Fleet Air Conditioning & Heating Repair
If your fleet vehicles' air conditioning is not pumping out ice cold air like it used to, don't wait until it's so hot your sweating through the seat. Have your A/C system checked and fight back the Florida heat and humidity. At Full Blown Automotive we have master certified technicians with the knowledge and experience to keep your fleet cool and comfortable in your vans, trucks, and buses. We are Hertz, Enterprise, and CarFax certified, and we specialize in D.O.T. certification and inspection.
In 1939 Packard became the first automobile manufacturer to offer air conditioning as an option in their cars. These early systems were large and inefficient. They were only installed in high-end luxury models and limousines as they required extensive plumbing to be ran throughout the car and were expensive to produce, install, and maintain. Other manufacturers attempted various cooling systems, but automotive air conditioning remained too expensive. In 1954 the Nash Motor Co. introduced the Nash Ambassador with a modern air conditioning system. The Nash system downsized the components of the A/C system allowing all the parts to be fitted under the hood and was the first to have dash mounted controls.
Modern automotive A/C systems operate on simple principles of thermodynamics. The system operates by changing pressure of a chemical refrigerant to change temperature from hot to cold, as well as removing moisture and contaminants, and eventually blowing the cold air into the vehicle cabin. The A/C system does not create cold air, rather it removes heat energy leaving cold air in it's place. The process repeats continually assuming there are no problems in the system.
The refrigerant is the lifeblood of the A/C system. It is important to ensure the right refrigerant is used in your system as it will be repeatedly converted from liquid to gas and back to liquid as it cycles the system's components which are optimized for use with a specific refrigerant. The most common problem with your car's A/C system is likely to be refrigerant, and your system needs to be inspected for leaks with dyes or specialized "sniffer" equipment and recharged. It is recommended that you have your system inspected and recharged by a certified technician.
If refrigerant is the lifeblood of the system, then the compressor is the heart of the system. The compressor squeezes the refrigerant gas to increase pressure and thus increase temperature. The compressor is controlled by an electric clutch that engages and disengages depending on outside air temp or by the settings made on the dash mounted A/C controls. The compressor is powered via pulley and serpentine belt connected to the engine. If the A/C is not working at all, working erratically, or makes excessive noise; the compressor, clutch, or belt could have failed. Refrigerant leaks could also occur at the compressor.
The next component in the system is the condenser coil. The condenser is located at the front of the vehicle, and looks like a miniature radiator. Cool air is pushed (either by vehicle movement or powered fan) through the condenser. As cool air passes through the coils heat is exchanged from the condenser to the air causing the refrigerant temperature to drop and turning back into a liquid state. Issues with the condenser are usually leaks arising from corrosion or impact from debris.
Receiver / Dryer or Accumulator
After being condensed the refrigerant passes through a receiver/dryer or accumulator depending on the type of A/C system equipped on the vehicle. The receiver/dryer separates any remaining gas from the liquid refrigerant, removes moisture, and filters contaminants. The accumulator has a similar function. A problem with either component can be identified by inability of the defroster to remove the moisture from the window. It is important to note that anytime the system is opened for service the receiver/dryer or accumulator will need replacement.
Expansion Valve or Orifice Tube
The next component of the A/C system again depends on what type of system is equipped on the vehicle. It is either an expansion valve or orifice tube, both of which have a similar function. They monitor and control the amount of refrigerant that is allowed to enter the evaporator. Poor A/C performance could indicate a problem with these components. It is important that these components are functioning correctly as failure could lead to evaporator damage.
The final component of the A/C closed refrigerant system is the evaporator. The evaporator is usually located behind the passenger dash. The evaporator also removes moisture, but the primary function is to cool air by exchanging heat. The refrigerant then repeats it's cycle passing back to the compressor. The cool air passed through the evaporator coil is then passed through the cabin ventilation ducts via a blower motor to control the force of air coming from the ducts. Again, poor A/C performance could indicate a problem with the evaporator.
Automotive A/C systems may not have changed much since the 1950's, however they are complex systems that could have leaks or component failures. At Full Blown Automotive Center we have the expertise, tools, and equipment to ensure your fleet vehicles' A/C is blasting ice cold air. Whether you just need a recharge, a retrofit, or component replacement we have everything you need. Don't let the Florida heat get you beat! Stop by Full Blown Automotive Center to have our technicians inspect and repair your systems properly today!