Having your AC blowing hot air in your car can be one of the most frustrating problems to have with your vehicle. Especially during the summer months, hot air in your vehicle can be more than just an incontinence, it can leave you extremely uncomfortable and limit the distances you can drive in your vehicle especially in some of the warmer areas of the country.
Besides leaving you uncomfortable and irritated, having a malfunctioning air conditioning system can actually lead to some dangerous situations. One of the most common is getting caught in a rainstorm on a hot day. As the rains move in, your windows have to go up. Along with rain usually comes a rise in humidity, which can often leave your windshield fogged up on the inside. Most vehicles automatically switch on the air conditioning even if the driver doesn’t select it when the vents are switched to defrost. This is because the air conditioning system in your car not only cools the air blowing into your cabin, but it also removes the humidity and dries the air out. This dry air now has the capability of quickly and easily defogging your windshield making it safe for you to drive. If your air conditioning system is malfunctioning, your rainy day drive could leave you stuck with a foggy windshield limiting your ability to see and making driving very dangerous.
The air conditioning system in your vehicle is split into two parts, a high pressure side, and a low pressure side. The high pressure side includes the compressor and the condenser. The low pressure side includes the expansion valve, the evaporator, and the dryer. In order to check the condition of the components on the high pressure side of your system, you need some special tools and good working knowledge of how your air conditioning system works.
To check the low pressure side if your system, you really only need a simple gauge and a way to connect it to your system. Many auto parts stores sell refrigerant refill canisters that have the correct gauge and connectors installed and ready to test your system. If your car air conditioner is blowing hot air, this is the best place to start diagnosing the problem.
Before you can measure the low side pressure, you need to start your vehicle, let it idle, and turn the air conditioning on full. Then you can connect the gauge to the low pressure port in your air conditioning system and see what the readings are.
The low side pressure in your system should fluctuate when the compressor cycles on and off so make sure you can see the compressor pulley to check when the compressor is engaged and when it shuts off. When the compressor isn’t cycling the pressures should equalize in your system and read above 50 PSI. When the compressor is cycling the low side pressure will drop as the compressor creates a suction. If it drops too low, often around 20 psi, your compressor may cycle off to protect itself. If it doesn’t drop enough it could indicate that your compressor is getting weak and doesn’t have the capacity to create the cooling effect in your system anymore.
If you find an abnormally low pressure in your system on the low pressure side it usually is an indication of a leak. If that is the case, add Red Angel AC Stop Leak to your air conditioning system, then refill with refrigerant until the low side pressures are within the specification for your vehicle. Red Angle AC Stop Leak will travel through your air conditioning systems to the leak point where it will create a chemical seal inside the system so your newly added refrigerant doesn’t leak back out.
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AC_blowing_hot.jpg – By Rusak – Licensed by Thinkstock Photos – Original Link