and service it to ensure it keeps operating as it should, even if you don’t suspect something is wrong. So get in contact with us here, and we’ll book you in for an AC service.

Contact Us