The air conditioning unit in your vehicle operates similarly to a refrigerator. Your vehicle’s air conditioning unit is designed to move heat from the inside of your car to outside of it.

Your vehicle’s air conditioning unit has six major components:

  • The carries heat. In modern cars, refrigerant is a substance called R-134a. Older cars’ refrigerant is called R-12 freon, which is more expensive and difficult to find than R-134a.
  • The circulates and compresses refrigerant within the vehicle’s cooling system.
    Your vehicle’s condenser changes the refrigerant from gas to liquid and expels heat from the car.
  • The (sometimes called the orifice tube) is a nozzle that simultaneously drops the pressure of the refrigerant liquid, meter its flow and atomize it.
  • Your vehicle’s evaporator transfers heat to the refrigerant from the air blown across it, cooling your car.
  • The receiver or dryer filters your vehicle’s refrigerant and oil, removing moisture and other contaminants from them.

When you start your vehicle’s air conditioning system, the compressor works by putting the refrigerant under pressure, sending it to the condensing coils, which are generally in front of your vehicle’s radiator. The condenser expels hot air to outside the car and the refrigerant is cooled, which changes it from a gas to a liquid. It then passes through the expansion valve drastically reducing the pressure and into the evaporator.

Once the evaporator receives the liquid-state refrigerant, the vehicle’s blower moves air across the evaporator turning the hot air cold and into the vehicle’s interior. If you keep your air conditioning unit turned on, the refrigerant goes through this cycle continuously.

If any of these components is damaged, it can turn your cool car into a furnace during the summer months. Your vehicle’s air conditioning issue could be as simple as topping off refrigerant to replacing a valve. When your air conditioning unit is not working as it should, bring your vehicle to Jerry Lambert Automotive. One of our trained air conditioning specialists will inspect your car’s air conditioner, all lines, the evaporator and the compressor for leaks and wear.

For more information, check out the video below