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The Most Common Problems With Having Low Refrigerant Levels In Your Car A/C
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For an air conditioner, a compressor appears to be the most important component. But, a compressor cannot do anything if there is no refrigerant at all. There is a need to understand the importance of refrigerant inside an air conditioner.
Your air conditioner is just a fan without the presence of refrigerant. However, a low level of refrigerant cannot provide enough cooling it might hurt a number of things inside your car’s air conditioner.
How Does Refrigerant Assist In Cooling Air?
Air conditioner refrigerants behave like a magical substance to aid air conditioning to make cooling possible. Refrigerant does it work during a cycle of transformation from liquid to gas.
It involves several components to produce the required cooled air inside a car. Refrigerant goes through the compressor where it is compressed into liquid from the gas before being sent into the condenser.
A condenser is a structure of several tubes where the refrigerant circulates and comes into contact with the fresh air. At this point, the refrigerant has a high temperature while fresh air tends to absorb the temperature by the heat exchange between the refrigerant and fresh air.
The low-temperature refrigerant is now in the dryer, where it experiences the evaporation of moisture and attains the cold state. It then passes through the orifice tube or expansion valve. The procedure lowers the fluid's overall pressure, enabling the fluid to move to the evaporator. It is now time to enter the evaporator. The evaporator will draw air from the car, which will enter the evaporator core. The refrigerant temperature is currently lower and it can turn the heat that air carries, into cold air.
Next, the cold air travels to the passenger seats with the help of fans. Here, the moisture is also removed from the air and it allows you to enjoy the fresh and dry air. As the liquid refrigerant in the AC system turns receives heat after working, it again turns into a gaseous state.
Then, the next cycle occurs, and air conditioning happens continuously. As this is evident, the refrigerant is a major source of cooling. But, what happens if it goes out of quantity? It means, does a low level of refrigerant provide proper cooling or does it hamper the cooling system component? Let's try to find the answer to these questions here.
Does A Low Level Of Refrigerant Produce Proper Cooling?
It is unfair to expect proper cooling from a low level of refrigerant. However, the refrigerant stays for the whole life of the cooling system until there is any kind of leakage.
A compressor often senses a low level of refrigerant and does not engage with the engine for further processing. However, this is hard to recognize at a low level of refrigerant. But, if the compressor refuses to work and the air conditioner fails continuously to cool the interior, you should look for an inspection or possibly a car AC repair service.
However, the low level of refrigerant might be dangerous to a number of components inside the air conditioning system. Here, you know about the possible damage. A low level of refrigerant may damage your air conditioner significantly.
Persistent Presence of Icing in the Evaporator Coil
If there is any sign of icing in indoor evaporator coils, there is a low level of refrigerant to blame. It is challenging for the coil to absorb enough heat to warm the cold refrigerant at the lower refrigerant levels. This leaves refrigerant unused and too much cold, while the system expects a warm state of refrigerant.
The performance of your unit will be hampered if your refrigerant is too cold because it will cause moisture to freeze on the coils' surface.
Low Refrigerant May Cause Compressor Damage
Since the compressor does possess a motor, this motor needs to be cooled down by the refrigerant. However, a low level of refrigerant fails to do so, and the motor ends up in a heated state eventually.
It typically takes some time for a low refrigerant to eventually result in the compressor burning out. Repairing the compressor, though expensive, is necessary for the AC to work. As a result, you must have the low refrigerant problem fixed by an expert if you want to avoid the situation.
Extra Burden on the Engine
Although it might not matter, there is an association between low refrigerant levels and engine performance. This makes it clear why cooling takes longer when a compressor is operating on a low level of refrigerant than it would at a higher level. This ultimately puts more strain on the engine and requires more work.
High Cabin Temperature
Since heat exchange is the refrigerant's main function, this is unavoidable. The efficiency of the AC's ability to produce cold air decreases as the refrigerant level drops. Under these conditions, the compressor fails and the unit begins to blow out slightly warm air when there is a significant drop in the refrigerant level.
These are the pitfalls of a low level of refrigerant. However, it is necessary to be attentive when there is a dip in the cooling inside your car. However, you can go for a professional inspection by an expert at Service My Car to be sure about the issue.
You should also ask for a routine inspection during your next scheduled car maintenance. Besides, you can ask for car repair on our website or app by ordering a request for a car service.