The sun is shining and the weather is starting to warm up. Before you know it summer will be here and everyone will be using their A/C. All Tech Auto Repair offers an A/C service as well as A/C repairs and inspections.
Here is a little information to better understand the cooling system in your car.
The compressor is a pump that moves refrigerant through your car’s air conditioning system. The refrigerant is carried by hoses and pipes from one component to another. Compressor designs vary, but they all essentially work the same way.
The compressor is belt-driven by the engine through an electromagnetic clutch (although some hybrid vehicles use an electric motor to operate the compressor). The clutch allows the compressor to disengage when the A/C is switched off, or at times during A/C system operation when compressor function is not called for. The clutch usually receives its electrical signal from a component called a relay, which in turn, receives its activation signal, in most cases, from the fuel injection or engine control computer.
Besides pumping the refrigerant, the compressor has another job; at a certain point in the system, it raises the pressure of the refrigerant from low to high, and as the refrigerant’s pressure goes up, so does its temperature. Raising the refrigerant’s pressure and temperature enables it to release the passenger compartment heat it absorbed while inside the evaporator. The heat release process takes place in the next component to be discussed, the condenser.
The compressor can somewhat be compared to the water pump in an engine cooling system:
* The water pump circulates the engine coolant throughout the system. The coolant absorbs heat from the engine, and the water pump moves it to the radiator where it releases the heat to the atmosphere. It also circulates hot coolant through the heater core to warm the interior of the vehicle.
* The compressor circulates the refrigerant through the system. The refrigerant absorbs the heat inside the vehicle while passing through the evaporator. The refrigerant is then passed on to the condenser, where it gives up the heat to the atmosphere.