Up-keeping your air conditioning system components is an all-year around task and is crucial in maintaining smooth operation. Without it, you could be in for a surprise during the hot weather and be stuck with nothing but open windows to rely on. Yikes!

That’s why it’s a good idea to run your AC system for at least 10 minutes once a week. Even in the colder weather, this helps keep everything lubricated and ensures everything runs well. No matter what season, maintaining the parts of your AC system is paramount.

Natrad cooling specialists can perform air conditioning repairs and servicing on your vehicle. Whether you just need the regular check up, re-gassing or replacement of parts – Natrad’s got you covered.

How does the aircon system work?

The air conditioning system contains several parts that work together to keep you cool (or warm). Below, we will cover the overall function of the AC system and delve deeper into the compressor.

To start off, we’ll begin by identifying different parts of the system. There are 2 different sides depending on the state of the refrigerant.

  1. High pressure
  2. Low pressure

The flow of refrigerant through the system goes from the compressor, to the condenser, to the receiver drier, to the expansion valve, and finally, to the evaporator, where it then repeats the cycle.

Pressure explained

The high pressure side comes from the compressor where cold gaseous refrigerant is compressed and passed onto the condenser. The process of compression adds pressure to the system and makes the gas very hot.

From there the hot, high pressure refrigerant gas travels through the condenser and becomes high pressure liquid. The liquid then passes through the receiver drier thereby removing any moisture and then arrives at the expansion valve.

The expansion valve converts the liquid to low pressure, cold refrigerant. As it is passed on to the evaporator, the cool refrigerant is exposed to warm ambient air which forces it to return to a gas state. Or as the name suggests, it evaporates. This part of the process is on the low pressure side of the system.

General system

Each system may vary slightly per vehicle. For example, some may include an orifice tube whereas others have an expansion valve. This means the system has up to 7 components including:

  1. Compressor: compresses cool refrigerant gas into hot refrigerant gas
  2. Condenser and fan: converts hot refrigerant gas into a hot liquid at high pressure
  3. Receiver Dryer: temporarily stores refrigerant when not needed by the system
  4. Expansion (TX) Valve / Orifice Tube: regulates refrigerant flow / creates pressure drop
  5. Evaporator: cools air before entering cabin
  6. Heater Core: warms air before entering cabin (uses engine coolant rather than refrigerant)
  7. Blower Motor: fans hot or cold air into the cabin

Refrigerant circulates through this closed loop system, passing through each individual part, which is eventually leads to air blown into the cabin of the car. You can read more about the system here.

Car air conditioner evaporator coil close up


As we outlined above, the compressor is the heart of the air conditioning system. Much like a real heart, it pumps the “blood” (refrigerant) through each of the other components and ensures it continues circulating. It is driven by a belt and pulley system attached to the engine crankshaft.

It is one of the two moving parts in the system aside from a TX valve. This means a compressor is more susceptible to wear and tear or failure than static parts. If it has failed, it will need to be replaced as it can damage other components in the system.

Signs & symptoms

Some urgent indicators that something is wrong with your compressor include:

  1. Weird noises: could be caused by worn or broken belts/pulleys. There are several other issues that may need to be addressed promptly.
  2. Smell of burning: likely the wiring of compressor is damaged or burnt.
  3. Leaking dashboard: clogged hose or drain could be to blame. Age and moisture can also cause system leaks.

Read here for more signs and symptoms.

If you notice any of these, it is imperative that the problem is fixed as quickly as possible. Natrad has a range of compressor kits suitable for over 200 vehicle makes.

What now?

Bring your car into the cooling specialists at Natrad. With a network of stores nationwide, you can find a convenient location near you.

What we’ll do:

Servicing car air conditioner

  • One of our qualified auto air conditioning technicians will use test equipment on your car to measure the internal system pressures and begin diagnosing the problem.
  • Your car’s entire air conditioning system will be inspected to locate any failed components and to determine if any other parts have suffered damage or contamination.
  • If necessary, the refrigerant gas present in your air conditioning system will be extracted and stored before any parts are removed for replacement or cleaning.
  • All of our after-market parts either meet or exceed original equipment specifications, and all our work and parts are supported by a nationwide warranty.
  • With the air conditioning system reassembled, the correct amount of refrigerant and oil will be added.

Call Natrad on 131 723 or find your nearest location here.