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Air Conditioning Inoperative Inspection
Is it bad if my A/C is inoperative?
Pushing the A/C button in your car only for nothing to happen has to be one of the worst feelings as an owner.
‘How much is this going to cost?’, ‘Can it wait until summer or do I need to fix this now?’ are questions that may cross your mind.
An A/C system that isn’t operating at all is not just a comfort issue - a working A/C system is vital for defogging the windscreen and providing fresh air into the cabin.
Fortunately, this is where your friends at AutoGuru come in.
How does the air conditioning system operate?
The air conditioning system in your vehicle is comprised of many components that rely on each other to operate correctly.
The parts transfer the refrigerant, also known as A/C Gas, through the system to create cooling air for the cabin and other components.
The gas starts in the compressor which, as its name suggests, compresses the gas.
This heats the gas up, so it needs to be cooled again.
This happens in the condenser which is located at the front of the car.
This cooling brings the gas back to its liquid form.
It then passes through the thermal expansion (TX) valve into the cabin of the car, which reduces the temperature of the liquid even further.
An evaporator is located in the cabin, usually behind the dashboard, and this allows the now super-chilled liquid refrigerant to cool the flowing air from the blower motor and send it out to be enjoyed in the cabin of the car.
This transition returns the liquid back to a gas as it absorbs the heat from the air, and it then returns to the compressor to start the whole process again.
Common reasons for the A/C to be inoperative
The compressor is the main component of the A/C system.
If there’s an issue inside the compressor, or the electronic clutch that operates it, your A/C won’t operate at all.
A/C Switch not working
The A/C switch inside the cabin is used to switch the air-conditioning on and off.
If it is not sending an electronic signal to the compressor to operate, there will be no cold air coming out into the cabin.
This is usually a simple fix, as replacing the switch is all that is required.
Low A/C gas level
One that most people think of when their A/C system goes down is low gas or refrigerant level.
Low levels of refrigerant will result in poor heat transfer from the cabin air, reducing the effectiveness of the A/C system.
Most modern vehicles will disable the A/C system if it detects a low gas level.
How is the inspection performed?
A qualified mechanic or auto electrician will go through the A/C system to determine why it is inoperative, looking into the electrical side of the operation as well as checking the A/C gas level and inspecting the hoses and compressor for leaks.
A quote for repairs or replacement will then be provided if required.
How important is having your A/C system inspected?
We all know that having an operational A/C system is imperative for comfort inside the cabin, but it is also a necessary safety system used to defog your windscreen.
It removes the moisture in the air, allowing for a clear windscreen.
If the A/C is not operating correctly, low visibility could cause an accident and serious injury to you or other motorists.
*Available at select suppliers. T&Cs apply.