The conditioner does not work in the automobile? Where to Start Diagnosing
There is a stereotype: if conditioner stops working in a car, one should fill it up. It is valid only in case if you are 100% sure in the good condition of your system components. But in most cases the problem is not a lack of freon in the system, but in its malfunction. How to diagnose these failures, to find an approximate understanding of necessary works for conditioner restoration, not to spend a large sum of money, we will expounded below in this article.
90% of all breakages of automobile conditioner are connected with clutch of air conditioner compressor, there are only 2 types of them: permanent drive clutch and electromagnetic one. That is why the first thing one should do is to define type of clutch and make corresponding diagnostics of clutch. Why it is so important to determine the type of compressor clutch? Because the principle of work of these clutches is different, therefore the diagnostics and repair are principally different.
To make it easier to perceive further information let’s analyze the structure of each of couplings.
How to detect malfunction?
To identify faults with your own hands you do not need a tool, you should diagnose the system when it is working: visually inspect the rear and front circuits, listen to the noises and smells, check if the water drips. If there are extraneous sounds and unpleasant odors, water dripping. all this indicates some malfunctions.
If after the diagnostics revealed malfunctions they should be eliminated at once in order to avoid more expensive repair.
Below are the types of malfunctions and their causes:
- A common malfunction is a freon leak. If the system has lost its air tightness the refrigerant should be topped up more often. If there is a lack of freon power of air conditioner decreases.
- A radiator is permanently exposed to dirt and salts that cause corrosion processes and air conditioner depressurization, water begins to drop.
- The evaporator may be clogged. In this case, when you switch on air conditioner there will be unpleasant smell in a car interior, and water will drop on a carpet.
- If when the engine is idling, the conditioner does not cool air, but when driving the car, the conditioner is functioning properly, then there can be problems because the pressure in the system is too high. The causes of such cases are: condenser clogging, conditioner fan does not work, defective sensor of fan switching.
It is necessary to note that in some cases, when different parts of air conditioner break down, the symptoms of malfunction will be similar.
It is better not to try to fix the unit on your own, and apply to certified auto centers.
Repair of a conditioner, and also its charging with freon demands observance of technology, otherwise it is easy, having repaired one unit, to conduct a contamination of a refrigerant by air or water, leading to much heavier breakage.
How often should one fill up a conditioner of a car??
Fully sealed climate system loses up to 15 % of total volume of refrigerant every year. Even correctly working conditioner of a new car should be inspected once in 2-3 years. It has to be checked annually for a car older than 6 years. as connection gaskets wear out with time and there are microcracks on pipes. There are some kinds of freon, depending on the year of automobile production. There is usually a sticker somewhere under the hood that indicates the type of refrigerant. Refrigerant oil is renewed along with freon.
- When buying a car with used car, do not believe the tale of a seller about descent of freon, as if “the conditioner is not switched on in the car, as it is not necessary”. If the compressor is not connected, it should alert.
- Protect the air conditioner radiator from debris from the road with an additional grid on the bumper. It is especially actual for owners of automobiles with large honeycombs in a radiator grill.
- Turn on the air conditioner regularly, even if the machine is seldom used. At least 10 minutes 1-2 times a month. this will help avoid drying out the connecting elements.
- Switch off air conditioner some minutes before the end of travel, leaving running heater for that time. Warm air will dehumidify air ducts, depriving microbes of a breeding ground.
- Don’t forget that the best repair is prevention. Regular maintenance will help to prevent failure in time.
Belt slipping on the compressor pulley
Belt slips when necessary pressure is applied and system pressure drops. So the pump can’t create the necessary pressure. And the processes taking place in the air conditioner are disturbed. The required refrigerant gas temperature is not reached. So there is less evaporation of the refrigerant. Less energy is spent for evaporation. And as a result, a required temperature of cooling is not reached. Manometer shows that pumping pressure is lower than allowed.
Also other malfunctions of air conditioner can influence the low cold conductivity.
Smell coming out of the system
Unpleasant smell, coming from the conditioner, almost always has a biological nature (except for burning smell that can testify to a short circuit or melting of plastic elements). Odor, usually, means the appearance of mold or abundant growth of bacteria on the surface of the evaporator. This problem occurs quite often, because a humid evaporator located in a dark place is an ideal environment for the growth of mold and many cultures of bacteria.
In this situation it is necessary to get rid not from an unpleasant smell, but from the cause of it, as it can be dangerous for the health of the driver and passengers of the car. The danger is just in mold and bacterial cultures. on a vaporizer can live pathogenic bacteria, which cause various illnesses, including notorious “legionary disease”. legionellosis.
The problem is solved with the help of special cleaners, which are sprayed in the air ducts and directly on the evaporator. It also makes sense to treat a pan under evaporator and drain pipes, which drain a condensate. You should not postpone cleaning of smelly conditioner, because your health is much more at stake than comfort in a car.
It is one more reason that can provoke air conditioner failure. This defect is frequent enough. Why does not the air conditioner clutch work?? It does not work because of the failure of a special thermistor, which is located directly in the clutch. Specialists in service stations change a nonfunctional part entirely. But you can save money and replace the resistor with copper wire. Then you can enjoy a comfortable temperature in the cabin again.
If conditioner does not switch on, one should not search the reasons in evaporators, radiators, driving belts. For these reasons it can not cool air, but it will turn on and even work.
In most cases the refusal to turn on happens because of low level of the refrigerant. In such situation you should go to service station where you can professionally and technologically fill up the system. It is possible to forget about climate system for several years in just half an hour. It is possible to buy a filling set, but it is rather expensive.
It is better to be engaged in prophylaxis instead of acquiring a set and also in prevention of problems. So, once a week in winter you should turn on system for 5-10 minutes. That way we will exclude condensate and provide lubrication to all necessary details. Periodically wash radiators. The timely prevention will allow saving money on repair and filling up the conditioner. And you will not have to think anymore why the conditioner does not switch on.
Reasons why the air conditioner does not work in the car
Contrary to appearances, the air conditioner. it’s a fairly simple closed system, which if not working for trivial reasons. Here are a few of the most important reasons why your car’s air conditioning doesn’t work.
The air conditioner in the car does not turn on
The basic reasons why the air conditioner does not switch on in the car: 1. Not enough or no refrigerant; 2. The radiator of the air conditioner is damaged or dirty; 3. Evaporator of the conditioner of the car needs cleaning; 4. Compressor malfunction; 5. Failure of air conditioner fan.
Not enough of coolant. Natural decay of refrigerant
Coolant. is the lifeblood of the air conditioning system, without which there is no cooling. At normal work naturally decreases on 10-15 percent. factor, and the efficiency of air conditioning depends on its quantity.
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Theoretically, after 4-5 years, the air conditioner can break down, even if it is completely serviceable. In the intense heat it is not enough to provide a pleasant coolness, and, contrary to appearances, in winter you will feel its worse efficiency.
Refrigerant mixes with the oil that lubricates the compressor to ensure proper operating conditions. Therefore, too little refrigerant is bad for the compressor, but fortunately, in some designs it does not turn on when there is too little refrigerant.
Refrigerant and some air conditioning oils are hygroscopic, so they absorb moisture, and naturally water gets into the system despite the presence of a dehumidifier. Moisture in the system not only impairs the performance of the air conditioner and compressor lubrication. There is also a risk of the expansion valve freezing, which can lead to a more serious breakdown.
Lack of refrigerant due to leakage
Any leakage will result in a loss of refrigerant. Therefore, if the air conditioner has been serviced regularly enough, and the refrigerant is still missing, there is no point in topping it up. it’s an unnecessary expense.
So, you need to determine the cause of the refrigerant leak.
Most often the tightness of the system is checked by filling it with nitrogen to a pressure of 25 bar. Larger leaks will be audible and easy to detect. Dye, which should be poured into the coolant, helps in the search for small ones. However, the introduction of dye should be justified, as it is an undesirable factor in the system, and its reuse can lead to faster wear and tear of the compressor.
Keep in mind that despite its great weight and size, it is a relatively fragile device that is susceptible to improper operating conditions. After the dye (or contrast) is applied, you can find leaks from the system with a UV light.
The air conditioner radiator is damaged or dirty
There is a heat exchanger for the entire system at the front, cooled by the air flow and fan. The air conditioner radiator is also called the condenser. Often to blame for air conditioner malfunction, because it is a fragile component, especially in newer cars.
Often the condenser is not protected and unprotected from road impacts and dirt. So it usually causes mechanical damage, corrosion, or just contamination. The radiator gets clogged with insects or dirt, which greatly reduces its efficiency. Worse refrigerant in the condenser causes too much pressure in the system, which can even prevent the compressor from starting. This, in turn, can damage it, as a running compressor will repeatedly try to start.
It is worth checking the cleanliness of the air conditioner radiator and occasionally flushing it. Opinions on washing with a high pressure washer are divided. According to the state of technology it shouldn’t be done, and the manufacturers of coolers don’t strongly recommend such procedures, but there are services that successfully clean condensers this way. If the washer nozzle is not too close, and the pressure is not too high, there shouldn’t be a problem.
It is safer to use a suitable detergent that dissolves the dirt, and remove any residual water with a low-pressure water jet. Do not use a brush. The best thing you can do. is to use a soft brush.
The evaporator of the car air conditioner needs to be cleaned
The second heat exchanger is an evaporator in which the refrigerant expands, so the temperature drops to a very low level, and the air flowing around it enters the cabin. Low temperatures cause water droplets to pool on the evaporator and escape under the vehicle through the drainage system. That’s why small spots of water sometimes appear under the car in the summertime. Nothing to worry about as it is a natural process.
Moisture causes the evaporator to create the perfect environment for fungus and bacteria to grow. Usually, unpleasant odors enter the passenger compartment because the evaporator is dirty. Although access to the evaporator is quite difficult, it should be cleaned regularly. not only by so-called disinfection, but also by removing the dirt mechanically. Just remember that this is an extremely fragile device that is easy to damage.
The main causes of possible malfunctions of the car air conditioner
If the working air conditioner stopped turning on or does not work properly, it is not necessary to fill it up right away, as many car enthusiasts claim. Of course, charging the air conditioner is an important procedure that should be done from time to time, but it does not always help to solve the problem.
The air conditioner in the car does not turn on
If the air conditioning system does not activate when you turn it on, the problem is usually caused by the electrical part of the vehicle. The malfunction may also lie in the electrical components of the system.
Here are the main reasons to consider if the system won’t turn on:
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- So, if the air conditioner isn’t working, the first thing to pay attention to is the weather. The manual for any car says that the device should be turned on for preventive maintenance at least once a month in all types of weather. However, if the temperature outside the window is too low and the system does not turn on, do not worry, it is quite normal.
- If the air conditioner does not turn on, you should also diagnose the fuses. Typically, the clutch should engage when the system is activated, as evidenced by a click. If there is no click, you should open the engine compartment and see if the compressor drive shaft rotates. If the air conditioner compressor Ford Focus 3 does not rotate the shaft, then check the functionality of the f27 fuse, which is designed to transmit power to the clutch. By opening the cover of the fuse box on the Ford, you can see a diagram that will allow you to identify the necessary fuse. If f27 is working, you should check the second element. f35. it is designed to power the relay winding.
- Diagnose the wires and leads on the Ford Focus 1. As a rule, if the air conditioner does not turn on the reason can be found in a damage of a wire which belongs to ECU or a wire which goes to a block on a muff. You can carry out a repair procedure by your own hands or with the help of an electrician.
- Check if the clutch is in working order.
- All the contacts in the relay’s socket must be connected directly. This option of diagnosis does not always reveal a broken relay, but if in this case, the clutch is functioning, you will know for sure that it works. If you think that the relay is out of order, try to replace the element and check its functionality.
- Make a diagnosis of pressure sensors. it is quite difficult to do it on your own. There are two corresponding regulators in the Ford Focus, in case at least one of them is broken, the clutch may not turn on. It is better to perform computer diagnostics of the car to find out if the regulator is not working. As practice shows, it is the sensor of consumable. freon pressure. that fails most often.
Insufficient air cooling
Why the system gives out insufficiently cooled air stream:
- The passenger compartment filter element is clogged. As it is known, cabin filter belongs to the consumables, which should be replaced from time to time. If the problem is in the filter, then the air stream during heating will be too weak, also there will be sweating of glasses, in particular, the windshield. If the filter is defective, the interior of the car may smell unpleasant. Debris and dust can get into evaporator that promotes decrease efficiency of air stream cooling. It should be noted that these malfunctions can lead to the need to repair the system, so you should periodically replace the filter. Air conditioner cleaning will be required if dust and dirt have settled inside the evaporative unit, and then the system needs to be refilled.
- Failure of fans. These units may break or work less efficiently in case of contamination, electrical problems, or other damage. This is not an easy problem to diagnose by yourself, but if necessary you can try to measure the temperature in two or more vents by changing the rotation speed of the fans. If the temperature does not change, the fans could be out of order. Also their malfunction can be guessed by the absence of typical for their work hum. If no sound is detected, the fans will need to be repaired or replaced.
- De-aerating of air conditioning system, pressure drop, and also freon leakage can serve as one more reason for insufficient cooling of air inside the saloon. This condition usually appears in the spring, when the machine is first used. To refill the system will allow to solve the problem, but before to do it you should find out the reason, and also the place of the refrigerant leak. First of all, you can check air conditioner pipe in Ford Focus 2 by pushing on the nipple. if in this case the gas does not come out or comes out but very weakly, the problem is detected. The point is that the oil inside the unit lubricates all internal components, in particular the gaskets and seals. If the installation is not turned on for a long time, in the absence of lubricant flow into the system, the glands and seals of the circuit can dry out and crack. In its turn it will lead to depressurization and accordingly to the refrigerant leakage and in some time conditioner can not even plug in. You need to make a diagnosis of the pipes, their joints, and check the radiator. All pipes, especially those that are included to the radiator of air conditioner must fit tightly, must not be loose and the most important thing is that there must not be any cracks or moisture. Of course, it is much faster and easier to check the radiator of air conditioner and spigots with the help of special equipment at the service station.
It happens that diagnostics shows the need to replace the radiator of air conditioner. It is possible to reveal a place of a leakage by using the refrigerant with a special ultraviolet additive. The car should be exploited for some days with such freon, of course, with turned on air conditioner, after that repeated diagnostics with usage of ultraviolet lamp is made. Read more about how to change air conditioner belt on Ford Focus 2 or another car, how to check air conditioner belt, air conditioner compressor bearing and other components here (video author. Automatics. Autoconditioners from A to Z).