What Does The Compressor Do For My Car?
When you own a car, learning to drive is not enough. You need to be able to change a tyre when there’s a sudden flat, and know a little about the workings under the hood. Learning about the car A/C system is useful because on long distance journeys numerous problems can creep up due to the air conditioning system. It might look like it’s an engine issue but the root is often in the A/C compressor.
What Is A Compressor
The compressor is one of the major components of a mobile A/C system. If you know how it works and what problems a faulty compression might cause, you will know what to do for your safety and that of your car if and when a related issue arises.
The compressor is the component of the A/C system that compresses the refrigerant and forces it to absorb a lot of the heat around in the air entering the car. A repeated cycle of the refrigerant absorbing all the heat from the air makes the inside of the car cool and comfortable.
Functions Of A Compressor
The compressor works by the rules of thermodynamics. When you switch on the A/C, the compressor gets activated. It compresses the refrigerant, which has an extremely low boiling point. The compressor raises the temperature of the refrigerant in the process.
The condenser helps cool the refrigerant down. The refrigerant then goes through the drier to get purified. It is then passed through the expansion valve to expand. It finally enters the evaporator which sucks out all the remaining moisture and makes the refrigerant cold.
The air entering past this cold gaseous refrigerant is the end result of the entire A/C system that started with the compressor. So, the next time someone gets too impatient about the cooling of the car A/C, you’ll know how to convince them why it takes about 2 minutes for the car to start cooling.
The frequency of professional service maintenance a compressor needs depends on the active miles on the car. The accumulation of debris while on the run, and the activity of the A/C results in wear and tear in the compressor. So, it is good to get it tested at least once every quarter.
Get the other components cleaned and flushed as well so that there is no debris degenerating the refrigerant. To ensure fresh cool air, get the system serviced at regular intervals. If you find the A/C starting to get weak at the back, you need to get your system serviced.
If you are living in a country where the winters are full of snow, don’t let your compressor rest throughout the winter months. Rev up the engine and switch on the A/C for about 10 minutes every two weeks to make sure the channels are all clear and functional.
When To Replace
Try to use the first compressor as long as possible because none of the other compressors will have the shelf life of the original. Replace the first compressor when you need to. The following ones will definitely live a shorter life. But they usually outlive the mentioned warranty period if well maintained.