The summer boasts fun in the sun, but it also drags along heat waves and humidity. During the summer seasons, the interior of your car can heat up to unsafe temperature levels so Excelerate Performance has invested in equipment to keep you cool. Our A/C services include air conditioning (A/C) evacuation, flushing, repair, replacement and recharging. In other words, our team strives for ultimate efficiency and coverage in order to keep you cool.
So how do we do it? Firstly, we have experienced and capable mechanics. Secondly, we have advanced equipment to help the mechanics accomplish the task. We own a Snap on KoolKare Hybrid AC machine enabling our mechanics to service, recover, recycle, evacuate, leak test and recharge R-134A systems quickly and accurately. We also utilize a Robinair Cooltech 17580 to flush solvent throughout closed loop AC systems, which continuously circulates the solvent through all components. This system even includes a pulsing action, allowing it to break up any debris or corrosion which may be clogging lines. It is also designed with a sight glass, which means we can keep track of the tank level with ease. This machine gives us the ability to avoid replacing certain components because they can be thoroughly cleaned instead.
The Main Components
The AC Compressor:
Lets touch upon the functionality of the Air Conditioning system. Firstly, if you don’t have a properly functioning compressor, you don’t have cold air. What does it do? The AC compressor is the work horse of the entire AC system. This is powered via your engines accessory drive system. The compressor itself has a pulley built into it, and a belt rides along it. The compressor is clutched, so it free spins when the AC isn’t on, and when it is turned on, the clutch engages thus transferring power from the engine to spin the compressor and compress the air so the compressor takes the refrigerant vapor (cold) from the evaporator and compresses it into a high pressure, hot gas.
There are many different parts of the AC compressor that can fail, such as seals, clutches, bearings, etc. Symptoms of such failures include leaks, seized clutches, grinding noises, or any excessive drag on the belt which leads to drag on the engine. Any combination of the symptoms can mean there is failure in the system, and should be inspected accordingly. Failure to replace any faulty components can actually lead to wear and fatigue on other parts of the engine that are connected to the serpentine belt the AC compressor is connected to.
Taking the hot pressurized gas from the compressor as stated previously, the AC Condenser is a large aluminum radiator in the front of the vehicle with two metal pipes which enter it. Acting similar to the radiator for your coolant system, the AC condenser is applied to the same principle of physics and the airflow from moving the vehicle helps to cool the pressurized gas as it passes through this radiator. In turn, this gas cools down to the point where it condenses to a liquid form, and then moves to the next stage of the system. Because the condenser is under such a high demand for efficiency, it is crucial this component is taken care of by a professional as it is so delicate and crucial to an effective system. The passageways on this component are generally incredibly small, with passageways being the size of needles on most newer vehicles today. This component puts our Robinair Cooltech to great use, saving you the cost of having to buy a new condenser due to a clogged line.
AC Receiver Drier/Accumulator:
This part is generally attached to or near the condenser, and its job is to take the liquid from the condenser and filter out any moisture that may be found in the refrigerant and/or oil. Any water found in the system can build up here, and after it reaches capacity, water will begin to travel throughout the entire AC system, which can ruin the internals of the system. Water doesn’t compress, it corrodes, and it is not a lubricant. Now you can imagine how detrimental it can be.
AC Expansion Valve/Orifice Tube:
The expansion valve is essential in taking the warmer refrigerant, and turning it into that cold you feel from the vents. Following the basic principle of compression and expansion, compression always leads to heat, expansion always leads to cold. The expansion valve makes the warm liquid refrigerant travel through a tiny hole, and leads to an expanded larger opening. This allows for the refrigerant to expand into a cool semi vaporous liquid, and enters the evaporator.
*Side note: An orifice tube is not the same as an expansion valve. An orifice tube starts the expansion process in systems where the input and output tubes can’t touch one another. Systems with an orifice tube regulate the flow by means different than an expansion valve, which is generally done by clutches or valves in the compressor.
The semi vaporous liquid now has the ability to expand continually as it travels through the evaporator. A blower motor directs air through the evaporator, which cools it, and then the cool air leads into the cabin of your vehicle, keeping you cool. The circle is completed here, and then it returns the vapor back to the AC compressor. In other words, the AC Evaporator is the heater core of the cooling portion of the HVAC system.
Refrigerant and Oil:
Commonly overlooked, the refrigerant is a chemical that takes well to extreme compression and expansion. In order to do it’s job to the highest standard, this mix of refrigerant and oil needs to stay clean. For an incredibly long time, R12 was the standard of refrigerant, but as many know today, this was incredibly toxic and ozone depleting. Systems were converted to R134a, which is currently still the standard, however a new refrigerant, R1234YF has been introduced and may replace R134a in future years. The refrigerant and oil can fail when the system is repaired with poor quality. Any dye that was flushed through the system to scan for leaks can break down the oil, which means all components in the system may not get proper lubrication and begin to fail. If the system was not properly flushed, remnants of the dye will remain. Our Snap On KoolKare and Robinair Cool Tech systems are sure to keep the systems as pure as they get, leading to a longer life of your AC system.
AC Seals, Pipes/Lines:
You can’t have AC without lines connecting to all of the components listed above! It is generally uncommon for these to fail, however these lines and pipes can corrode just like any other component can if the system isn’t under good maintenance. There are also seals on each end of the lines which can fail over time as they are under high compression after the compressor.
AC system inspections start at $99. Freon is additional. Need your AC system inspected, repaired or re-charged? Contact us!