Car Air Conditioning Thermal Expansion Valve
Thermal expansion valve of AC system controls the amount of refrigerant that enters the evaporator. Refrigerant control is essential in adjusting air condition. Otherwise, you will be very uncomfortable in your vehicle. It removes pressure from the liquid refrigerant allowing expansion and eventual conversion of the liquid to gas.
If the thermal expansion valves fail, your AC system may stop functioning effectively. It will be unable to regulate the temperature of air conditioner. As a result, your vehicle’s interior may heat up and feel really hot. You do not want to be inside a hot car especially in summer, would you? Of course not.
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Why Thermal Expansion Valves Fail
One of the reasons the AC will fail to function properly is due to failure of the expansion valve. AC expansion failure indicates that something is a serious symptom problem in the AC.
When thermal expansion valves fail, the refrigerant may enter the compressor causing more severe internal damages and hence requiring major repair of air conditioner components. It is imperative that you replace the thermal expansion valves quickly when they fail. It will save you expensive repairs of the AC system.
Thermal valves maintain superheat by increasing or decreasing refrigerant entering the compressor. It also prevents liquids from entering into the compressor. Since liquids can’t be compressor if they happen to get inside the compressors they can cause severe damage and spoil it.
Thermal expansion valves strive to maintain superheating levels inside the evaporators by regulating refrigerant mass flow in response to the evaporator load. These expansion valves incorporate another device called a bulb to compare the pressures before entering and leaving the evaporator.
How do you know if your expansion valves are failing? The symptoms below will alert you of a potential problem
AC system blowing hot/warm air
An under-performing air conditioner is a signal of expansion valve problem. Depending with the severity of the problem the AC will start blowing warm air or unusually cold. Valves failure disrupts the normal function of the AC system.
Frost in the vents
When the thermal expansion valves fail, the refrigerant flows through the evaporator unmetered. This causes the evaporator to freeze. AC vents producing frost or very cold air. This could be a sign the AC is getting high too much refrigerant which hinders overall performance and efficiency of the AC system.
Compressor running constantly
A compressor running constantly is another sign of a problematic expansion valve. Failing thermal expansion valves causes the compressor to pump refrigerant through the system even when it is not desirable to do so. This causes strain on the compressor and other components of the AC system, eventually causing premature failure.
Thermal expansion valves are crucial components in the AC system. Issues with thermal expansion valves can result in a complete breakdown of the whole AC system. So if you suspect any problem with the valves, the wise thing to do is contact your preferred mechanic to have it inspected.
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