Vehicle Air Conditioning Evaporator Core
The evaporator core, also referred to as Evaporator coil, is heat exchanger, more or less like a radiator. It is located in vehicles’ dash.
If you need 5-Star auto air conditioning repair Phoenix, call us now for a FREE check-up:
How It Works
Basically, low-pressure liquid refrigerant enters the core. Heat in the passenger compartment causes the refrigerant to boil and change into gas. The change of state absorbs energy. The cold refrigerant absorbs heat from the air by removing heat from the passenger compartment resulting in cool air. As the warm refrigerant leaves the evaporator core, it is replaced with a cold refrigerant.
You might have seen water dripping beneath the vehicle when the air conditioner is turned on. This situation is completely normal and results from condensation water trapped on the evaporators as warm air blow across. No wonder the evaporator core has a drain tube for water to drip out.
Causes of Evaporator core damage
Evaporator core can develop several problems due to the dry and wet conditions. First, the moisture can form mold and mildew causing stinking air in the car. There are products available in the auto parts store to deal with this smell. A worse case is mold clogging the drain tube. The water may fill the case of evaporating core and drain into the passenger’s compartment.
Another problem is leaks. Sometimes there isn’t much you can do about leaks since they are prone to happen after an extended period. There are several causes of leaks in the evaporator core. In new cars, it could be caused by defects in manufacturing process. Evaporator cores are made from aluminum soldered or welded together. If the weld is not strong enough a leak develops.
Thermal changes too can also cause a leak or a contraction of the aluminum core. The evaporator core experience uneven temperature between the top and bottom part. When in use it gets very cold and returns to ambient temperate when the AC system is turned off. The aluminum core undergoes expansion and contraction which can eventually lead to cracks.
Another problem is corrosion. A blower motor pushes air through the evaporator core. This air contains debris and foreign objects including dust. Debris sticks around the wet surface of the evaporator core. Presence of moisture causes corrosion which eats into the aluminum.
Allowing leaves and other debris to accumulate on the vents is even worse. Organic materials may break down forming acids that accelerate corrosion in the evaporator core. It is therefore prudent that you avoid parking in an area with leaves.
It is difficult to see an evaporator core. Knowing if it is leaking can be quite a daunting task. Nowadays repair shops use state of the art technologies including electronic leak detector to establish leaks in the evaporator core. It is advisable that you contact reputable technicians to help with damaged evaporator core. Trying to handle the damage yourself can exacerbate the situation.
Read more about your car’s air conditioning system: