Repairing an air conditioning leak in the car is important since the air conditioning or climate control system of a vehicle is a key element to achieve ideal environmental conditions inside the passenger compartment. Thanks to this, comfort while driving is substantially increased, with the aim of improving the driving experience and safety.
A malfunction of this system can affect the driver’s capabilities. Fatigue, tiredness, drowsiness, lack of visibility due to fogging of the windows, etc., when ambient temperatures are extreme, can increase the risk of accidents.
Principles of air conditioning operation
To understand how an air conditioning system works, a number of principles must be clear. The first and most basic refers to the 3 states of matter: gaseous, liquid, and solid.
We can find water in any of these 3 states. If we start from the liquid state, when sufficient heat is applied to it, it will pass to the gaseous state. On the other hand, if by means of some cooling system, we absorb this heat, the liquid water will turn into ice, that is to say, it will pass into a solid state. The application or absorption of heat of the element is what allows the passage from one state to another.
The other principle that needs to be understood is the boiling point, the point at which the vapor pressure of any liquid is equal to atmospheric pressure. This point also depends on the pressure to which the substance in question is subjected. In this respect, all liquids behave similarly. In the case of water, the lower the pressure, the lower the temperature at which it boils to become vapor (evaporation).
The evaporation principle is precisely the one applied in air conditioning systems for vehicles. In this case, no water is used but an easily boiling substance called refrigerant.
To cool something, it must give off heat. For this purpose, a compression cooling system is installed in vehicles. A refrigerant circulates in a closed circuit and changes continuously between the liquid and gaseous states:
- It is compressed in the gaseous state.
- It condenses and heats up.
- It evaporates by pressure reduction and absorbs heat.
In other words, the purpose of this system is not to generate cold, but to extract heat from the air entering the vehicle.
Frequent areas of refrigerant gas leakage
One of the most common causes for this system to fail is because of a gas leak. To remedy this problem, it is important to locate and repair any leaks in the vehicle’s air conditioning.
The air conditioning and climate control circuit is a closed and sealed continuous cycle circuit through which refrigerant gas (R134a and R1234yf) circulates and is not consumed. When it is detected that the gas level is below the stipulated level, the area of gas loss must be sought in order to repair the air conditioning leak and prevent the system from cooling incorrectly over time.
Although the circuit is designed to be airtight and not leak, it is common that, over the years, the ducts through which the gas circulates and the rubber gaskets that seal the connections deteriorate. This leads to leaks of varying complexity, resulting in a gradual or sudden loss of the ability to cool the passenger compartment. Leaks through the service valves are also frequent.
In addition, it must be taken into account that the loss of cooling capacity may be due to failures in other components of the circuit such as the compressor, the expansion valve, the condenser, the fan, the filters, or the electrical system, among others. For more information or to read all about heating and cooling service, feel free to visit their page for more info.