Understanding The Importance Of Auto A/C Lubrication

Understanding The Importance Of Auto A/C Lubrication

Your car’s air conditioning unit is a mechanical system, and as such, it needs quality A/C lubrication. This is especially true for the compressor, which needs lubricant for correct functioning due to the metallic parts which constantly slide or rotate. Without sufficient lubrication, these parts will rapidly fail, usually due to a buildup of excessive heat.

How The AC Compressor Works

The AC compressor is responsible for compressing refrigerant, which in many vehicles comes in the form of R-134a. This allows the refrigerant to expand and produce the temperature necessary to cool down the vehicle’s cabin. However, this process produces considerable heat and will cause damage if sufficient lubricant isn’t provided.

The Importance Of Maintaining A Tight Seal

Aside from this, another component which is essential to the proper functioning of the compressor is a tight seal within its chamber. The AC compressor produces a lower temperature which is used to bring the refrigerant inside the chamber. Next, it is compressed to high pressure using either a rotational vane or piston after which it will be forced from the chamber to the air conditioning unit’s side with high pressure. It is crucial to maintain a seal which is tight around the compressor chamber; otherwise, the refrigerant which is high pressure may leak back inside the chamber, which undermines its compression effect. Additionally, the compressed fluid may move beyond the pump into the AC’s side with low pressure. In order to ensure the seals are sufficiently tight it is critical to ensure there is sufficient compressor oil within the AC unit.

Assessing The Refrigerant Within Your Vehicle

Each automobile comes with an air conditioning unit that contains the correct amount of refrigerant, as well as a specified amount of compressor oil. To find out how much your vehicle has, look for the info sticker which can usually be found beneath the car’s hood. It will describe the amount of compressor oil which is needed in a system which is dry, along with the refrigerant amount based on weight.

The problem with older AC units however is that it may be difficult to determine how much compressor oil is present within the system. For instance, if slow leaking has been present for twelve months, it will be difficult to determine exactly how much of the oil leaked out. Should the leaking be high up in the system it might only be a little. But should the leaking be low or on a side which has low pressure the amount could be substantial.

It is also essential to know which compressor oil type your vehicle needs. Some owners are fortunate enough to locate the correct oil on the sticker which showcases the refrigerant weight needed, but otherwise the only way to tell is by contacting the dealership or manufacturer of the car. If only one or two AC components need to be replaced, there are guidelines which can be used to determine the amount of oil they contain, and what replacements are needed once the system has been recharged.