COOL AND FRESH
The HVAC system does not only increase driving comfort, but safety as well
Even if most car owners believe that HVAC systems are maintenance-free, MAHLE says the system should be serviced every few years.
As in life, so it goes in the HVAC system: without a little pressure, nothing would ever get done. The refrigerant circuit requires a pressure range up to almost 18 bar.
Although the HVAC system is self-contained, it loses a bit of refrigerant during the year, mostly through the hoses and numerous gaskets.
To determine the amount of refrigerant left in the system, you must first extract it and then measure the exact quantity.
Once extracted, MAHLE explains the system is depressurised and can be serviced, for example, by replacing the filter dryer.
The 0.02mbar high precision vacuum pump of the MAHLE A/C service unit then creates a vacuum throughout the entire refrigerant circuit.
The high vacuum removes any remaining moisture from the system. At the same time, this also serves as a leak tightness test: if the vacuum remains constant, the system isn’t leaking.
After the testing is completed, the MAHLE A/C service unit automatically refills the system with precisely the specified quantity of refrigerant.
MAHLE says its E³ technology ensures that no refrigerant is released into the environment.
Furthermore, the amount of refrigerant oil that was lost in the extraction process is automatically replaced with fresh refrigerant oil.
Too late is much too late
An amount of refrigerant oil circulates through the system with the refrigerant. This oil mist keeps hoses and gaskets flexible.
If there is too little refrigerant in the system, the gaskets and hoses become brittle and leaky.
The compressor suffers too. Its job is to compress as much refrigerant as is required to achieve the desired temperature in the passenger cabin.
If there is less than the minimum required amount of refrigerant, the compressor must work at full load, which overheats causing the refrigerant oil to burn and coke, which reduces its lubricity.
Worse still, metallic abrasions and chips from the compressor may damage the whole system. It is recommended to install a new cabin air filter as part of an A/C service.
MAHLE says it is proud to make sure the climate is right.