What Does The Evaporator Do For My Car?
There are five primary components of a mobile A/C system. They include:
- Evaporator/Evaporator core
- Thermal expansion valve
The entire A/C system needs all these components to function optimally in order to efficiently cool the air inside a car. This post will teach you all about evaporators.
Main Functions Of The Evaporator
The function of the evaporator is to turn the liquefied refrigerant back into its gaseous state. It does so by drawing the refrigerant into a vacuum where the pressure is suddenly reduced. This draws the heat out of the refrigerant and cools it to make it ready to absorb heat once more. Basically, the evaporator reverses the effect of the condenser.
The refrigerant goes into the compressor to absorb heat when subjected to pressure. The heated refrigerant enters the condenser where it is turned back into liquid which is not hot anymore. Then the cool liquid is drawn into the vacuum of the evaporator, so that it can turn into a cold gas ready to go into the compressor after absolute cooling and water removal.
Locating The Evaporator
The evaporator is often located in the passenger compartment, often way inside, just below the instrument panel (typically in case of a pickup truck). SUVs and vans often have two evaporators. One of them is located towards the front of the vehicle and the other, towards the back.
In an alternative situation you can find the front evaporator placed under the instrument panel and the rear one at the back of one of the side or top panels of the rear passenger seats. These are the usual places to find your A/C evaporator in. But it is always good to be sure if the case with your car is different.
Get To Know The Evaporator Better
The evaporator is typically made of aluminum. They look like sturdy mini radiators. The only difference is, radiators carry coolant in the internal tubes while evaporators carry refrigerant.
Refrigerants are often called Freon but that is the brand name a group of earlier versions of refrigerants went by. The commonest example being the R-12 refrigerant. The R134a variant is more common now.
The HFC-134a is even more popular because it is environment friendly. Freon tends to deplete the ozone layer. Some people call the evaporator the ‘Freon compartment’ but it is technically wrong. Just keep in mind, they mean the evaporator.
Problems And Solutions
There are some simple yet common problems the car A/C evaporator can encounter. The commonest of all problems are leakages. Corrosion due to foreign objects trapped in the vents of the evaporator causes leaks in the parts. Organic matter like leaves and dust accumulated in the vents and fins are a major cause of the foul smell in your car. The moisture makes the debris reek.
The only solution to a leak is replacement. Maintain the evaporator and ensure no debris accumulates in its vents. Replace the evaporator the moment it has a single leak. Water crystals formed due to leaks can damage the entire car A/C system.