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Is your car air conditioning not running effectively?

Ryan's Radiator Service carries out extensive repairs and maintenance on your cars airconditioning system.

We also do carry out retro fitting to older cars still using the old R-12 refrigerant as well as all repairs to car airconditioning systems using our diagnostic system.

Here's the basics of how your car air conditioner works

The principles of evaporation and condensation are utilized in your car's A/C system by a series of components that are connected by tubing and hoses. There are six basic components: the compressor, condenser, receiver-drier, thermostatic expansion valve, the evaporator and the life-blood of the A/C system, the refrigerant.

Refrigerant is a liquid capable of vaporizing at a low temperature. In the past, R-12 refrigerant was used in cars. But this chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) is harmful to the earth's ozone layer. Consequently, all vehicles built after 1996 use R-134A, a more environmentally friendly refrigerant.

Here's how an air conditioning system and its components work

Step One:
The compressor is the power unit of the A/C system. It is powered by a drive belt connected to the engine's crankshaft. When the A/C system is turned on, the compressor pumps out refrigerant vapor under high pressure and high heat to the condenser.

Step Two
The condenser is a device used to change the high-pressure refrigerant vapor to a liquid. It is mounted ahead of the engine's radiator, and it looks very similar to a radiator with its parallel tubing and tiny cooling fins. If you look through the grille of a car and see what you think is a radiator, it is most likely the condenser. As the car moves, air flowing through the condenser removes heat from the refrigerant, changing it to a liquid state.

Step Three
Refrigerant moves to the receiver-drier. This is the storage tank for the liquid refrigerant. It also removes moisture from the refrigerant. Moisture in the system can freeze and then act similarly to cholesterol in the human blood stream, causing blockage.

Step Four
As the compressor continues to pressurize the system, liquid refrigerant under high pressure is circulated from the receiver-drier to the thermostatic expansion valve. The valve removes pressure from the liquid refrigerant so that it can expand and become refrigerant vapor in the evaporator.

Step Five
The evaporator is very similar to the condenser. It consists of tubes and fins and is usually mounted inside the passenger compartment. As the cold low-pressure refrigerant is released into the evaporator, it vaporizes and absorbs heat from the air in the passenger compartment. As the heat is absorbed, cool air will be available for the occupants of the vehicle. A blower fan inside the passenger compartment helps to distribute the cooler air.

Step Six
The heat-laden, low-pressure refrigerant vapor is then drawn into the compressor to start another refrigeration cycle. As you can see, the process is pretty simple. Just about every vehicle's A/C system works this way, though certain vehicles might vary by the exact type of components they have.

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