by Pat Goss
Folks, when it comes to getting your air conditioner in your car repaired, you’re often your own worst enemy. Quick is not the way to do it. Cheap is not the way to do it, because cheap can cost you a lot of money later on. Alright, one of the things, if the system has been down for more than a few hours, chances are, when it’s repaired you’re going to need a new receiver dryer. This has a desiccant bag in it, that absorbs moisture, and moisture from the air will contaminate it in a very short period of time.
Alright, some cars use this part right here. This is an orifice tube. Not only does the refrigerant flow through this, but all of the oil that lubricates the parts of the system flow through it. This screen in here gets clogged up over time, and it restricts the amount of oil to lubricate the air conditioning system. If your car has it and it needs a repair, put a new orifice tube in it. Make sure that the shop that does your air conditioning work uses the proper type of lubricant. There are multiple types, each car has one that is recommended for it. Gotta be the right one, otherwise you’ll be buying a new compressor.
And speaking of compressors, they do fail. And when they do, they fill the system with little-bitty pieces of metal. So, before the new compressor goes on, you have to use an air conditioning flushing kit to flush everything out. And in most cases there will be a filter, an inline filter, that has to go in to protect the new compressor.
Also, here’s something that a lot of shops overlook, and that is vacuuming the system. You see, when you’re working on the system, air gets into it. We have to get that air out, but more importantly, the air has moisture in it. So, we do two things with this vacuum pump. Number one, we pull all the air out of it. But, number two, we drop the pressure. And as we drop the pressure inside the system, any water that’s in there, boils at room temperature, and turns into a vapor. And the vacuum pump pulls it out. This will protect the new parts in the system. Often, on a humid day, you’ll have to pull a vacuum on the system for three or four hours. So make sure that the shop that you select does all of these things, and you’ll have a good, cold air conditioning system that’ll last a long time. And if you have a question or comment, drop me a line. Right here, at MotorWeek.