A Little More Info on Your Car’s Air Conditioning

Car Diy Repairslong term maintenance

We are quickly approaching the time of the year where we need our ACs to be literally blasting chilled air through the vents. When it comes to the car’s air conditioning system, we always want it to perform at its best. Having said that, we should keep in mind that it’s a small machine that requires lots of mechanics to perform properly. Also, it has to be kept well-serviced, especially during winters.

In this article we will give you some basic information on your car’s air conditioning system so that you can better understand the servicing needs of it.

Do you know in the start of the previous century, when cars were considered a luxury, many owners used to cool down the inside temperature using blocks of ice?

How Does a Modern Car AC Work?

The air conditioning system actually converts the hot air in cooler air by removing warm gases and particles. This happens through various quick mechanical processes. The firestone autocare defines the car air conditioning system like this:

“Turn the A/C on and the compressor compresses the system’s refrigerant (Freon) raising its temperature. It loses heat as it flows through the condenser (that second radiator looking thing in front of the radiator). It passes through the receiver/dryer where contaminants and moisture are removed, and then on to the expansion valve/accumulator where the refrigerant is slowed down further, causing it to lose pressure and temperature before it gets to the evaporator. The evaporator is like a mini radiator (not to be confused with the heater core — they are two separate things) inside the dash of your ride that gets cold as it further lowers the refrigerants temperature and, additionally, removes moisture from the air. The ventilation system’s blower motor blows air over the cold evaporator and pushes cool air into the passenger compartment.”

When to recharge the AC system?

Usually that won’t be needed on a regular basis, especially if you are keeping it well maintained. However, if the air coming out from the vent isn’t pleasing and cool enough, you should get your AC system checked. In most cases the system will be found low on Freon or a small leak. Professional AC mechanics can quickly get to the root of the problem and get your AC back to normal in a jiffy.

How often should my car AC be inspected?

There is no fixed rule regarding that. Sometimes your AC might need to inspected within a few months and sometimes it can just go on and on. As a rule of thumb, whenever you AC begins to take longer to cool, loses its cooling ability or begins to trip more, it is time to get it inspected. Also, if you haven’t used your car’s AC in a while, it is best to get it checked.

Some important part of your car’s AC

Your car AC is not a single component. It is made up of different parts that work together to give you that cool breeze of air. Damage to any part mentioned below will affect the cooling of your car’s ac.

  • Condenser
  • Compressor
  • Accumulator or receiver dryer
  • Evaporator
  • Expansion valve


We hope that better understanding the process of air conditioning will help you take better care of it. Do you think we have missed anything? If yes, don’t hesitate to say it in the comments below.


Terry Wade

Terry Wade is a traveling Car Mechanic in Southfield Michigan. He's been repairing cars for nearly 20 years.
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TerrysArticles is brought to you by ME!, traveling Mechanic Terry Wade, I’m do my darndest to update the site with the best quality articles and news available on the internet and elsewhere to help you diagnose and fix your vehicle yourself.

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