Heating & Air
Fixing Your Car's HVAC System
If your vehicle's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system isn't keeping up, it may be time for a repair. Bring your vehicle to one of our two Tri-Cities locations at the first sign of trouble to reduce your risk of a costly repair.
Heating & Cooling System Diagnostics
Auto Air Conditioning Repair & Service
Heating System Repair & Service
Belt Repair & Replacement
Compressor Repair & Replacement
Evaporator Repair & Replacement
How Does A Vehicle's Heating & Air Conditioning Work?
Without the heating and air conditioning systems in today’s modern vehicles, we would all be miserable driving to our destinations. We take for granted the heat that keeps us warm in the winter months, and the cool air that refreshes in the summertime. Let’s take a look at how both systems work to keep us comfortable all year round.
The heater in your car is basically a smaller version of your cooling system's radiator. Hot engine coolant is circulated through a small radiator, often times called a heater core. A fan is positioned in front of the heater core to blow cold outside air over the fins. As this air travels over the heater core, it heats up and becomes the hot air that blows out your heater vents.
Like your engine's cooling system radiator, the heater core can suffer some of the same issues. If the heater core becomes clogged with rust or sludge, you will no longer have heat. Also, leaks can cause a cabin full of white steam and really mess up your windows. If you smell the sweet aroma of coolant when your heater is on, chances are, you have a small leak in the heater core. Often times the heater core is buried under the dashboard, and replacing it is a major job.
The air conditioning system in your car is comprised of a compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator. If you have ever used a can of compressed air to clean computer components, you will know that the bottle gets very cold in a short amount of time. This is due to the rapid expansion of compressed gas. The same thing happens in your car’s air conditioning system.
Refrigerant (AKA Freon) is compressed in the compressor and turns into a hot gas. In the condenser, this hot gas is cooled to a liquid state and travels to the expansion valve. As the Freon goes through the expansion valve, it returns to a low-pressure gas and rapidly cools in the evaporator. A fan blows over the evaporator and cools the air that eventually blows out your vents.