AC Service Salt Lake City: No Cold Air Coming From Your Car’s Air Conditioning Unit
Picture this all too real scene: It is your typical hot Utah day, but you have been in the comfortable, cool shopping mall, for hours of wonderful, therapeutic “shopping” at your favorite mall. You get in your car (that has been parked outside in the shopping mall parking lot in the 80-90 degree heat). You turn on your air conditioning system, but all you get is “blast furnace” air-no cool, no cold, no comforting air. “What the *#%@!! is happening?!!?” is a typical response. So, you drive home in your “pseudo-convertible” driving style (all windows down, head sticking out the side when possible), and you come to the realization that your car’s AC system needs to be serviced.
As shown in this AC service video, another common A/C system complaint (we discussed musty, moldy air smell from your car’s A/C system in our last article) is no cold air from your AC vents. This symptom is due to several factors, which we will list and discuss. First, though, a little education on:
How Your Car’s Air Conditioning System Works:
- Come to the realize that your auto AC system is a “refrigerator in an oven”.
- Your A/C system has to “create cold air” from outside air (typically 80-100 degrees in the Utah summer), in an engine environment that averages 200-260 degrees, and move this “created Arctic air” (typically 40-45 degrees) to inside your vehicle.
- Your A/C unit must also move the heated air from the inside of your car to the outdoors.
“Piece of cake”, right?
Okay, here is your science/physics lesson on Freon (the refrigerant in your AC unit) and your AC system (aka: changing the blast furnace air in your shopping mall parked car on your sweaty forehead to Antartica):
- Freon is a gas, and it is placed in your sealed AC system unit.
- This Freon is then pressurized using your car’s AC compressor.
- As it’s pressurized, Freon gets hot by absorbing the heat around it.
- This hot gas is then circulated through a series of tubes that dissipate the heat.
- Scientifically speaking, the Freon gas removes heat, rather than adds cold. (But that doesn’t really matter to us non-scientific people-we say it “blows cold”).
- The Freon can lose lots of its heat (in other words-it gets really cold), when you reduce the pressure.
- As it “cools” (“loses heat”, to please you physicists and scientists), it becomes a liquid.
- This is when you get cold air blowing on your “Sahara desert” forehead.
Well, now you have a better understanding of the “miracle” of auto air conditioning.
You also better understand why, sometimes, you have to either service or repair your air conditioning system. Hopefully, you also now see why you should maintain and service your AC system regularly (at least annually).
Causes Of Hot Air Blowing Through Your Car AC System:
Now, let’s itemize some causes (or failures) from components inside your auto air conditioning system, (blowing the engine air to your face, without refrigeration) :
- No Refrigerant (“Freon”): Freon in cars have 2 classifications:
-R-134a (all cars in the last 20 years have R-134a Freon in the ac system);
-R-12 (found in older cars). R-12 is becoming extinct, due to several factors: 1).Older cars becoming wrecking yard material; 2) The price of R-12 resembles the price of gold on the trading market; 3) The EPA stating that R-12 Freon ruins the earth’s ozone layer, when released into the air; 4) Auto Repair shops require a license to carry and install R-12 Freon; 5) Due to reasons #2-#4, R-12 Freon is becoming less and less available on the market; and 6) Due to reasons #2-5, car owners have retro-fitted their existing R-12 Freon AC system to the updated R-134a Freon AC system.
- The Freon refrigerant carries the heat, reducing heat with circulation through tubes.
Through use, age, and micro-tiny leakage of your sealed AC system (less than absolute 100% sealed protection in your car’s heated engine environment can be expected over time), this Freon supply is reduced in your AC unit.
Math tells us: less Freon, more heat. Solution? Add more Freon! Yay!! Which is why a Freon recharge is a very common automotive AC service. Call us (801.302.0912), we can re-charge your AC system with new Freon-at affordable, competitive prices.
- Condenser: This changes the phase of the refrigerant from gas to liquid and expels heat removed from the car.
- Expansion valve (or the orifice tube in some vehicles): This resembles a nozzle, and functions to drop the pressure of the refrigerant liquid, meter its flow, and atomize it-all at the same time.
- Evaporator: This transfers heat to the refrigerant from the air blown across it, cooling your car.
- Receiver/dryer: This functions as a filter for the refrigerant/oil, removing moisture and other contaminants.
- Compressor: This compresses and circulates the refrigerant in the system. Your AC compressor-believe it or not-gets old, breaks down, and/or wears out over time.
Since the hot air blowing from your car’s air conditioning system could be a failure of one or more of the above components, call us at 801.302.0912. We will inspect, diagnose and care for your car or truck to help keep you cool while driving, when the Utah weather is hot! GT Automotive has ASE certified technicians for car ac repairs for all make and model vehicles. We can inspect your car during our Express Oil change, and help keep your vehicle operating safely in all seasons. Call us today, 801-302-0912, about auto ac repairs and service in Salt Lake City.
Check and Maintain Your Auto Air Conditioning System Every Year