Air conditioning is not only a convenience that allows you to drive cool during the hottest months, but it is an important component to keep your car in optimal condition, as it prevents the formation of moisture inside the vehicle during all the year.
More than just a convenience
The conditioner is good condition prevents damage related to humidity and the formation of frost on the inside of the windows. The system requires your attention to function properly. Part of the maintenance can be done by the owner of the vehicle himself.
Function of air conditioning in the car
The air conditioning of a car works according to the principles of compression and intake. The gases, suddenly compressed, heat up. And vice versa, they cool down when their volume increases. The cooling component of air conditioning is a closed system that circulates an evaporating agent. The tightness of this system is decisive for the operation of the air conditioner.
The refrigerant liquid is compressed in the compressor and then decompressed in the vaporizer. This causes cooling, which comes with a stream of air inside the car. The compressor is driven by a belt, typically a toothed belt or V-belt, which in turn is connected to the air conditioning compressor, power steering pump, cooling pump, and generator.
What can damage the air conditioning system?
One of the weak points of the air conditioner is the tightness of the closed air conditioning system. The pressure in the pipes causes the coolant to leak. It is not much you can do to stop this process. When air conditioning performance deteriorates, it is likely that too much coolant has escaped. Don’t panic: an air conditioner can be recharged.
Fresh air is blown into the passenger compartment by a fan and passes through a series of filters, which purify the cooled air of foreign particles. For about 25 years, the pores of these filters have been so fine that they can block pollen. When a large number of organic substances accumulate in the filter, you will notice an unpleasant smell in the passenger compartment of your car. In this case, it is necessary to replace the filter and clean and disinfect the air ducts.
From a technical point of view, all components of the air conditioning system are subject to wear, particularly the compressor. To replace it, the cooling system must be opened. Don’t do this in your garage because coolant is a potentially dangerous substance and is a chemical waste. Finally, the drive belt is subject to excessive wear. Depending on the type of belt, damaged air conditioning is less of a problem than a worn belt. If the water pump, alternator, and valve drive in the worst case are controlled by the same belt, failure will cause the entire engine to fail.
This can be avoided by carrying out the replacement according to the maintenance plan.
Do it yourself air conditioner repair
To ensure continued and proper operation of the air conditioning system, several maintenance operations are required. Some of them you can perform yourself, saving on the visit of the mechanic. Below you will find information on the most frequent maintenance steps, so you can choose which ones to perform yourself.
1. Change the filter and clean the air conditioner
The air conditioning system must be thoroughly cleaned every two years. It is also important to replace the pollen filter.
The pollen filter is easy to find. It is placed in a long, narrow box under the windshield. No special tools are needed to open the box and insert the filter.
Before replacing the filter, disinfect and clean the ducts. There are several specialized cleaning products, including sanitizing foam and vaporizer. The sanitizing foam is sprayed directly into the fan intake ducts. The vaporizer is positioned behind the driver’s seat. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
2. Disinfect with sanitizing foam
Before disinfecting the suction ducts, the evaporator must be thoroughly dried. This component cannot be seen, you have to dry it using the fan and the heater. Set the air conditioning to full power and leave the car with the engine running for 10 minutes.
Car air conditioning test Spray a generous amount of sanitizing foam on all the ducts you can see after opening the pollen filter box. Use half of the can safely.
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Restart the engine and reset the fan to maximum power. Start the heating and air conditioning. Change the direction of the fan every three minutes. Alternate between the foot, head and window areas, then repeat the procedure. Use the rest of the foam and clean the ducts again. Insert the new pollen filter and close the box.
3. Disinfect with a vaporizer
Disinfect the car air conditioner Some manufacturers offer the simplest solutions: the internal vaporizer that goes on the floor behind the driver’s seat. A piece of cardboard prevents the cylinder from falling. The jet beam must be directed upwards. Start the engine, run the fan and turn the knob fully open. Close all the windows and open the vaporizer. Close the doors from the outside and let the fan run for twenty minutes. Remove the cardboard, the vaporizer, and any debris behind the driver’s seat.
This method allows you to thoroughly disinfect the entire interior of the vehicle. Before use, check that all materials in the machine tolerate the product. People with asthma or allergies may find this cleaning method annoying.