If you're having problems with your car's air conditioning system, it could be something to do with the environment within which you live and even more specifically, the street that you call home. How can your community affect the performance of this mechanical device without you even knowing it and what should you do to avoid this problem in the future?
An Eye on the Evaporator
A vehicle's air conditioning system is quite complicated and (just like your home) has a number of independent parts that need to work in tandem. One of these crucial parts is called an evaporator, which is very similar in appearance to a radiator but which sits in between the engine and the passenger compartment. This evaporator has a special product known as refrigerant running through it and its designed to absorb the heat that builds up in the passenger compartment as a blower fan pushes such warm air across its surface.
What's at Risk?
Certainly, it's just part of the entire process as the warmer refrigerant needs to move on to the compressor before a complete cycle can be achieved, but it's nevertheless a key suspect if you're dealing with any air conditioning issues.
This is because the evaporator is vulnerable to leakage and this process typically begins on the inside and works out. It's possible that a weld or seam may have failed, but internal corrosion is frequently a cause of failed air conditioning.
This is where your community comes into the picture as often, leaves will be sucked into the evaporator through the exterior air intake vents and the environment within the evaporator is ripe for decomposition. These materials will break down very readily and as they do so this can create a toxic soup of substances that lead to a considerable risk of corrosion.
If you live in a community with many mature trees, you may notice upon further inspection that many of them have been "sucked" into the evaporator. Another tell-tale sign is a strange smell, especially when you first crank the vehicle in the morning and switch the A/C on.
What You Should Do
You may find it useful to park the vehicle in a garage, especially when the leaves are falling in season, so that you don't come across this problem again. In the meantime, take the vehicle in for a full service to restore it to full operation.