Air conditioning service at Auto Tech Service starts with a visual inspection of the components for signs of damage or leaks.
AC Compressor and Belts
The AC compressor is driven by a belt from the engine, most often the serpentine belt, so it’s inspected for cracks or wear. The compressor and other components are checked for proper operation.
Air Flow in your Car
The most preventable problem with air conditioning is related to airflow on your car. The largest component of the air conditioning system is the ac condenser, which is located in from of the engine radiator, and often gets leaves, dirt, trash bags and other road debris blown against it (inside of your car’s grill) and that restricts the air that passes through it; that air is what cools the system back down after sucking all of the heat out of the inside of your car. Then a performance test determines if the system can hold vacuum.
If it can, then the system is evacuated to remove any old refrigerant and recharged with clean, fresh refrigerant. With the huge improvement in manufacturing processes, and the heavy restrictions imposed by the government, modern systems should be able to hold the refrigerant in the system indefinitely. But failures do occur. We see many cars from the early 90s still arriving in our shop on their original charge.
An ultra violet dye is added to the system for leak identification. A final test ensures the vehicle’s air conditioning is outputting a good vent temp and working properly. Many times small leaks will not be detectable on the first visit. If cooling does diminish the dye we installed will help us identify quickly where the leak is and make necessary repairs to your system.
It is often these same leaks that lead to the most dreaded component failure: the AC compressor. As the refrigerant leaks out of the system, so does the ac oil that circulates through the entire system which keeps the ac compressor lubricated. Once low on oil the compressor bearings will fail which leads to a very thorough and expensive repair, and a repair that often can be prevented.