Your car’s A/C system is made up of five main components. They five include the thermal expansion valve, a drier, a condenser, a compressor and an evaporator core. Each of these components must be flawless for the system to work optimally. While much is known about nearly all of these components little is known about the evaporator and what it does. This is strange given that the evaporator is perhaps the A/C’s most important component. What exactly does it do? Where is it located? How can you fix common evaporator problems? Read on to learn more.
Main Functions OF The Evaporator
The evaporator’s main function is to convert the liquid refrigerant back into the gaseous state. It draws the refrigerant into a vacuum where the air pressure is quickly reduced. This draws excess heat out of the refrigerant and cools it so as to make it ready to absorb more heat again. In simple words, the evaporator reverses what the condenser does.
It is also worth noting that the refrigerant goes into the compressor so as to absorb heat when it is subjected to pressure. This happens when the heated refrigerant goes through the condenser where it is converted back to a warm liquid state. The cool liquid is then drawn into the evaporator vacuum to turn the cool liquid into cold gas read to through the compressor after cool and water removal. All these happen within minutes.
The Evaporator Location
The evaporator is located inside the passenger compartment. In SUVs and pickup trucks, the compartment is located just below the instrument panel. Remember that Vans and SUVs have two evaporators, each at different locations. The first evaporator is located towards the front end of the vehicle while the other is located towards the rear end. Note the evaporator location differs with models. This means A Volvo A/C evaporator in a new Volvo model may not be at the exact same place it is a classic or relatively older model.
What It Is Made Of
It is typically made up of aluminum. That explains why evaporators look like sturdy mini radiators. There is actually a slight difference between the two. While radiators carry coolants in internal tubes, evaporators carry refrigerants otherwise referred to as Feon (a brand name that was popular years ago).
Note that there are different refrigerants an evaporator can carry. The most common one is the R-12 refrigerant. There is also the R134A variant which also popular. HFC-134a is yet another refrigerant option which stands out as an ideal option mainly because it is eco-friendly.
Evaporators, just like other A/C components sometimes fail. Leakages stand out as the most common problem that affects them. Corrosion as a result of foreign objects trapped inside vents can also damage the evaporator. To ensure it works at its optimum bests, make a habit of taking your car for A/C servicing. The solution most cases boils down to replacing the evaporator with a new one the moment it starts leaking. Make sure too that you examine the A/C system is fee or organic matter like leaves and dust. They can accumulate inside vents and fins. This can cause a foul smell inside the car and still compromise other A/C functions.