How does my Air Conditioning System work?

The A/C system in your vehicle improves the efficiency of the process of moving heat. It uses three methods of removing heat from your car: Radiation, Conduction and Convection.

  • The heat in your vehicle is blown across the evaportator coils using convection.
  • The heat is absorbed into the cool refrigerant (Freon, R-12, R-13a, etc.) inside the coils using conduction.
  • The refrigerant moves the heat into the condenser using convection.
  • The heat is absorbed into the condenser fins using conduction.
  • The heat then transfers back into the atmosphere using radiation.
  • The A/C system also handles other functions, including removing heat from the interior of the vehicle, removing moisture from the interior of the vehicle, and providing movement of air in the interior of the vehicle.

Why isn't my air conditioner blowing cold air?

A/C failure usually falls into one of three categories:

  • Component Failure results from a lack of sufficient refrigerant to remove heat from the car is the most common failure and occurs in 60% of all A/C failures. This is usually caused by a leak.
  • Electrical Problems can cause the compressor or the fan to stop working, and represent 30% of A/C failures. Electrical failures could be caused by a failed sensor or the on board automotive computer.
  • Improper Refrigerant Charge means that the mixture of refrigerant liquid to oil is out proportion and is responsible for 10% of A/C problems.

How can Tuffy fix my air conditioning system?

If your vehicle's air conditioning system isn't functioning properly, stop by your neighborhood Tuffy for a professional inspection, complete with a written estimate.

If your air conditioning system has a leak, we will identify it with an electric leak detector or by injecting an ultra-violet dye into your A/C system and using an ultra-violet light to spot the leak.

The leak will be sealed and your fluids restored to the appropriate levels. If the problem is electric, usually caused by a failed sensor in the vehicle's on-board computer, the sensor will be replaced. In the case of an improper refrigerant charge, the air conditioning system will be drained, flushed, and refilled with a correctly proportioned refrigerant mixture.

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