Proper A/C system performance is achieved with many components working together to provide cab comfort for the driver and passengers. The item that receives the most attention is the Compressor. The compressor operates as the “pump” of the system, keeping the refrigerant circulating and increasing the refrigerant’s pressure.
All compressors have two sides: Suction and Discharge. The refrigerant is drawn into the compressor’s suction side as a cold-low pressure vapor and then is compressed, thus raising the refrigerant pressure and temperature. The high pressure-high temperature vapor refrigerant is then pumped out of the compressor’s discharge side to the condenser.
As the compressor moves the refrigerant through the system, the refrigerant oil also moves with the refrigerant.
Why are compressors removed?1) Loss of a refrigerant charge – Cold refrigerant entering the compressor on the suction side coming from the evaporator provides cooling to the compressor. With a loss of refrigerant, the compressor overheats. Also, with a loss of refrigerant, the oil is not returned back into the compressor and eventually the compressor will run dry.
2) Contamination – Particles found inside the system will cause internal damage to your system. These particles can cause blockage at the condenser, expansion valve or damage to the internal parts of your compressor. Contamination must be removed from the system by using the correct flushing procedures.
3) Misdiagnosis – Change the wrong part is a common procedure in repair A/C failures. The system must be properly diagnosed before changing parts and pieces.
What are the most common causes of compressor failures?1) Low Refrigerant Charge
2) Leaks with the System
3) Contamination in the System
4) Lack of Lubrication
5) Clutch Failure due to System Failure
6) Blockage or Restriction within the system
7) Insufficient Condenser Cooling
What happens if a compressor continues to run under a low refrigerant charge?
1) Overheating of the compressor occurs.
2) Refrigerant oil circulation slows down and returns very little back to the compressor
3) Without proper lubricant and refrigerant charge, the compressor will “lock-up” and destroy the compressor.
4) The critical low charge point is reached when the system has 50% or less of the recommended refrigerant charge.
5) Disabled or Malfunctioning switches that allow the compressor to run in a low charge situation.
With mechanical reliability at all-time highs, heavy-duty A/C components rarely fail. In fact, components mainly fail because of the contaminated refrigerant oil and general lack of preventive maintenance. Proper maintenance increases operating time and saves money by identifying concerns before they become problems.
More Pre Season maintenance tips
Completing the A/C Best Practices on our Youtube channel ATCTV, we feature
How To and Which Components to Inspect
Examining Compressor Failures
Thermistor Kit for Navistar
Arctic Traveler Canada is always focused on the application of Air-Conditioning, Heating, Pressurization and Refrigeration of cabins and cargo areas of mobile vehicles, both on-road and off-road. As a Master Stocking Distributor, ATC offers Air Conditioning systems and replacement parts for any heavy duty vehicle. Call 1-800-295-4156 or visit www.atc.ca for more information.
Wondering why your system has a low refrigerant charge?It could be because of a leak that needs repair, or a high-side blockage that limits refrigerant flow to the compressor. Diagnose those problems first, and if not resolved, perform this simple 4 step A/C compressor function check, before you remove the compressor from a vehicle.
Service Tip: Remember when you open the A/C system, you should change your filter drier to remove contaminants and minimize damaging moisture in the system.
4 step tech tip1. Is the compressor rotation smooth? With the vehicle off, turn the compressor shaft with a 14-mm socket. If you feel grinding or hanging as you rotate the shaft, there may be broken components within the compressor. If the rotation is smooth, move on to Step 2.
2. Is the coil getting more than 11.5 volts? Take a reading with the engine running and the clutch engaged. If there’s insufficient voltage, get to work on that. Otherwise, move on to Step 3.
3. Is the coil resistance between 2.8 and 4.4 ohms for a 12 vdc system and 11.2 to 17.6 ohms for a 24 vdc system? Any resistance outside these ranges will prevent the clutch from engaging or will cause used circuits to open. If the resistance measures correctly, continue to Step 4.
4. Is the compressor able to produce 350 psig or more? The compressor should be able to build over 350 psig on the high side with the condenser airflow restricted, and also able to pull the suction side down to 5 psig when the TXV is closed. If needed, the technician can close the TXV by chilling the charge head using a can of dust-off held upside-down.This will temporarily freeze the TVV charge head and cause it to close. If the compressor is operating correctly, the suction pressure will drop below 5 psig.
Need more info. Go to our blog, ATCNEWS or view more tips on the links below
Arctic Traveler Canada has a complete line of replacement parts & HVAC systems for all makes, any HVAC Part or System. Call us today for more information .
Replacement A/C Hose lines don’t have to be from the Original Manufacturer!
How To Repair A/C Hose – In the past, it was difficult to find a supplier capable of doing AC hose repairs, but with today’s wide selection of high-quality fittings and hose, your replacement could be right here at ATC. The Air Conditioning System provides the desired cabin temperatures to ensure operator comfort. The AC hose is used to effectively transfer both liquid and gas between the components and should be inspected for leaks and either repaired or replaced ASAP, to ensure the system continues to perform as expected.
Click here to view an Aeroquip EZ Clip Demo from Reddot
Today, many hose sets come with metal tube sections, some of which we offer. If no suitable fitting is available, using a hose to replicate the metal tube is the next best thing.
Our experience suggests using Aeroquip hose and E-Z Clip may hold an advantage over crimp fittings for replacing metal tubes. Aeroquip EZ Clip & Hose fitting is a simple option for making or repairing Air Conditioning hose lines on heavy-duty trucks, agricultural, construction and other industrial applications. No hydraulic equipment is needed. Rather, a simple, easy-to-use crimping plier enables quick and easy A/C Hose repairs in the field.
Each Aeroquip fitting comes with 2 Clips which slide over the hose and a Cage which locks into the fitting, goes through the cages and is secured with crimper pliers.
This example shows an OE Hose at the top and using 4 Aeroquip fittings and hose, we can quickly provide a quality solution for your application.
The reduced diameter hose enables tighter turns (but not right angles) without concern for “kinks” which would compromise the hose and AC system.
AC Hose Repair using Aeroquip EZ Clip Fittings and Hose is a quick solution for the quick turn around needs and mobile technicians. Providing even greater flexibility, when the E-Z Clip fitting is lubricated with a slight amount of refrigerant oil before it’s inserted into the hose, the direction/index of the fitting can be changed by rotating the fitting in the hose. Once the refrigerant oil used has dried (1-2 hours) the fitting can no longer be turned or re-indexed.
Looking for OEM Replacement lines. Find application specific parts here!
Need an internal Hose Program ? Find more info here!
Without these components, the hot or cold air produced by your air conditioning system won’t circulate to reach your vehicle’s interior cabin and or sleeper. We offer solutions for Freightliner, International, Kenworth, Mack, Peterbilt, Sterling, Volvo and Western Star. Review the fast moving replacements by Brand below or the full listing of replacement Blowers here.
TECH TIP Video: Blower Motors – Common Reasons For Failures
Arctic Traveler Canada is a proven and trusted specialist in mobile climate control. We design, engineer, manufacturer and distribute a wide range of HVAC solutions for Commercial and Industrial applications. We offer replacement OE and AM parts & supplies for All Applications and Any HVAC system. Call ATC today at 1-800-295-4156 to discuss what’s possible and let our experience be your guide.
Other informative links
Best Selling HVAC Parts By Brand
OEM and AM Replacement A/C Hoses
Clogged, dirty filters restrict airflow and reduce a system’s efficiency. When airflow is restricted, the air that bypasses the filter will carry dirt directly into the evaporator coil and reduce the coil’s heat-absorbing abilities. To ensure efficiency, routinely clean or replace filters.
The condenser and evaporator coils collect dirt over time but a clean filter helps to keep the evaporator performing well. Debris reduces air flow, insulates the coil and reduces its ability to absorb heat. Being exposed to the elements, it is easy to see the dirt collecting on the fins. Cleaning the coil fins and removing any debris around the coil will ensure optimal performance.
The aluminum fins on evaporator and condenser coils are easily bent and can block airflow through the coil. Air conditioning wholesalers sell a tool called a “fin comb” that will comb these fins back into their original condition.Remember to always use caution when performing preventative system maintenance, as ambient conditions (heat load) will increase refrigerant hose temperatures and don’t forget, having the right quality parts on hand makes all the difference.
See How To and Which Components to Inspect and watch this video to learn more about Basic A/C Troubleshooting.
One of the best ways to improve uptime and reduce maintenance costs for the customer is to promote a basic visual check of major A/C components, hose connections, and fittings at regular intervals, like with every engine-oil change. This inspection routine has another benefit: it can generate business for your parts and service department.
Many A/C components are consumable items. It’s more cost-effective to replace them than to repair them. So preventive maintenance is an opportunity to sell a range of OEM-quality all-makes replacement parts for the air conditioner. Here are some examples:
1. RECEIVER DRIERS
The receiver-drier’s moisture indicator provides a quick visual cue about the refrigerant’s condition: a blue dot means the refrigerant is dry; pink, white, or grey indicates acid or moisture in the system. Checking the sight glass during an oil change or any scheduled maintenance procedure means the truck can receive necessary service while it’s there in the shop, before moisture and acid damage critical A/C components and lead to a failure on the road.
Dust, bugs, feathers, and other debris collect on the face of fins and tubes and act as a thermal barrier, making it hard for the condenser to shed heat. Condensers also fail because of vibration, which can cause hose connections to come loose and fatigue the condenser tubing adjacent to the fittings. Every 12 months, the condenser should be cleaned (taking special care not to bend or damage the fins) and the hose connections securely clamped.
3. COMPRESSOR/CLUTCH ASSEMBLY
The compressor provides the mechanical energy to circulate refrigerant and manipulate the pressure inside the system. It’s the heart of the A/C system, and the No. 1 HVAC maintenance expense item. Excessive noise and poor cooling performance are the two most obvious symptoms that a compressor is failing. Replacing the compressor involves pulling down the system, which adds refrigerant recovery and recharge to the repair cost.
Next time you see, “A/C won’t blow cold air” on a work order, note that the repair and downtime probably could have been avoided with a simple visual inspection of the truck’s air conditioning system. Any time you change the truck’s oil, check the A/C.
Arctic Traveler Canada is a master distributor and technical service expert for many of our suppliers.
Call us today at 1-800-295-4156 to find your HVAC solutions.
More Tech Tips
A/C Preventative Maintenance Tips from RedDOT
How To Inspect an A/C Compressor
A/C Compressor Check Up
How To Troubleshoot your A/C Electrical system
Why Do a Winter time PM on your A/C System
If you haven’t already read it, MACS (Mobile Air Conditioning Society) member profile for September/October is ATC. This worldwide blog has been consistently honoured as one the best B2B automotive aftermarket blogs. Read the full interview with our company president for further insights into our world.
As the heating season approaches, the big news is the launch of the Eberspaecher Hydronic S3 heater. Thanks to its compact dimensions and flexible installation options, this state of the art heater impresses! Read the full details here to see how this little wonder works and watch the video on our youtube channel ATCTV While there check out the Airtronic Intro & Basics and the Hydronic Purpose and Function videos.
ATC.ca is your gateway to so much. The Product Line page provides catalog downloads with pictures, overviews and specs. Our blog ATCNEWS is where you’ll find best practices, technical tips and product knowledge. This months feature is ESPAR Pre-season Maintenance tips for Airtronic & Hydronic Heaters and a Red Dot tech tip on Why you should do wintertime Preventative Maintenance on your A/C system? Find out more here.
ATCNEWS has categories like A/C 101, Did you know, Heating, Tech Tips or vendor specific like Espar & RedDot. Missed something from a previous Newsletter? Not to worry, ATCNEWS is searchable.
From 16-65,000 BTU’s, we carry a variety of mobile heating solutions to supplement your Gas or Diesel needs and provide you hours of comfort. To view some of our heating solutions, click here.
We want to take this opportunity to remind you of our Parts ordering email email@example.com or call us toll free at 1-800-295-4156, our Customer Service Representatives will be happy to assist you.
The opinions expressed in this newsletter, do not necessarily reflect those of Arctic Traveler Canada.
We look forward to hearing from you, but we know at times you simply want to “place an order” vs waiting in a queue as we assist others with cross referencing, product info and or custom application needs. We hope you appreciate that we can’t staff for unknown peaks and in an effort to better serve you, we are introducing an email service for Parts Ordering…. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simply provide all necessary details… part numbers, quantity, pickup location, ship to location, purchase order # etc and we’ll acknowledge and process your request as soon as possible.
Heavy Duty A/C Best Practices: Preventative Maintenance, Diagnostics & How To Procedures
Driven by competition, computer aided design, a focus on quality and several other factors, mechanical reliability is at all time high. As a result heavy-duty A/C components rarely fail ! In fact, components mainly fail because of contaminated refrigerant oil and general lack of preventive maintenance.
As the A/C season kicks into high gear we continue sharing our series on A/C Best practices. Lets begin with a quick recap of what we’ve covered, before introducing this months features in ATCNEWS and ATCTV.
In March we offered a A/C Preventative Maintenance Schedule along with a video on Basic Troubleshooting. In April we shared The Importance of a System Inspection and a supporting video on How To and Which Components to Inspect.
This month in ATCNEWS we feature How To Troubleshoot the A/C Electrical System and How to Inspect an A/C Compressor while on ATCTV we provide a supporting video Examining Compressor Failures. We hope you find this series informative and the overall content via these channels helpful.
Did You Know!
Thermistors are a very accurate and cost effective sensor for measuring temperature. Need an OE replacement? Read more on ATCNEWS and watch the ATCTV installation video here.
ATC CONNECT – Parts cross references and look-up made easy
We continue to field and are happy to answer questions about this great new tool. Information on the top 2 questions can be found right here..How to Get Access and How To Use. The other most frequently asked question is about on-hand inventory. This update is completed overnight and ATC CONNECT displays the current inventory levels at the start of the day. As orders are placed and stock is depleted, if you need it, call or email us to order it. Remember the primary function of ATC CONNECT is parts cross reference and look up of specs.
Cabin Air Filters – A/C not blowing cold? A relatively new feature in the heavy duty industry, the cabin air filter is often overlooked in regular vehicle maintenance.Read more here
To view all our offerings, visit the Product Line page on ATC.CA to access catalog downloads or call us toll free at 1-800-295-4156, our Customer Service Representatives will be happy to assist you.
The opinions expressed in this newsletter, do not necessarily reflect those of Arctic Traveler Canada.