If the air conditioning system fitted to your car or van is to work properly for an extended period of time, it will need to be serviced when required. As you may know, a technician may recharge the refrigerant to ensure that it is capable of performing its task, but did you know that they may have to flush the system as well, to get rid of any contamination? Why is this and what's involved?
Oil and Residue
There's a certain amount of oil within every AC system, and it is used to lubricate the crucial moving parts. This lubrication is essential in order to protect the compressor, but oil will flow through the entire system when it is in operation. As time goes by, tiny particles of residue will begin to build up, and they can come from many different sources, including the inner surface of a rubber hose. Eventually, these particles will accumulate to such an extent that they may begin to block the condenser or interfere with the internal operations of the compressor. When this happens, failure will not be too far away, and it is, therefore, important to flush out the entire system during a major service.
This is quite a complicated job in and of itself. Several parts will need to be isolated or removed, and other components will need to be replaced. Technicians will use a special solvent that can damage some of those parts, and this is why a specific process will need to be followed.
Dealing with the Condenser
The condenser, in particular, needs special attention. This is essentially a radiator and has a matrix of very narrow and thin tubes. Debris can certainly accumulate within and will severely affect efficiency unless it is flushed out correctly.
Sometimes, pressurised gas is used to push a flushing agent through each component, and the technician may need to spend additional time to remove debris that may be stuck. Once that work is done, however, all the parts will need to be reassembled, including new gaskets or o-rings as necessary, before brand-new refrigerant may be added.
Finally, the technician must check for leaking joints once they have been reassembled. If they are happy, they will be able to charge the refrigerant properly and get the vehicle ready for your use.
Time to Visit?
If it has been some time since your AC system was flushed, ask your mechanic for further advice. For more information, contact a car air conditioning service.