Radiators and engine overheating are often overlooked as a cause for poor A/C performance.
If engine temperature rises past preset limits, built in safe guards and computer components will automatically shut down the A/C system.
The automotive radiator is one of the most important and overlooked components of the modern vehicle. Modern engines and transmissions generate a tremendous amount of heat; it is the radiators job to transfer this heat from your engine and transmission to the outside air.
The radiator is most often located directly behind the condenser for the air conditioning system. Due to the close proximity of these two heat exchangers, transfer of heat from one to the other often prevents proper cooling of the AC refrigerant. Likewise a poorly maintained A/C system can transfer heat to the radiator and affect engine cooling.
The cooling system in your vehicle is a closed loop system; many vehicles require special procedures to bleed air from this system for proper operation. Air trapped in your cooling system will cause “hot spots” and often trigger built in sensors to cause the air conditioning to shut down.
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A word about radiator overheating
Never operate your vehicle when your temperature gauge is in the “red zone” or with the temp warning light on.
A radiator overheat can cause rapid and permanent engine damage & result in costly repairs.
The automotive radiator has changed little over the years other than construction materials. Years ago it was cost effective to repair or “re-core” Radiators. With new plastic and aluminum construction they are more efficient and transfer heat better than copper but usually cannot be repaired. Replacement is the best option for a damaged or leaky Radiator.
Radiator Leaks are often caused by corrosion or excessive temperatures that crack the plastic components. High temperature is most often caused by lack of coolant, a bad cooling fan or fan clutch. Corrosion is your Radiators biggest enemy.
Coolant or “Anti Freeze” not only keeps the Radiator's water from freezing in cold weather but contains corrosion inhibiters to keep the system clean and operating at peak efficiency. Most manufactures recommend a Radiator flush and coolant replacement every 3 years regardless of climate.
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