components of car ac

Components of Car AC

Components of a car AC

Lets learn about the components of car AC! A car AC works by all of it’s AC parts working together to take the refrigerate and change it’s state. It will go from being a liquid to a gas back to a liquid again. While the refrigerant changes states, it absorbs heat and humidity. This allows your car to cool down.

The first AC system to be put in a car was in 1940. The first to have a fully functioning AC system was the 1940 Packard. It was invented by the two Packard brothers, James and William. The Packard was made in Detroit, Michigan.

Pontiac and Nash were one of the first car companies to fit the whole ac system in the front of the car. The Nash company was able to combine the heating system and the cooling system into the front as well! Before, people used to drive around with their ac systems in the trunk of their cars. This would limit them space and weigh down the back side of their car.

car ac

Here are components of car AC:


An AC compressor compresses the refrigerant inside of your car. While the AC is being compressed, the refrigerant inside your car has a chemical reaction that absorbs the heat and humidity. On average, an AC compressor should last you about 12 years. To make it last as long as possible, change your air filter regularly. 
The first AC compressor was made in 1901. Willis H. Carrier was an American inventor who invented the AC compressor. The AC compressor was made in Geelong, Australia. The compressor was first put into cars in 1939. They have, since then, been put in all cars.
The Reciprocating Air Conditioner Compressor, Scroll Air Conditioning Compressor, Screw Air Conditioning Compressor, Rotary Air Conditioning Compressor, and the Centrifugal Air Conditioning Compressor are all different kinds of ac compressors!
components of a car ac


A condenser’s job is to receive the high pressure gasses released form the the compressor. It then will convert the refrigerant gas back into a liquid! Then, your AC cycle can keep going! This system will repeat multiple times. A condenser will last you 15 to 20 years.

The first AC condenser was made in 1902. It was invented by Willis Haviland Carrier. Willis was an engineer who would often experiment with humidity control. He worked for a printing company before finding great success. He invented the ac condenser in Cleveland Ohio. 

The different kinds of ac condensers are Air-cooled condensers, water-cooled condensers, and Combined air and water-cooled condensers. Water cooled condensers use water for their cooling system. Air-cooled condensers use steam condensed air that flows through the tubes to cool your car. And, combined air cooling and water cooling systems use both! 

Expansion valves 

Expansion valves will relive some of the pressure from the refrigerant (liquid). They do this so that a chemical change can take place. After the pressure is released, the refrigerant will change into a gas. It will then be turned back into a liquid so that the process can take place all over again. 

Normally, expansion valves will last four to five years. But, they can last anywhere form 10 years to 10 months. It really depends! In August of 1927 the first expansion valves were made. Harry Thompson was the man who invented expansion valves. 

The two different kinds of ac expansion valves are the thermostatic expansion valves and the automatic expansion valves. The automatic expansion valves are expansion valves that have never ending pressure. Thermostatic expansion valves turn on when they have to be turned on. 


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Evaporative core 

The evaporative core‘s job is to help cool the car down. It helps by cycling the refrigerant through the whole system! It helps convert hot air into the engine fan. This help to keep the car from over heating! 

One of the main reasons AC systems tend to fail is leaks. If there is a leak in the evaporator coil, it ruins the while process. It will cause the whole system to fail! The life span that you should expect for your evaporative core is around 10 years. But, on some cases, 15 years. 

The first evaporative core was made in 1908. It was made for evaporative cooling systems! In 1939 the Packard brothers made the first automobile evaporative cooling core! It was put into the 1940 Packard. That car was the first car with a fully functioning AC system.

components of a car ac
AC controls 

AC controls turn on and off your cars AC system. Weather your turning a dial or pushing a button. Your AC controls change the temperature of your AC. It also changes the pressure of your AC.  AC controls usually last about 50,000 cycles. That adds up to about 8 to 10 years. 

In 1902 Willis Carrier invented AC controls. The 1964 Cadillac was the first car to have AC controls. It was called “Comfort cooling”. The driver would set the prefered tempature that they like and the car would etheir heat of cool to get to that tempature. 

The different kinds of AC controls are temperature control, air stats, and humidity stats. There’s also how hard the air comes out of the vents and where it blows too! There are many different kinds of AC controls. All do different things to help regulate the temperature in your car!


Orifice tubes 

Orifice tubes are tubes that connect to the parts of the AC system and expands the refrigerant. Orifice tubes are like expansion valves but instead of regulating the temperature. It just moves the refrigerant throughout the AC system.

There are many different orifice tubes that do different things. The different kinds of orifice tubes are thermostatic expansion valve, the fixed orifice tube, and the variable orifice valve. The thermostatic expansion valve controls how much refrigerant into the system evaporator. The fixed orifice tube separates the difference between high pressure and low pressure. 

Most of the newer cars have orifice tubes. From 2000’s and up, you’ll most likely find orifice tubes or expansion valves in car AC systems! Orifice tubes don’t have an expiration date! They will need to be replaced when the rest of your ac system gets replaced! 

car ac repair

AC accumulators are like your AC systems safety blanket. Accumulators provide protection for the parts in your AC system. They will help ensure a longer life for your compressor, condenser, and more! They also help hold moisture! It’s important to have moisture in your AC system. The moisture helps everything run more smoothly, especially because your refrigerant is a liquid!

On average, accumulators last 10 to 15 years. Sometimes, 20 years. It should last you this if the proper maintenance takes place. Like, replacing the balder seals, and more. There are a couple different kinds of accumulators. Some of them are: the weight-loaded piston accumulator, diaphragm (or bladder) accumulator, spring accumulator, and the hydro-pneumatic piston accumulator. 

The weight-loaded piston type creates constant fluid pressure for the AC. Diaphragm  types handle high pressure ratios. Fluid will enter the  spring accumulator and it will help compress it using strong hydraulic energy. The hydro-pneumatic piston produces an increased output thrust. 


pressure switches

AC pressure switches are switches that control and monitor the pressure in your car’s AC system. Like, the refrigerant! For example, the pressure used to change the state of the refrigerant. The pressure switches are located on, both, the high and low sides of the air cooling system.

There are two different kinds of pressure switches. Mechanical and electrical. Electrical pressure switches are the most common. Electrical pressure switches measure the vehicle’s fluid levels. It will then send a light to your cars dash.

Pressure switches should last your car, on average, about two to three years. If your water pressure is above or at the point that it should be turning off and it hasn’t, your pressure switches should most likely be replaced. 

car ac repair
Where can I get AC repair 

Tedious Repairs has been fixing ACs for over 13 years. They offer AC repair for all makes and models! Since 2008 Tedious Repairs has been offering the Chico community with the high quality automotive services they need. 

Here at Tedious Repairs, we offer everything AC repair related that you may need. Here are some of  the service options we offer: AC compressor replacement, Evap core repair, Condenser replacement, and much more! If you need any AC repair, bring your car down today! 

Click here to book and online appointment!

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