1240 Plains Rd E, Burlington, ON L7S 1W6

Auto AC Repair at The Auto Station

Air Conditioning

The History Behind the Car AC System

Car air conditioning is a system that allows you to cool the interior air of your vehicle in hot weather, creating a more comfortable environment for the occupants. Air conditioning is standard in almost all new cars and is something that most car owners have come to expect.

The Packard Motor Company in the United States was the first to develop the concept of air conditioning in a car. They introduced air conditioning as an optional extra for car buyers in 1939.  Air conditioning was slow to gain prominence at first, but by 1970, nearly half of all new cars produced had air conditioning.

Despite being over 75 years old, your car’s air conditioning system still operates on the same basic principles that evolved in the 1930s. The compressor, condenser, and evaporator are the three main components.

Common Types of Car AC Systems

A Car AC system can be separated into two different types:

ORIFICE Tube & Accumulator System

An orifice tube precedes the evaporator core, and an accumulator precedes the compressor in this system. Before entering the evaporator, the orifice tube restricts the refrigerant flow, converting the high-pressure liquid to a low-pressure mist. The accumulator is a holding tank that contains a desiccant bag that removes moisture from the refrigerant before it reaches the compressor.

Expansion Valve & Receiver-Driver System

Between the condenser and the in-line filter kit is a receiver-drier, and before the evaporator core is an expansion valve. It, like the accumulator, includes desiccant to retain moisture, but the receiver-drier is located on the high-pressure side rather than the low-pressure side. Like the orifice tube, the expansion valve limits refrigerant flow to allow the pressurized liquid to expand into a low-pressure mist.

The Workings of an Automobile AC System

The air-conditioning system in a car operates by converting refrigerant from a liquid to a gaseous state. The refrigerant absorbs heat and humidity from the vehicle as it changes states, allowing the system to emit cool, dry air. The air-conditioning process utilizes pressure and temperature to change the refrigerant from a liquid to a gaseous state.

AC System Components

Automotive Air-conditioning systems have a few key components; listed below are a few of them:

Compressor

  • Squeezes low-pressure gas into high-temperature/high-pressure gas.
  • Located in front of the engine and powered by a serpentine belt.
  • The system’s power unit separates the low-pressure side from the high-pressure side.

Condenser

  • Diminishes refrigerant temperature while maintaining high pressure.
  • Refrigerant transitions from a gaseous to a liquid state as it cools down.
  • Similar to the engine radiator, it uses forced air (fan or vehicle movement) to transfer heat.
  • Located in front of the vehicle, behind the grill.

Dryer

  • Removes water from the refrigerant using a desiccant (drying agent).
  • Have some system-filtering properties.
  • Mounted on the high-pressure side of the system, between the condenser and metering device.

Metering system

An expansion valve or a fixed orifice tube could be used. It reduces refrigerant pressure, resulting in a rapid drop in refrigerant temperature. After departing the metering device, the refrigerant is still in liquid form. Installed on the high-pressure side of the system, between the dryer and the firewall

Evaporator

In the evaporator, the refrigerant returns to a gaseous state, resulting in cooling. As it blows across the evaporator, cabin air is cooled and dried. The only aspect installed inside the passenger cabin is behind the dashboard.

Warning Signs Your Auto AC System Needs Repair & Maintenance Services

There are several indicators that your vehicle is in need of AC service.  A few are listed below:

  • The most obvious is that your air conditioner is broken. When you turn on the air conditioner, nothing comes out of the vents. This can be caused by various issues, ranging from problems with the fan and vents to a lack of refrigerant to other difficulties within the
  • Another indication of trouble is that your air conditioner is blowing air, but the air you’re getting isn’t cool or is only slightly cool. If your air conditioner isn’t cold, it could indicate that your compressor is damaged or compromised.
  • If you observe unpleasant or strange odours while running the AC, this too may indicate a problem. Mould and fungus can build up within your air conditioning system, especially in high humidity conditions, and must be flushed out.
  • While running the air conditioner, strange noises can imply various system problems. Any clanging, banging, or unusual noises can indicate one of the components in your AC system needs to be replaced.

Book an appointment at Burlington’s Best Auto Repair Shop: The Auto Station

If your car AC system experiences any technical glitches, visiting Burlington-based The Auto Station is vital. Our state-of-the-art auto repair shop and our fully licensed automotive technicians ensure that your vehicle will be treated to the ultimate standard in quality automotive services. We regularly perform a full range of car care, from fundamental oil changes to complex engine diagnostics and rebuild.

Our services include pre-purchase inspection/recommendation, drive-ability inspection, electrical system diagnosis, brake service, battery and charging systems, tune-ups, wheel alignments, suspension repairs, new tire replacement and balancing, A/C Servicing and more.