Summer months in Kentucky are hot and humid. Losing your car's air conditiong is miserable. In this week's blog, we are going to attempt to explain the most common steps that our shop does for AC failure diagnosis. So here's the scenario:
You notice your car starts blowing warmer air after driving awhile, maybe not as cool as it used to be, may quit blowing cold all together. You call and come in to check the AC....
First step: We perform an AC pressure test and visual inspection. This includes checking the operation of the control panel, blower fan and engine fan operation, compressor, clutch and belt. We check low and high pressures in the system, proper air flow thru the evaporator and condenser, and check for any restrictions noticed. At this time we will advise you of our findings and recommendations. We may have an estimated repair for you at this time.
Second step: If we find the refrigerant level low and no other factors are found then we will recommend an evacuate and recharge of the system which includes dye. Since refrigerant is a gas, the dye helps determine the origin of the leak. Many times a leak will not be visible on this visit and we will recommend returning for a dye test. Once a leak is identified we will estimate the repair.
AC repairs vary in cost considerably because there are so many seals, components, relays, and lines that can be the root cause of failure. The most expensive repair being the compressor, depending on your vehicle and reason for failure. The reason a compressor replacement is so expensive is because a failed compressor will likely send metal or debris through the system and cause contamination to other components. The only way to remove the contaminants is to replace compressor, orifice tube / expansion valve, dyer/accumulator/or desiccant bag, and completely flush the system. The passages in these components are so small it is impossible to flush all the contaminants out, replacing the components is the only way to ensure the new compressor will not fail.
You can find further information on our Auto Air Conditioning page.
We discourage over the counter dyi recharge kits because most have sealants that claim to seal leaks. These sealants will contaminate the refrigerant and we can not properly evacuate and recover the refrigerant. This sealant can cause damage to our equipment.
Please call with any questions that you may have, the more knowledge you have about your vehicle the better decisions you can make.