Air Conditioning Maintenance
Don’t lose your cool over an air conditioning system that’s not working properly!
Bring in your car, truck or SUV for air conditioning inspection, diagnosis
Did you know that your air conditioning belt drives many other components in your vehicle?
This means that a broken belt can have a much worse impact than simply an uncomfortable trip. The expert mechanics will take care of everything- whether it’s simply a recharge of refrigerant or
maybe installing a new compressor- you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your vehicle will keep you cool and safe.
Automotive Air Conditioning System Service Diagnosis & Repair for Cars &
DID YOU KNOW?
The Federal Environmental Protection Agency regulates the type of refrigerant you can use in
your air conditioner. Your St. Charles, MO. service technicians are current on EPA rules for properly removing and
disposing of used refrigerant, protecting the environment while keeping you cool. At Sparks Tire & Auto in St. Charles
Missouri we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at 636-946-5900 and let us help keep you safely and
economically on the road... (Read
Signs that your vehicle may have a malfunctioning air conditioning system include: Your air conditioner blows only hot air from the vents The air conditioner blows cold only sporadically There are noises when you run your air conditioner
Conditioning Service begins with our state-of-the-art air conditioning system diagnostic test. This diagnosis
includes: Inspection of the air conditioning compressor drive belt for cracks or damage Inspection of all air conditioning-related components for leaks or damage A check for proper operation of the air conditioning compressor and other components prior to
service Testing lines, hoses, seals and other system components for leaks
Depending on the results of the diagnosis, the system is then serviced only as required to ensure proper operation,
which might include: Evacuating refrigerant from the system Recharging the system using the appropriate refrigerant to the exact system capacity according to
the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications Performing any necessary service on compressor, evaporator, condenser and electrical controls Rechecking the system to ensure proper operation.
While your vehicle is at the center, an Sparks Tire & Auto certified mechanic will also perform a Multi-Point
Inspection to safeguard that all of the major systems in your car, truck or SUV are in good working order.
as we discuss service and repair issues around your A/C system.
Conditioning System - NAPA Service Assistant
Air Conditioning Service/Repair
vehicle a/c systems can lose 5% of their refrigerant per year
causing the system to become inefficient. Another thing to remember
is the a/c system is used all year long, every time the defroster is
used the a/c system is activated to assist in removing the moisture
from inside the vehicle which can defog windows much faster than non
a/c equipped vehicles. It is recommended that modern a/c systems be
tested annually to assure peak performance. Schedule an appointment
with one of our factory trained professionals and let us make sure
you’re a/c system is running efficiently. We have the latest
equipment available to diagnose the computerized components, as well
as to service all the different systems including the newer systems
on hybrid and electric vehicles. Below is a brief explanation of the
major components that make these a/c systems work so well:
The compressor is a belt-driven device that compresses refrigerant
gas and transfers it into the condenser. The compressor is the core
of your vehicle's air conditioning system.
The condenser's primary function is to cool the refrigerator. The
condenser dissipates heat released by compressed gases and condenses
them into high pressure liquids.
The receiver is a metal container that serves as a storage
receptacle for the refrigerant; also known as a drier because it
absorbs moisture from the refrigerant and filters out harmful debris
and acids. You should change your drier every 3-4 years to ensure
quality filtration and prevent any chemical damage.
Orifice Tube/Expansion Valve:
The orifice tube (also known as the expansion valve) is a
controlling mechanism that regulates refrigerant flow throughout the
system. It also converts high pressure liquid refrigerant (from the
condenser) into low pressure liquid, so that it can enter the
The evaporator removes heat from the inside of your vehicle. The
evaporator allows the refrigerant to absorb heat, causing it to boil
and change into a vapor. When this occurs, the vapor leaves the
evaporator through the compressor, cooling your car and reducing
humidity. The evaporator houses the most refrigerant in the heat
transfer process and harmful acids can corrode it. This corrosion
typically damages the evaporator beyond repair.
NAPA AutoCare Archived Articles
Category - Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning Service in St. Charles Hey St. Charles! Let's talk about one of our Missouri summertime must-haves: your car A/C. It's real easy for St.
Charles drivers to take their car's air conditioner for granted... (Read
Automotive Tips from Sparks Tire & Auto: Air Conditioning – Common Problem Your auto air conditioning system cools and conditions the air in your passenger compartment when you are driving
around St. Charles. It also removes moisture from the air to keep your windows from fogging up... (Read
Automotive Tips from Sparks Tire & Auto: Making Your A/C System Last Longer St. Charles drivers know that if their air conditioning system isn’t making cool air like it used to, there is a
problem. It may be as simple as adding more of the right kind of refrigerant... (Read
Automotive Tips from Sparks Tire & Auto: Air Conditioning Inspection Most auto manufacturers recommend an interval for an air conditioning system inspection. The inspection uncovers
leaks, worn hoses and assesses the condition of the other components... (Read
Cool Breeze: Air Conditioning Service at Sparks Tire & Auto in St. Charles Most Missouri auto owners know that their vehicles need regular preventive maintenance like changing the oil and
filters, rotating the tires and refilling the washer fluid. But did you know that your air conditioning system needs
routine maintenance... (Read
Air Conditioning Maintenance at Sparks Tire & Auto in St. Charles Warm weather or cold, St. Charles drivers still need to think about their vehicle's air conditioning. Most St.
Charles people don't service their air conditioning until after it fails. At Sparks Tire & Auto, we can advise you on
your vehicle manufacturers preventive maintenance schedules for air conditioning service, just as we do for
transmission service, oil changes and so on.... (Read
A Cold Day in St. Charles – Air Conditioning Service at Sparks Tire & Auto Most St. Charles drivers worry about a breakdown or a tire blowout on a busy Missouri highway, but don't worry too
much about failure of their air conditioning system. A breakdown on the side of the road can be a miserable and
dangerous affair during St. Charles rush hour, but so can a long ride in a hot vehicle... (Read
Air Conditioning Service
The air conditioning unit in your vehicle operates similarly to a
refrigerator. Your vehicle’s air conditioning unit is designed to
move heat from the inside of your car to outside of it.
Your vehicle’s air conditioning unit has six major components:
• The refrigerant carries heat. In
modern cars, refrigerant is a substance called R-134a. Older cars’
refrigerant is called r-12 freon, which is more expensive and
difficult to find than R-134a.
• The compressor circulates and
compresses refrigerant within the vehicle’s cooling system.
• Your vehicle’s condenser changes
the refrigerant from gas to liquid and expels heat from the car.
• The expansion valve (sometimes
called the orifice tube) is a nozzle that simultaneously drops the
pressure of the refrigerant liquid, meter its flow and atomize it.
• Your vehicle’s evaporator
transfers heat to the refrigerant from the air blown across it,
cooling your car.
• The receiver or dryer filters
your vehicle’s refrigerant and oil, removing moisture and other
contaminants from them.
When you start your vehicle’s air conditioning system, the
compressor works by putting the refrigerant under pressure, sending
it to the condensing coils, which are generally in front of your
vehicle’s radiator. The condenser expels hot air to outside the car,
cooling the air within the vehicle. When this happens, the
refrigerant is cooled, and it changes from a gas to a liquid, which
then passes through the expansion valve and to the evaporator.
Once the evaporator receives the liquid-state refrigerant, it loses
pressure and cools the remaining liquid. The vehicle’s blower moves
air across the evaporator and into the vehicle’s interior. If you
keep your air conditioning unit turned on, the refrigerant goes
through this cycle continuously.
If any of these components is damaged, it can turn your cool car
into a furnace during the summer months. Your vehicle’s air
conditioning issue could be as simple as topping off refrigerant to
replacing a valve. When your air conditioning unit is not working as
it should, bring your vehicle to Sparks Tire & Auto, conveniently
located in St. Charles, Missouri. One of our trained air
conditioning specialists will inspect your car’s air conditioner,
all lines, the evaporator and the compressor for leaks and wear.
Cool Breeze: Air Conditioning Service In St. Louis
Most Missouri car owners know that their vehicles need regular
preventive maintenance like changing the oil and filters, rotating
the tires and refilling the washer fluid. But did you know that your
air conditioning system needs routine maintenance as well? Taking
care of your air conditioning system can extend its life and prevent
costly repair bills.
Why is it critical for St. Louis motorists to get routine
maintenance on their air conditioning system? First, the refrigerant
contains an added lubricant. As the refrigerant circulates through
the air conditioning system, its parts are lubricated. This constant
lubrication keeps the parts functioning well. But over time, this
lubricant is used up, and without it, the parts will eventually
seize up and fail.
St. Louis and more specifically, St. Charles folks should
understand, however, that the air conditioner will continue to pump
out cool air even without the lubricant, so you won’t know the
system is sick until it actually dies. So good car care includes
regularly checking the refrigerant and lubricant in your sedan air
conditioning system and replacing it if needed.
The second reason your air conditioning system needs preventive
maintenance is that air and water can get into the system. Air,
water and the contaminants they contain will reduce the efficiency
of the air conditioning system and can cause corrosion of the
system’s parts. Keeping the air conditioning system clean is an
important practice and will extend its life and keep you from losing
your cool on hot St. Louis days.
How often should you get a routine car air conditioner inspection?
It varies from vehicle to vehicle. Check your owner’s manual for the
auto manufacturer’s recommendation.
Here’s a good piece of auto advice for Missouri motorists that will
extend the life of their air conditioning systems: You should run
your air conditioner in the winter every once in a while. This
circulates the refrigerant, which lubricates the seals. That way,
they won’t dry out during cold St. Louis weather.
Your air conditioning system doesn’t just cool the air in your
sedan; it dries it out as well. So if you have trouble with a foggy
windshield, flip on your air conditioning on the defrost setting.
You may be surprised at how quickly it takes care of the problem. Of
course, some vehicles can’t run the air conditioner and defroster at
the same time; you should check your owner’s manual or with the car
maker if you are uncertain whether this feature works in your car or
So, after learning about preventive maintenance for your A/C, you
might now be wondering if your air conditioner is in trouble. Two
early warning signs of a failing air conditioner are (1) the air
just isn’t getting as cold as it used to and (2) there’s a strange
noise when the air conditioner turns on. If you notice either of
these symptoms in your car or light truck, you should bring it to
Sparks Tire & Auto in St. Charles as soon as possible.
Just some good auto advice to keep you cool in St. Louis and keep
you on the road!