Your car or truck's AC system is under extreme pressure and the thermal expansion valve or orifice tube monitors the amount of pressure and the temperature of your A/C system. It calculates the precise amount of refrigerant that can safely go into the evaporator. A failing expansion valve or orifice tube often causes a vehicle's air conditioner to blow hot air.
Replace or Repair
- Expansion Valves: Too much refrigerant causes your evaporator to get too cold whereas too little refrigerant would result in inadequate cooling. The expansion valve is a complex valve that regulates refrigerant flow. This process of metering the refrigerant adjusts the flow according to the temperature of the refrigerant in the evaporator coil. Talk to one of the pro mechanics at Crabapple Automotive, as this part can be replaced on its own and does not require the entire replacement of the AC assembly.
- Orifice Tubes: Unlike the expansion valve, the orifice tube is a simple fixed device with no moving parts. It therefore cannot vary the flow of refrigerant into the evaporator, but rather causes a permanent restriction in the system. However, like the expansion valve the orifice tube regulates refrigerant flow through the system and filters debris which may come through in its screen. Often fixing a "bad orifice tube" requires replacing the entire evaporator assembly.
I used to live in this area and when I returned to buy a car I was happy to see this shop was still around. They did a pre-sale inspection for me, and were able to work me into their busy day. The cost was $139, and would include up to 3 cars to be inspected. To compare, the Toyota dealer was $160 per car and it's only a visual inspection. This was a great relief to know I could look at multiple cars without paying for each one. They did a thorough inspection and talked me through the whole thing. I was super impressed with their knowledge and dedication to doing a good job. I would trust them with other needs for my vehicle.
Do you remember when mechanics were the good guys? Truly loyal to their craft of automotive wizardry? When was the last time a "service writer" smiled (without deviously licking their chops), and made sustained eye contact with you when entering the facility? In movies they are helpful, honest, and dependable. Although in real life most interactions with the auto repair industry leave one with a sense of wonder, doubt, and the ever present, possible easy deception.... Have you ever encountered a mechanic or shop that told you what you need to do, what you should do and what you should save for? I know it's an easy concept, just think about it for a second..... Automotive enthusiasts aka repair technicians/mechanics know that your vehicle is an investment, not just a transportation device. In transportation safety is always paramount, so why not trust in people who see every vehicle as an extension of the customer (it is your baby after all) and treat it more like a doctor would a patient? With doctors, you make an appointment you walk in, they ask questions, and charge you $150 dollars. Then send you off to the next place for some testing, but you trust them because they have a large building, spotless uniforms and clean floors (dealerships). Why not take your baby/ investment to an automotive Dr. and shamen, who has the equivalent education of an 3 automotive PHD's (owner/ lead tech has ~40 years of successful businesses)! Long story short... I, myself am a mechanic and frequently take my children/ cars to his shop for all repairs. There is no greater remark possible in the auto repair industry than a referral!!! I guess this is mine. Thanks Grey! And remember, diagnostic fees are expected in all industries! You are paying for Dr's visit after all!