14 Jun When The Cold Air Goes Kaput: Fixing Your Car’s A/C
If you were to run a general poll of the most popular non-essential systems in a car—that is to say, the amenities that aren’t required to keep the car running—you would likely get a very diverse group of answers. They might cover a wide range of categories, from high-end safety features to classic comforts. These might include features such as:
- Blindspot detection alarms
- Automatic high beams
- Forward collision detection
- Bluetooth radio integration
- Seat heater and cooler
- Keyless entry/ignition
- Auto-dimming mirrors
Examples such as these push the barriers of technological advancement, often adding premiums on top of a vehicle’s sticker price. While they do much to add value, comfort, and peace of mind to the driving experience, perhaps the most important amenity that a car can offer is a good air conditioning and heating system. As any person who grew up before the 1970s—when only half of all cars came off the factory floor with a built-in A/C unit—will attest, there is no substitute for a good air conditioning system when you are taking a road trip.
A/C and Auto Repairs
It is a sad day indeed, then, when the heating and air conditioning unit starts to break down. Like losing an internet connection, you begin to realize how much you rely on something when it disappears. While it may be a no-brainer that your air conditioning is broken—you aren’t feeling cold air, after all—there are numerous reasons as to what might be causing that. The professionals at Schultz Auto Garage will run a number of diagnostics in order to nail down what might be the ultimate problem and then treat it accordingly. Reasons include:
- Your cooling agent, refrigerant, may be leaking
- The cooling condenser may be clogged or broken
- Your car could be having electrical problems
- Your compressor may be broken
- Your cooling fans may be faulty
Customers who come in for a car repair with a bad A/C unit will likely hear a few of these terms—refrigerant, condenser, and compressor—and not know entirely what they mean. While the auto repair technicians at Schultz Auto Garage would be happy to explain the problem to you, we can take a few moments to brush up on our terminology ahead of time.
How Your Car’s A/C Works
You may be familiar with how your home’s HVAC system works; the car’s system is not unlike that. For cars and buildings, the air conditioning process starts with refrigerant, a gaseous compound that absorbs heat from the environment when moved through a compressor.
- The refrigerant gathers heat in the compressor, which turns the gas into a liquid
- The liquid is moved to the condenser which exposes the liquid refrigerant to cooling from outside air coming in through a vent
- Having been cooled, the liquid refrigerant travels to an expansion valve wherein it becomes a gas once more
- Whatever condensation is left after this transformation is removed and the gas is sent to an evaporator
- The gaseous refrigerant sucks the hot air from the evaporator as it travels through, leaving behind cold air that is then blown out of the vents into the cabin.
As you can see, the process of turning hot air into cold air is a multi-layered one involving more than one essential part to see it through. If any of these components break down (which is likely to happen eventually, as normal use creates wear and tear over time), the auto repair bill could be costly. The team at Schultz Auto Garage tries to mitigate this by providing best-in-class customer service.
For anyone experiencing faulty air conditioning, either from a lack of cold air or an influx of hot air while on the coldest settings, the car repair gurus at Schultz can help. Simply give us a call or stop by to get your car back up to working order.