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A/C inspection

Starlight Automotive mechanics have huge experience when it comes to A/C inspection

We have all the necessary equipment to do the job fast and well.

The first sign you might need an A/C check is increased noise A/C unit makes when working as well as drop in it’s performance. The main reason for it usually is the condenser that’s susceptible  to salt and dirt that leads to more and more cracks in the tubing.

Another key part that can be a cause of malfunctioning A/C is the A/C compressor. It is under the most pressure when the car is running.

Last but not least is a bad odor. Sure, bad odor is not always the sign your A/C broke down. However, one should always have in mind that the malfunctioning evaporator can be the reason for the bad smell.

The biggest challenge when it comes to A/C inspection is that the refrigerant  is either in a liquid or in a gaseous state. If the places of liquid leakage are in most cases visible to the naked eye, then the gas is able to escape through imperceptible microcracks.

After notificing first signs one should do the inspection, timely repair and recharge of the A/C unit. The longer you put away your visit to Starlight Automotive the more expensive the repair of all the damaged parts get.

Signs of a broken A/C

A/C operates in very difficult conditions: temperature changes, constant vibrations and extremely polluted air due to its proximity to the roadway. The most common problems are:

  • damage or wear and tear of seals and tubes leading to leaks;
  • contamination of filters and ingress of dust particles and other debris into the system;
  • breakage or wear of the line, seal, belt, gaskets, electrical circuits;
  • depressurization of the system;
  • failure of individual parts.

The repair of the A/C unit must be only carried out by professional experts. Most of the time people turn to Starlight Automotive after previous unsatisfactory repair or after wear and tear of the system.

A/C inspection

A/C inspection consists of 4 main parts. First one is visual inspection. At this stage, you need to check the compressor belts, their tension, as well as the refrigerant hoses. Leaks of refrigerant and oil can be noticed immediately, but the hoses will have to be inspected more carefully.

Further inspection of the air conditioner is carried out using a leak detector. In its design, sensors are provided at the tip that can react to the refrigerant. However, it is worth considering that, like any electronic equipment, a leak detector has its own sensitivity threshold.

At the third stage of car air conditioning inspection, complex leaks are checked when the leak detector does not show the exact location of the leak. For example, leaks may only occur under certain conditions, such as at a certain temperature. In such cases, the inspection of the air conditioner using an ultraviolet dye is used. Such a dye is charged into the system along with refrigerant and oil. The air conditioner is operated in normal mode until signs of drop in performance appear. After this happen, one must return to  the shop, where the auto-conditioner will be scanned with an ultraviolet lamp.

At the fourth stage, the inspection is performed using pressure gauges. They check the condition of the compressor. The pressure indicator that the air conditioner compressor produces at the outlet, compare it with the nominal one. You can also find out how well the electromagnetic clutch works, and whether there are noises that occur during operation.

Condenser is another part that is susceptible to wear and tear even though it doesn’t have any moving parts. It is affected the most by the outside factors.

If the problem lies in the condenser, the inspection of auto air conditioners is mainly a search for a refrigerant leak. The cause of such a malfunction can be either mechanical damage to the condenser, or corrosion. If this is mechanical damage and the condenser tubes are broken, the problem can be eliminated using welding.


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