Heating & A/C

Heating & Air Conditioning System Your car's engine is the power source for both heating and air conditioning systems. The systems also share other components, as the above diagram shows. Here's what happens when you flip on the heat or the air conditioner: (I.) Heating System Heat is a byproduct of the engine's combustion process. The coolant in your car’s radiator absorbs the heat. The coolant is then circulated through the heater core before returning to the radiator.

The heating system also includes a series of air ducts, a blower motor and fan, and temperature and duct controls, which select the desired temperature and direct the flow of warm air. (II.) Air Conditioning System This system shares air ducts, controls and a blower with the heater, but has its own refrigerant system. The air conditioning system is comprised of the following components:

(1) Compressor This is a pump that pressurizes and circulates the refrigerant through the system.

(2) Condenser As the refrigerant flows through the condenser, it gives off heat and converts from gas to liquid.

(3) Receiver/Dryer or Accumulator This is where clean, dry refrigerant is stored as it circulates through the system.

(4) Orifice Tube or Expansion Valve This is a metering device that controls the flow of refrigerant through the system.

(5) Evaporator Core Refrigerant enters the evaporator core as a liquid. Heat from the air converts the liquid refrigerant back into a gas, which cools the air before it enters your vehicle. What our service includes: Inspect system for leaks, including hoses, couplings, valves and evaporator Visually inspect the controls and fan Pressure test the engine cooling system U.V. dye is used for leak checks, if necessary Recover any refrigerant left in system Evacuate the entire system Inspect and adjust drive belt tension Test compressor operation Fill with proper amount of refrigerant as per vehicle manufacturer (refrigerant cost is an additional charge) Check vent output air temperature Check proper operation of dash controls, blower motor, engine cooling fan Check antifreeze/engine coolant How to check your cooling system A car's engine generates enough heat to destroy itself.

The cooling system protects against damage, keeping the engine operating within the correct temperature range. Regular checks and maintenance help assure long life of vulnerable engine parts. Here's what's involved in proper cooling system maintenance: Check condition of water pump. Inspect radiator for leaks and corrosion. Be sure to have plenty of coolant.

CAUTION: Never open or remove pressure cap while engine is hot. Look for leaking hoses and connections* and tighten loose clamps. Check condition of radiator pressure cap*. Replace if rubber gasket is damaged. If the engine runs too cool, the thermostat is probably at fault and needs replacement. Inspect condition of hoses. Cracked, mushy or otherwise deteriorated hoses should be replaced. Heater hoses need attention too.

Look for leaks, cracks, and rotted rubber. Replace faulty clamps. Check belts for wear and tension. Replace when frayed or cracked. Belts usually have a life span of 4 years. *Note: Pressure testing of radiator and pressure cap assures most accurate test. Most service shops are equipped with these testers.

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