Is Your Car’s A/C Ready for Spring ?

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Compressor and Receiver Drier for a 2001 Audi S4

Spring is here…..is your vehicle’s A/C ready for it ?!?  Automotive air conditioning has been around since the 1940’s and by the late 1960’s, nearly half of the cars sold came equipped with A/C.  The primary function of a vehicle’s A/C system is to cool the cabin of the vehicle and to remove humidity from the air.  Think back to the cold winter days when you were trying to defrost your vehicle and ended up with fog on your windshield.  A quick turn of the knob to A/C allowed moisture to be removed from your vehicle, thus clearing up the foggy windshield.  So, a vehicle’s A/C gets used virtually year-round.

Your car’s A/C system has several components including a compressor, condenser (very similar to a radiator), and an evaporator.  Without getting into specifics on the high-pressure side and the low-pressure side, there is quite a path that the refrigerant must follow to get from the compressor to the condenser and the receiver-drier and ultimately the evaporator so that your vehicle puts out cold air.  Unfortunately, leaks often occur and the result is that you have no A/C or it is not blowing cool air at all. 

Spring is a good time to have your vehicle’s A/C system inspected to ensure that you do not have any leaks and that your refrigerant levels are correct.  The EPA has banned R-12 refrigerant due to its damaging properties so vehicles now use R-134a.  Often times, a car will need to have its system evacuated and recharged so that fresh refrigerant is in the system.  That is a good time to determine if leaks are present and repair those leaks.  Many individuals think that Stop Leak products are an acceptable alternative to spending money to have their A/C leak repaired by a mechanic.   Do you honestly think that a $9.00 can of chemical can “fix” the problem that you have having with your car’s A/C ?   Make sure you ask the auto parts store if they will stand behind the product and reimburse you for the more extensive damage that cute little can will cost you.