Fruitland Auto Air Conditioning Repair

My air conditioning just isn’t as cold as it used to be!

As we leave the cool, wet spring behind, and embrace the summer-time, air conditioning becomes a hot-topic.  You may have noticed that your air conditioner is not as cold as it once was.  Maybe it’s cold while you are driving but gets warm when you are sitting at the stop light or in a parking lot.  What makes the situation worse… it was doing the same thing last year and you already paid $100 to get it fixed!  Understanding a few basics about air conditioning can help you know what to expect when you take it to a repair facility.

Air conditioning systems look different in every vehicle but they all operate very similarly.  There is a pump that compresses refrigerant and oil and forces it through a pipe that leads to a heat-exchanger inside the vehicle.  When your fan blows the air across the exchanger, and out your vents, the heat from inside the vehicle is absorbed into the refrigerant, and you are left with nice, cold air.  The refrigerant is then pushed to another heat-exchanger at the front of the vehicle where it is cooled by the radiator fan, and the process starts over.  There are a few other components to the system, but this is a basic explanation.  

Let’s go through a few scenarios you may have experienced with your A/C…

My A/C works all the time but just isn’t as cold as it should be.

Usually this is an indication that your vehicle does not have the correct amount of refrigerant.  The A/C system is sealed, which means if it is low on refrigerant, there is usually a leak.  When most repair facilities re-charge your A/C system, they add U/V dye so that the leak can be isolated.  Some leaks are large and can be found immediately, and some are tiny, and may take several months to leak out.  The important thing to know is that re-charging the refrigerant is not likely to FIX your A/C, it is just a step in identifying the source of your problem.

My A/C works great when I am moving but gets warm when I slow down.

Remember the last step in the system I mentioned above... the radiator fan cools the refrigerant before the process starts over.  When your vehicle is moving, air is flowing through the grill and into the radiator.  When the vehicle is stopped, it relies heavily on the fan to pull air through the radiator.  If you are experiencing this issue, it is likely that your fan, or fan-control, may have failed.

Last but not least… Why is A/C work so expensive?

If you have had major repairs performed on your A/C system, you are probably aware that it is not cheap.  You may have had a compressor fail and the repair shop replaced nearly every part of the system.  The reality is that when a compressor fails, there is debris that is released into circulation.  Each component in the system then acts as a filter and collects the debris.  If the compressor, alone, is replaced, the debris will make its way back to the compressor and you will be looking at another shop-visit.

If you want to get your air conditioning performing at its best this summer, we would love to help!

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