Category: Auto Tips

Maintenance Of Air Conditioning Systems: What You Need And Do Not Need To Do


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Video: Maintenance Of Air Conditioning Systems: What You Need And Do Not Need To Do

Video: Maintenance Of Air Conditioning Systems: What You Need And Do Not Need To Do
Maintenance Of Air Conditioning Systems: What You Need And Do Not Need To Do
Maintenance Of Air Conditioning Systems: What You Need And Do Not Need To Do

Alas, many motorists treat the air conditioning system like teeth - “until they hurt, I won’t go to the doctor.” However, even a fully functional new car system requires regular maintenance. What can we say about cars whose odometer has been reset to zero more than once

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Air conditioning system

To begin with, we recall: the air conditioning system in different cars differs in details, but always consists of several elements: a condenser (aka “air conditioning radiator”) is located in front of the engine compartment, an evaporator is under the instrument panel, a compressor and an expansion valve are hidden in the engine compartment. A special substance - a refrigerant - circulates through the tubes between the elements of the system, changing its state of aggregation from liquid to gaseous, while heating and cooling.

Why does the system need maintenance? The fact is that the refrigerant in the system is under pressure, and in addition it is a very fluid substance in itself. Even if the tightness of the system was not broken - the car was not in an accident, there was no mechanical damage to the line - then the refrigerant disappears through leaks in the joints, microcracks, and even just through rubber. As a result, a perfectly functioning system can lose up to 20% of the refrigerant in one year.

Due to the lack of working substance, the air conditioner's efficiency decreases, it can no longer cool the air to a comfortable temperature, the compressor starts to make noise more. However, excess refrigerant is much worse. Due to the increased pressure in the system, the load on the compressor increases, and as a result, it fails. Therefore, it is important that there is a strictly defined amount of refrigerant in the air conditioning system.

How not to service the system?

Garage masters in “gray” car services are able to work with air conditioning, dispensing with a pump, compressor and electronic scales. System maintenance according to the version of such mechanics is as follows:

  1. We release the system from the refrigerant - pump it out and release it into the atmosphere.
  2. Using a compressor, we drive a new working substance into the system, determining its quantity by electronic scales on which a cylinder with a refrigerant lies.

This method can be safely called barbaric. Firstly, the refrigerant R134a, which is popularly called “Freon”, is a greenhouse gas - one liter of it causes the same environmental damage as 1300 liters of carbon dioxide CO2! Secondly, the refrigerant is not free, and releasing it into the atmosphere is simply stupid. Thirdly, together with the escaping gas, a certain amount of oil dissolved in it, which is necessary for lubricating the compressor, also disappears. This, of course, reduces the service life of the latter. And pouring oil into the compressor “by eye” is dangerous - its increased amount, again, is harmful.

How to maintain the system correctly?

The civilized way of working with automobile air conditioning is the use of professional installations for the maintenance of climate systems. For example, such as the Italian installations of the TEXA Konfort series, offered by the company EUROPART Rus LLC, a subsidiary of the European holding company EUROPART Traiding GmbH. In this case, system maintenance consists of the following steps:

  1. Evacuation: the pump built into the unit pumps the refrigerant into a special tank, creating a vacuum in the circuit. If the vacuum does not remain for a certain time, it means that air leaks into the system and it is necessary to look for a leak. At the same time, during evacuation, moisture is taken from the system, which inevitably forms during the operation of the air conditioner.
  2. If the tightness of the system was broken, then dirt could get into it. During operation, it will disable the air conditioning compressor. System flushing required. It can be produced with special solvents, but it is best to do this with the same refrigerant, pumping it through the circuit in the opposite direction. In this case, the compressor and the expansion valve, of course, are excluded from the flushing circuit so that the particles being washed out will not damage them.
  3. After cleaning the system, it is refilled. The amount of refrigerant required, as well as the amount and type of oil, the unit control unit reads from a special database. Since the mass of the previously evacuated refrigerant has been accurately calculated, the control unit knows how much oil needs to be added to the system.

In addition to oil, a special dye can be added to the refrigerant, at the request of the owner of the machine. In this case, gas leakage from the system will be visible in the light of an ultraviolet lamp. If it is detected, the service cycle can be repeated again, having previously restored the tightness of the circuit. Note that with garage maintenance this entails the release of a new portion of refrigerant into the atmosphere.

It is important that fully automatic installations carry out all stages of maintenance on their own, freeing the mechanics for other work.

TEXA Special Occasion Solutions

Starting in January 2011, all new European cars are charged with R1234yf refrigerant. It is not so harmful to the environment, but its price is significantly higher than that of R134a, so to release this gas into the atmosphere is a form of waste. Of course, TEXA units will carefully store all the refrigerant taken from the system and clean it in order to pump it back - the refrigerant does not lose its working qualities over time, and does not need to be replaced regularly, like, say, motor oil.

If a car service wants to service not only old, but also new cars - but it is clear that every day there are more and more cars whose system uses R1234yf, then you need to have two separate installations. TEXA offers various solutions to the situation. So, Konfort 720R and 760R units are available in different versions. At the same time, having bought a unit for working with R134a, later it can be converted to work with R1234yf, replacing some internal components that are sold separately. And the most advanced Konfort 780R stand is able to work with any system, for this it has two receivers and two sets of highways. By the way, when changing the refrigerant, as well as when changing the type of refueling oil, the internal hydraulic lines of the installation are automatically cleaned. In addition, do not forget that the R1234yf refrigerant is flammable, so TEXA units provide ventilation to eliminate any possibility of gas stagnation inside the unit.

Another feature of the air conditioning systems of the most modern cars - compressors with variable performance, helping to save fuel. To work with such systems, TEXA offers a special VDC interface. It connects to the system control unit, to the compressor and to the Konfort installation and gives the mechanic the opportunity to fix the compressor malfunction or to exclude it during maintenance.

Another special case is bus air conditioning. They cannot be serviced by conventional installations - they cannot create the required pressure, as well as vacuum in a too large circuit. If a maximum of 800–900 grams of refrigerant can be contained in a passenger car or truck, then it can be 3-4 kilograms in a tour bus system! TEXA offers a special solution for working with buses - the Konfort 760R Bus installation. It provides a powerful pump, a powerful compressor, a volumetric receiver - this makes it possible to serve even the largest two-story “cruisers”.

TEXA Benefits

TEXA installations contain a database of cars regularly updated on the Internet (for this you need to connect the stand to the computer). And the Konfort 760R and 780R models are able to independently recognize oil containers. This facilitates the work of the mechanic and reduces the likelihood of errors when working with the machine. A mistake in choosing the type of oil can cost the service center the cost of the compressor.

The 760R and 780R have a tilt sensor. He makes an adjustment to the balance, which may be necessary if the installation is on an uneven floor. And the error in the readings of the scales, standing at an angle, can reach 20%.

Fully automatic installations are equipped with a wireless temperature sensor. Inserted into the car’s interior ventilation vents, it makes it possible to record the temperature that the air conditioner gives out before and after service - the owner of the car can clearly see the effectiveness of the work done.

Finally, TEXA units keep track of the number of cars served, used refrigerant oil, and dyes. Automatically recorded on a flash card, this information allows the service manager to control the work of the mechanic. And the built-in printer prints a receipt, which indicates the amount of pumped and pumped refrigerant used during the work of oil and dye - this allows the client to see an objective justification of the cost of work. The printer is built into all settings except the K610E and K650E, but installation options are also provided for them.

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