By Steve Schaeber, MACS manager of service training
Proper air flow across the heat exchangers in an air conditioning system is key to its being able to transfer heat efficiently. Problems with air flow can be caused by slow turning or inoperable fans, dirt and debris build up on evaporators, condensers and radiators, as well as missing or damaged foam insulation. It can also be caused by problems with air dams, scoops and fins. Poor airflow is a common undiagnosed cause of original compressor failure and comebacks following an A/C repair job.
Testing and inspecting these components for visual signs of blockage and damage should be one of the first steps taken when diagnosing A/C or engine cooling system performance issues. Reduced airflow through the condenser or radiator can result in premature compressor failure, poor A/C performance and engine/transmission overheating. Poor A/C performance after compressor replacement may not be associated with an airflow issue, especially when no obvious signs of engine overheating are evident. Therefore, a thorough evaluation of the system should be performed.
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