A coolant is a must to protect the interior of an automobile from overheating. It ACts as a heat transfer fluid in your vehicle and circulates through the car’s main component, the engine. Therefore, a coolant affects the other components of your car as well. Does coolant affect AC? Yes, it does! Basically, it affects the temperature, humidity, and airflow of your air conditioner. So, coolant cannot be ignored when we consider the overall performance of the car. Scroll down to learn more about how these components are bound to each other.
Is Coolant Used for AC in a Car?
There are two types of coolant for engines and air conditioners. The refrigerant called Freon helps the AC to function smoothly. The main purpose of the engine coolant is to cool down the heat of the engine and other components cause because overheating can result in serious damage to the vehicle. On the other hand, Freon is used as a refrigerant for AC systems. It is non-combustible gas, but the engine coolant is a colored liquid.
Freon gas is compressed by the air conditioner’s compressor. Then it passes the coils. Consequently, the gas becomes a liquid, After, this liquid goes to evaporators to become cool air.
The procedure of engine coolant controls the entire temperature in the car. On the other hand, the air conditioner tries to keep the air cool inside with Freon. Thus, both types of fluids help the overall performance of the vehicle.
Does Antifreeze Run Through AC Compressor?
The coolant without water content is known as antifreeze. The AC compressor is responsible for pressurizing the refrigerant gas to provide cool air. The coolant or antifreeze is usually poured into the component called the engine coolant reservoir. The coolant does not flow into other cabins or components from the reservoir. Therefore, antifreeze does not run into the power unit of your air conditioner.
But the refrigerant gas, Freon, passes through the AC compressor to produce cool air. Most of the time, people misunderstand antifreeze and refrigerant. You only fill the air conditioner with refrigerant gas, not antifreeze.
Does Coolant Affect AC?
Yes, but not directly! Engine coolant affects the air conditioner of your car in three ways, as listed below, while it absorbs the heat from the main unit.
- The Temperature – the main duty of the coolant is to remove excessive heat from the engine. While doing it, the whole interior of the car can be heated up. If the coolant is absent, you might notice some fluctuation in the temperature of the air conditioner as well. Heating distribution is important; otherwise, the temperature of AC gets high even on cold days.
- The Airflow – the coolant contributes to determining the degree of the coolness of the airflow. When there is excessive heat due to the lack of coolant, the air becomes hot and humid. If the coolant is not sufficient, you cannot receive the expected airflow inside the car. So, the air conditioner is not getting much support to cool the air.
- The Humidity – there should be adequate moisture in your engine block, and coolant is responsible for distributing even humidity. When humidity is not adequate, the air conditioner might dry due to the lack of moisture. Consequently, the people inside the car will feel their skin is drier too. This case is quite the same as home AC units.
To avoid the above-discussed issues, you need to maintain an adequate amount of coolant in the car. But if you do not miss using coolant, there may be another issue with the AC unit.
How Long does Coolant Last in a Car?
After you use the coolant for the first time in your vehicle for 210,000 km, you should go for a replacement. In miles, it is 140,000 miles. Or else, you can measure the time.
After you run the vehicle for 120 months on average, you can replace the coolant. From the second time, the distance becomes low. After every 30,000 km, you have to replace it. In months, it is 24 months on average. Make sure not to skip replacing the coolant since the engine overheat is a danger for you. And adhere to the specific instructions of the manufacturer.
Signs of Low Coolant in Car AC
The main clue is the malfunction of the auto mode of the air conditioner when the coolant is low. The mode is unable to identify the cabin temperature if the coolant is not sufficient. And you might experience cool air when the heating is turned off on cold days. And you can feel there is a hot atmosphere inside the car because the main component, the engine is overheating due to the lack of coolant.
If the refrigerant Freon is low, the AC can blow hot air instead of cool air because the AC cannot pressurize enough gas to provide cool air.
And there may be some other clues, such as low fuel economy, faulty heater, etc. You can easily check the coolant level from the reservoir because there are markings on its side, and it is made of transparent plastic material.
Will AC Stop Working If Coolant is Low?
AC cannot function properly without an adequate amount of engine coolant. The reason why, the condenser cannot operate at the correct pressure level when the heat is not removed from the main unit. And obviously, the components, including the engine, are overheating due to the lack of coolant.
When the temperature sensors malfunction, the air conditioner cannot run smoothly. So, the temperature, airflow, and humidity of the AC can be changed, as discussed previously. Probably, the AC will not completely stop working, but it will not work properly. You will notice that the AC is unable to provide a proper cooling effect.
If the refrigerant called Freon is low, it directly affects the performance of the AC. You will feel that the air is not cool although the AC is on. Instead, the AC might spread the hot air inside the car. Freon is the most prominent cause of a faulty AC, more than engine coolant.
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