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What is an A/C (Air Conditioner)?

Air conditioning
Controlling the properties of the air so that the air will be
suitable for its intended use.
The air conditioning controls the temperature of the
vehicle interior. It functions as a dehumidifier, in addition
to its heating and cooling temperature control functions.
The A/C also helps to remove obstructions such as frost,
ice, and condensation from the interior surfaces of the

Functions of air conditioning

Temperature control and dehumidifier
Air circulation control
Clean air filter and air purification (optional

Temperature Control

To heat the air, a heater core is adopted as
a heat exchanger. The heater core takes in
the engine coolant heated by the engine
and uses the heat to heat the air from the
blower fan, so the temperature of the
heater core is low until the coolant
temperature becomes high. For this reason,
immediately after the engine starts, the
heater core doesnt function as a heater.


Cooling system (AIR CONDITIONING)

To cool the air, an evaporator is adopted as a
heat exchanger. When the air conditioner
switch is turned on, the compressor begins to
operate and sends the refrigerant to the
The evaporator is cooled by the refrigerant,
which cools the air from the blower fan.
Heating depends on engine coolant
temperature, but cooling works independently
regardless of the engine coolant temperature.

The amount of water in the air increases as the air
temperature gets higher, and decreases as the air
temperature gets lower.
The air is cooled as it passes the evaporator. Water
in the air will be condensed and adheres to the
evaporator fins. As a result, the humidity in the
vehicle interior is eliminated.
The water adhered to the fins becomes dew and is
stored in the drain pan.
Finally, it is drained from the vehicle by the drain

Air Circulation Control

Natural flow-through
Intake of external air into the vehicles
interior due to the air pressure
generated by the vehicles movement is
called natural flow-through ventilation.
The distribution of air pressure outside a
vehicle as it moves is shown in the
figure, with positive pressure generated
at some places and negative pressure
generated at other places. Thus intake
vents are located in places where the air
pressure is positive and the exhaust
vents are located in places where the air
pressure is negative.

( + ): Positive

( - ) : Negative

Forced air ventilator (boost

In forced air ventilation systems,
an electric fan is used to force air
through the vehicle. The air
intake vents and exhaust vents
are located in the same general
areas as the vents in a natural
flow-through ventilation system.
Ordinarily, this type of ventilation
system is used together with
another system (such as a heater
or A/C).

Forced air ventilator

(boost ventilator)

Clean Air Filter

To purify the intake air, a filter is

attached to the intake port of the
air conditioner.
When the clean air filter is
clogged, it is difficult to take in air,
which results in poor air
conditioning efficiency. To prevent
this, check and replace the clean
air filter periodically. The period to
check or replace the air filter
varies depending on the models or
running conditions, so refer to the
maintenance schedule.
There are 2 types of the clean air
filter: one type removes only dust
and the other has deodorizing
action with active carbon.

Operation and Function Control Panel

Control panel
There are many selectors on
the control panel for the car
A/C. These selectors are
categorized as follows; air
inlet selector, temperature
selector, airflow selector, and
blower speed selector.
The shape of the selector
varies depending on the
models or grades, but the
functions are the same.



Air inlet



Operation and Function Switching Dampers

Air inlet damper





Airflow dampers

(motor, fan)

Side vent

Side vent
Air mix damper

Foot outlet

Center vent

Switching dampers
The air inlet control, temperature control, and
switching of outlets can be done by operating
the selectors on the control panel. The air inlet
damper switches the air inlet, the air mix damper
performs temperature control, and the airflow
dampers switch the outlet. These dampers are
operated either by wire cable or by motor.

Operation and Function

Outlet switching function

Switching Dampers



Airflow dampers

Side vent

Side vent
Center vent
Moving the dampers switches the outlet. There are five modes.
FACE: Blow to the upper half of the body.

Operation and Function

Outlet switching function

Switching Dampers



Airflow dampers

Side vent
Side vent

Foot outlet
Center vent

2. BI-LEVEL: Blow to the upper half of the body and to the feet.

Operation and Function

Outlet switching function

Switching Dampers



Airflow dampers

Side vent

Side vent
Foot outlet

3. FOOT: Blow to the feet.


Operation and Function

Outlet switching function

Switching Dampers


Airflow dampers

4. DEF: Remove the mist on the front window.

Operation and Function

Outlet switching function

Switching Dampers


Airflow dampers

Foot outlet

5. FOOT-DEF: Blow to the feet and remove the mist on the front window.

Operation and Function

Switching Dampers

Types of damper

Wire cable type

Wire cable

Motor type

Damper motor
(1) Wire cable type
This type is constructed so that the movement of a selector directly activates the dampers. The construction is simple;
however, selector operation may become hard when the sliding condition of the wire cable becomes faulty and the routing
of the wires is bad.
(2) Motor type
In this type, since a motor operates the dampers to the proper position, the construction is complicated. However, this can
reduce the force required in operation and makes operation easier.

Operation and Function

Resistor type

Blower Speed Control

Heater relay


Transistor type




1. Blower speed control function

Adjusting the amount of the current that passes the blower motor controls
the blower speed. There are 2 methods: resistor and transistor.
(1) Resistor type
This adjusts the amount of current using blower resistor. The construction
is that 2 resistors are connected in a series. By operating the selector, the
resistance value in the circuit is changed, which varies the amount of
current to flow. When placing the selector in the LO position, current
passes all the resistors. Therefore, current flowing through the motor is
reduced and blower speed becomes low.
When placing the selector in the 3 position, current passes only one
resistor. When placing the selector in the HI position, no current passes
any resistors, Therefore, current flowing through the blower motor and
blower speed become the highest.
(2) Transistor type
This adjusts the amount of current using a power transistor. Compared to
the resistor type, this can control the blower speed at an increased
number of levels than the resistor type, so this is mainly used for
automatic A/C.

Refrigeration Cycle
Basic theory of cooling


For the same reason, we feel cool when we apply

alcohol to our arms: the alcohol takes away the heat
from the arms when it evaporates. We can make
objects cooler using these natural phenomena, e.g., by
causing a liquid to take the heat from a substance when
it evaporates.



We feel a little cold even on a hot day after swimming.

This is because the water on the body takes away the
heat when it evaporates from the body.

Insulated box

Liquid (readily vaporized)

A container provided with a tap is placed in a wellinsulated box. A liquid that will vaporize readily at
atmospheric temperature is placed in the container.
When the tap is opened, the liquid in the container will
take away the heat necessary for vaporization from the
air inside the box, turn into a gas and escapes outside.
At this time, the temperature of the air inside the box
will become lower than that before the tap was opened.

Refrigeration Cycle


Refrigerant temperature

What is refrigerant?
Refrigerant is a heat exchanging substance that circulates in
the refrigerant cycle. It removes the heat when it evaporates
and releases its heat when it liquidizes.
At present, HCF-134a (R134a) is used as a refrigerant.


Boiling point


Required condition of refrigerant

For refrigerant for car A/C, the following conditions are
Ease of evaporation and liquidization
Scientific stability and the quality does not change.
Characteristics of refrigerant
The left chart shows the pressure and boiling point of HCF134a (R134a).
Under low pressure, HCF-134a evaporates in low
temperature, but if the pressure becomes higher, it remains
liquid state without being evaporated even in high

Gauge pressure

A car A/C utilizes this characteristic, and makes it easier to

liquidize the refrigerant by applying pressure using the
For example, cooling the 70C (158F) and 1.47-MPa
(15kgf/cm) gas refrigerant compressed by the compressor
by approximately 12 or 13C (53.6 - 55.4F) makes it easy to
liquidize the refrigerant.

Refrigeration Cycle

Refrigerant (Reference)

Ultraviolet rays
Ozone layer
Destruction of
ozone layer
CFC discharge


1. CFC-12
. A refrigerant called CFC-12 (R12) had been used for car A/C until 1995. However,
CFC-12 (R12) was found to destroy the ozone layer when it is released in the air. The
depletion of the ozone layer increases the amount of ultraviolet from the sun to the
earth and causes skin cancer and environment destruction, so this has become a
global problem.
. Therefore, when the parts for A/C need replacing and repairing, it is necessary to
recover the refrigerant. However, if the gas is correctly recovered with a refrigerant
recovery machine, the refrigerant will not reduce performance when reused. At
present, refrigerant HFC-134a (R134a) that does not include the substances that
destroy the ozone layer is being used. The A/C system designed for using HFC-134a
(R134a) is not compatible with that designed for using HFC-12 (R12), so be careful not
to mistake the type of refrigerant and compressor oil or to mix them up.
2. Retrofit
. Replacing the hose for air conditioning system, O-ring and compressor oil on the
vehicle for CFC-12 (R12) with those for HFC-134a (R134a) makes it possible to use
HFC-134a (R134a).

Refrigeration Cycle

Refrigeration Cycle

1. Flow of refrigerant




The compressor discharges high-temperature, highpressure refrigerant.

This gaseous refrigerant flows into the condenser. In

the condenser, the gaseous refrigerant condenses into
liquid refrigerant.

This liquid refrigerant flows into the receiver, which

stores and filters the liquid refrigerant.

This filtered liquid refrigerant flows to the expansion

valve, and the expansion valve changes the liquid
refrigerant into a low-temperature, low-pressure
liquid/gaseous mixture.

This cold liquid/gaseous refrigerant flows to the

evaporator. Vaporizing the liquid in the evaporator, the
heat from the warm air stream passing through the
evaporator core is transferred to the refrigerant. All the
liquid changes into the gaseous refrigerant in the
evaporator and only heat-laden gaseous refrigerant
goes into the compressor.

Receiver / Dryer

. Then the process is repeated again.

Refrigeration System


1. Description
The basic components of an
automobile refrigeration system
consist of the compressor,
condenser, receiver/dryer,
expansion valve, and
Besides the basic components,
there is a blower, which sends
wind, and clean air filter, which
purifies the air that the blower
Receiver /
sucks in.
In addition, there are other
devices and functions which
help bring out the systems full
potential, such as anti-frosting,
engine stall prevention, engine
idle-up, etc.

Cooling unit
(Expansion valve,
Clean air filter


Refrigeration System
1. Functions 2. Swash plate type compressor



Pressure relief
Shaft seal


Magnetic clutch

Discharge valve

Swash plate

Suction valve

1. Functions
After being converted into low-temperature, low-pressure gas, the refrigerant is compressed by the
compressor, and changed into high-temperature, high-pressure gas. It is then sent to the condenser.
2. Swash plate type compressor
(1) Construction
A number of paired pistons are set on the swash plate at intervals of 72 for a 10-cylinder compressor or
at intervals of 120 for a 6-cyiinder compressor.
When one side of a piston is in a compression stroke, the other is in a suction stroke.

Refrigeration System


(2) Operation

(2) Operation
The piston moves right and left synchronized with the rotation of the
swash plate, which is combined with a shaft to make a unit, and
compresses the refrigerant. As the piston moves inside, the suction valve
opens due to the pressure difference and sucks the refrigerant into the
cylinder. Inversely, as the piston moves outside, the suction valve closes
to compress the refrigerant. Due to the refrigerant pressure, the discharge
valve opens and the refrigerant is sent out. The suction valve and
discharge valve also prevent the refrigerant from flowing back.

Refrigeration System
3. Scroll type compressor


(1) Construction

Fixed scroll

Discharge port
Suction port
Rotating scroll

Shaft seal

Fixed scroll
Rotating scroll

3. Scroll type compressor

(1) Construction
This compressor consists of a fixed scroll
and rotating scroll.

Refrigeration System


(2) Operation

(2) Operation
Following the circular movement of the rotating scroll, three
spaces between the rotating scroll and the fixed scroll are moving
to make their volume smaller gradually. That is, the refrigerant
sucked in through the suction port becomes compressed due to
the circular movement of the moving scroll, and every time the
rotating scroll completes 3 turns, it is discharged from the
discharge port. In fact, it is discharged once every turn.

Refrigeration System

Pressure relief

Pressure Relief Valve and Shaft Seal

1. Pressure relief valve

. If adequate ventilation is not provided to the condenser,
or if the cooling load becomes excessively large, the
Abnormally pressure at the high-pressure side of the condenser and
high-pressurereceiver/dryer will become abnormally high, creating the
danger of a burst pipe. To prevent this problem, if the
pressure at the high-pressure side rises to between 3.43
MPa (35 kgf/cm2) and 4.14 MPa (42.4 kgf/cm2), the
pressure relief valve opens to reduce the pressure.
Normally, if the pressure in the refrigeration circuit rises
abnormally high, the pressure switch causes the
magnetic clutch to disengage. For this reason, the
pressure relief valve rarely needs to operate.
If previously used melt plug is activated even once, it
cannot be reused any more.

Shaft seal

2. Shaft seal
The shaft seal is at the shaft that turns the compressor.
When the shaft seal is deteriorated or damaged,
refrigerant leaks.

Refrigeration System





Bimetallic strip



[Temperature of

Temperature Switch (Reference)

1. Function
The through-vane type
compressor has a temperature
switch that detects the
refrigerant temperature on top
of the compressor. If the
refrigerant temperature
becomes excessively high, the
bimetal in the switch deforms
and pushes the rod upward to
open the contact of a switch. As
a result, current doesnt pass
through the magnetic clutch,
which stops the compressor.
Thus the compressor seizure is

Refrigeration System

Compressor Oil

out a portion
of oil equivalent to the
remaining oil in the
refrigeration cycle.


Return the oil

compressor Compressor oil and compatible

Compressor oil

10mm3(per pipe)

compressor type

R-134a : Through-vane type : ND-OIL9 Except through-va

type :
R-12 :
Through-vane type : ND-OIL7 Except through-vane
type :

1. Function

Compressor oil is necessary to lubricate the moving parts of the compressor. Compressor oil lubricates the
compressor by dissolving in the refrigerant and circulating throughout the refrigeration circuit. For this
reason, the recommended oil must be used.

The compressor oil used in the R-134a system is not interchangeable with the one used in the R-12
system. If the wrong type of oil is used, it may lead to compressor seizure.

Refrigeration System

2. Compressor oil quantity

If an insufficient amount of compressor oil is present in the refrigeration
circuit, the compressor cannot be lubricated thoroughly. On the other hand, if
this amount is excessive, a large portion of the oil will coat the inner walls of
the evaporator, preventing the efficient exchange of heat and reducing the
systems cooling capability.
For this reason, it is important to maintain the specified amount of oil in the
refrigeration circuit.
3. Replenishing oil after parts replacement
Once the refrigerant circuit is opened to the atmosphere, the refrigerant will
vaporize and be discharged out of the system. However, since the
compressor oil does not vaporize at room temperature, almost all of it will
remain in the system. For this reason, when replacing a component such as
the receiver/dryer, evaporator, or condenser, an amount of oil equivalent to
that contained in the old component must be added to the new component.

Refrigeration System

Magnetic clutch
relay OFF

Drive belt


Magnetic clutch


Magnetic Clutch

1. Function
A magnetic clutch is driven by engine
through the drive belt. The magnetic clutch
is a device to connect the engine and the
compressor. The magnetic clutch stops and
drives the compressor as necessary.
2. Construction
The magnetic clutch consists of a stator
(electromagnet), pulley, center piece, and
other components. The center piece is
installed together with the compressor
shaft and the stator is held on the front
housing of the compressor.
3. Operation
When the magnetic clutch turns on, current
passes through the stator coil, which
makes the stator a strong electromagnet.
As a result, the stator pulls the center piece
with strong magnetic force so the
compressor turns together with the pulley.

Refrigeration System

Magnetic clutch

relay ON

Magnetic Clutch

Drive belt
Suction force


When the magnetic clutch is off, current doesnt pass

through the stator, which causes the center piece not to be
pulled and only the pulley turns idle.

Refrigeration System



1. Function
The condenser cools the gaseous refrigerant that reaches a high temperature and high
pressure by being compressed by the compressor to change it into the high-temperature and
high-pressure (mostly liquid state refrigerant but mixed with some gas) refrigerant.
2. Construction
The condenser consists of tubes and fins, and is installed on the front surface of the radiator.
3. Operation
The high-temperature and high-pressure gaseous refrigerant sent from the compressor
separates out 3 passages of tubes to pass through the condenser to be cooled.

Refrigeration System

Receiver/Dryer and Sight-Glass


Gaseous refrigerant

Liquid refrigerant



flow of bubbles

Almost no


No bubbles

1. Receiver/dryer
. A receiver is a device to store the refrigerant liquidized by the condenser temporarily, and it supplies the required
amount of refrigerant to the evaporator.
. A dryer has a desiccant and strainer in itself, and eliminates foreign matter or moisture in the refrigeration cycle.
. If moisture is in the refrigeration cycle, parts in it will corrode or freeze inside the expansion valve, which could
cause the clogging.
2. Sight-glass
()A sight-glass is an inspection hole used to observe the refrigerant flowing inside the refrigeration cycle and to
check the level of the refrigerant.
(2) Construction
()There are 2 types: one is installed at the outlet of the receiver and the other at the piping between the receiver
and the expansion valve.
(3) Notes of inspection
()Generally, when many bubbles are seen from the sight-glass, it means the amount of refrigerant is insufficient,
and when no bubbles are seen, the amount is appropriate.
In the case of no refrigerant or excessive refrigerant, no bubbles are seen, so it is necessary to pay attention.
In addition, depending on the conditions such as engine speed or refrigerant pressure, even if the level is
appropriate, bubbles can be seen.
For sub-cool type condenser, since more refrigerant is filled at the point at which the bubbles disappear, the
refrigerant may be insufficient even if it seems normal in the inspection from the sight-glass.

Refrigeration System

Sub-Cool Type Condenser



Proper range


Point where

Amount of refrigerant


Sub-cool cycle

In the sub-cool cycle, the point where bubbles disappear is before the cooling
capability stabilizing range, which requires 100 g more refrigerant to reach the
appropriate filling amount. If filling of refrigerant stops at the point where
bubbles disappear, cooling capability is not enough. Further, overcharging
decreases fuel economy and cooling capability, so be sure to fill the
appropriate amount of refrigerant.

Refrigeration System

Expansion Valve (Box Type)

An expansion valve injects the high-temperature and high-pressure
liquid refrigerant, which has passed through the receiver, from
the small hole to cause the refrigerant to expand suddenly and
to change it into the low-temperature and low-pressure mist
Needle valve
According to the cooling load, the expansion valve adjusts the
refrigerant amount to supply to the evaporator.
2. Construction
The valve directly detects the refrigerant temperature (cooling
load) around the outlet of the evaporator by the heat-sensing
rod and transmits it to the gas inside the diaphragm. The
change of the pressure of the gas due to the temperature
change and the balance between the pressure of the outlet of
the evaporator and that of the pressure spring moves the
needle valve to adjust the amount of the refrigerant flow.
3. Operation
The temperature around the outlet of the evaporator changes
according to the cooling load.
Heat-sensing rod

When the cooling load is small, the temperature around the

outlet of the evaporator goes down, and the temperature
transmitted from the heat-sensing rod to the gas inside the
diaphragm also goes down, which makes the gas contract. As a
result, the needle valve is pressed by the outlet refrigerant
Heat-sensing rod
pressure of the evaporator and the pressure spring pressure,
and moves to right. Closing the valve decreases the amount of
the refrigerant flow and lowers the cooling capability.

When the cooling load is large, the temperature around the

outlet of the evaporator increases and the gas expands. As a
result, the needle valve moves to left, pushing the pressure
from Receiver
spring. Opening the valve increases the amount of the
refrigerant circulating in the cycle and makes the cooling
capability higher.
Needle valve

Refrigeration System
Equalizer line
Capillary tube
Heat sensing


Capillary tube

Equalizer line



Expansion Valve

1. Construction
The temperature sensing part of the
expansion valve is attached to the
outside of the outlet of the evaporator. At
the top of the diaphragm that leads to the
heat sensing tube, refrigerant gas is
contained and the pressure of the gas
changes depending on the temperature
at the outlet of the evaporator.
The refrigerant pressure at the outlet of
the evaporator is applied at the bottom of
the diaphragm.
The balance between the force to press
the diaphragm up (refrigerant pressure at
the outlet of the evaporator + spring
force) and the refrigerant pressure of the
heat sensing tube moves the needle
valve to adjust the refrigerant flow.
2. Function, Operation
The function and operation of this type
are same as that of the box type.

Refrigeration System


1. Function
An evaporator evaporates the mist
refrigerant, which is made low-temperature
and low-pressure at the expansion valve,
and cools the air around the evaporator.


2. Construction
This consists of a tank, tubes and cooling
fins. The tubes penetrate through a number
of cooling fins and form minute passages for
good conductivity.

Drain hose

Cooling fin

3. Operation
A blower motor fan forces air to the
evaporator. The refrigerant removes the heat
of evaporation from the air and is heated into
a gas.
When the air that has passed the evaporator
is cooled, the moisture in the air condenses
and attaches to the cooling fin. The moisture
becomes droplets and is stored in the drain
pan to be drained out of the vehicle through
the drain hose.

Control for A/C

1. Description
To operate the A/C normally or to reduce the damage to the components when a
malfunction occurs, the signals from each sensor or switch are sent to the A/C
amplifier in order to control the A/C.
(1) Pressure switch control:
This detects the abnormal rise of refrigerant pressure and turns off the magnetic
clutch to protect the components in the refrigeration cycle and stops the compressor
from operating.
(2) Evaporator temperature control:
This detects the surface temperature of the evaporator, and turns the magnetic clutch
on and off to control the operation of the compressor so that the evaporator does not
(3) Drive belt protection system:
This detects the lock of the compressor, prevents the drive belt from being damaged
by turning off the magnetic clutch, and causes the A/C switch indicator light to blink.
(4)Idle-up control:
This stabilizes the engine idling when the A/C is on.

Control for A/C

Installation position of pressure switch

Medium pressure switch
High and lowpressure switch

Expansion valve





Magnetic clutch relay

Pressure switch

1. Function
A pressure switch is installed on the high-pressure side of
the refrigeration cycle. When the switch detects abnormal
pressure in the refrigeration cycle, it stops the compressor
to prevent the trouble from expanding to protect the
components in the refrigeration cycle.

Pressure Switch Control

2. Abnormal low pressure
Working the compressor when the
refrigerant in the refrigeration cycle is
extremely insufficient or when no
refrigerant is in the refrigeration cycle
due to a gas leak or other causes
deteriorates the lubrication of the
compressor oil, which could cause
the compressor to seize. When the
refrigerant pressure abnormally
lowers (less than 0.2 MPa (2kgf
/cm)), turning the pressure switch off
turns the magnetic clutch off.
3. Abnormal high pressure
The refrigerant pressure in the
refrigeration cycle might become
abnormally high when the condenser
is cooled insufficiently or when the
refrigerant charge amount is
excessive. This condition could break
the components of the refrigeration
cycle. When the refrigerant pressure
is abnormally high (more than 3.1
MPa (31.7 kgf/cm)) turning the
pressure switch off turns the
magnetic clutch off.

Control for A/C



Evaporator Temperature Control



1. Function
To prevent the evaporator from frosting, the surface temperature of the
evaporator controls the compressor operation.
The surface temperature of the evaporator is detected by thermistor and
when the temperature is below a certain degree, the magnetic clutch is
turned off to prevent the evaporator from dropping below 0C (32F).

Control for A/C

Idle-up Control

Idle speed
control valve



Throttle valve

1. Function
In idle state such as in slow traffic or during stop, the engine output is small. In
this state, driving the compressor applies overload to the engine, which results in
overheating or engine stalling. So, an idle-up device is installed to make the idle
speed a little higher to use the A/C.
2. Operation
An engine ECU that receives an A/C switch-on signal opens the idle speed
control valve a little to increase intake air to make the engine revolve at the
appropriate speed.

Inspection / Test

Notes for Maintenance of Air

Conditioning System

Inspection / Test

When handling refrigerant

Notes for Maintenance of Air Conditioning System

2. When replacing parts

1. When handling refrigerant the following

precautions must be observed
Do not handle refrigerant in an enclosed area or near
an open flame.
Always wear eye protection.
Be careful that liquid refrigerant does not get in your
eyes or on your skin.
(1) If liquid refrigerant gets in your eyes or your skin:
Do not rub.
Wash the area with a lot of cool water.
Apply clean petroleum jelly to the skin.
Go immediately to a physician or hospital for
professional treatment.
Do not attempt to treat yourself.

Refrigerant recovery




2. When replacing parts on refrigerant line

Recover the refrigerant into the refrigerant recovery
machine for reuse.
Insert a plug immediately in disconnected parts to
prevent entry of moisture and dust.
Do not leave a new condenser or receiver/dryer, etc,
lying around with the plug removed.
Discharge nitrogen gas from the charging valve before
removing the plug from the new compressor. If the
nitrogen gas is not discharged first, compressor oil will
spray out with the nitrogen gas when the plug is
Do not use a burner for bending or lengthening tubes.

Inspection / Test

n tightening connecting parts

4. When handling refrigerant container

Compressor oil

Below 40C (104F)



Notes for Maintenance of Air Conditioning System

5. When A/C is on and

3. When tightening connecting parts

Apply a few drops of compressor oil to O-ring fittings for easy tightening
and to prevent leakage of refrigerant gas.
Tighten the nut using two opened wrenches to avoid twisting the tube.
Tighten the O-ring fittings or the bolted type fittings to the specified
4. When handling refrigerant container
The container must never be heated.
Containers must be kept below 40C (104F).
When warming the container with warm water, be careful that the valve
on top of the container is never immersed in the water, as the water may
permeate into the refrigeration circuit.
Empty containers must never be re-used.
5. When A/C is on and refrigerant gas is being replenished
If there is not enough refrigerant gas in the refrigeration circuit, oil
lubrication becomes insufficient and compressor burnout may occur, so
take care to avoid this.
If the valve on the high-pressure side is opened, refrigerant flows in
reverse and causes the service can to rupture, so only open and close
the valve on the low-pressure side.
If the refrigerant container is inverted and refrigerant is charged in a
liquid state, the liquid will be compressed and the compressor will break
down, so the refrigerant must be charged in a gaseous state.
Be careful not to charge too much refrigerant gas, as this causes
trouble such as inadequate cooling, poor fuel economy, engine
overheating, etc.

Inspection / Test

Visual and Aural Check

1. Is the drive belt loose?

If the drive belt is too loose, it will slip; this will cause it to wear out.
2. Amount of air blow is insufficient
Check for dirt and clog in the clean air filter.
3. Noise heard near compressor
Check the compressor mounting bolts and the bracket mounting bolts.
4. Noise heard inside compressor
Noise could be caused by damaged internal components.
5. Condenser fins covered with dirt and dust
If the condenser fins are covered with dirt and dust, the condensers
cooling efficiency will be greatly reduced. Wash off all dirt and dust from
the condenser.
6. Oil stains on refrigeration system connections or joints
An oil stain on a connection or joint indicates that refrigerant is leaking
from that place. If such an oil stain is found, parts should be retightened or
replaced as necessary to stop the gas leakage.
7. Noise heard near blower
Turn the blower motor to LO, MED, and HI. If abnormal noise is produced
or motor rotation is improper, replace the blower motor.
A foreign object lodged in the blower could also produce noise, and
improper mounting of the motor could cause improper rotation, so these
points should be fully checked before replacing the blower motor.
8. Checking refrigerant quantity through sight-glass
If a large flow of bubbles can be seen in the sight-glass, there is insufficient
refrigerant, so replenish the refrigerant to the proper level. Also check for
oil stains at this time, as described above, to make sure that there is no
refrigerant leakage. If bubbles cannot be seen in the sight-glass, even
when the condenser is cooled by pouring water on it, there is excessive
refrigerant in the system, so discharge the refrigerant until the proper
quantity remains.
When the system uses a sub-cool type condenser, refrigerant may not be
sufficient even if the bubbles cannot be seen.

Inspection / Test


Diagnosis of Malfunction in Refrigeration Cycle

1. Importance of checking pressure

Checking the refrigerant pressure while the air
conditioning is functioning allows you to
assume the trouble area or the cause.
Therefore, it is important to confirm the
appropriate value and to diagnose the trouble.
2. Trouble seeking by using manifold
When performing the trouble diagnosis by
using a manifold gauge, follow the conditions
Engine coolant temperature: After warm-up
All doors: Fully opened
Airflow selector: FACE
Air inlet selector: RECIRC
Engine speed: 1,500 rpm (R-134a), 2,000
rpm (R-12)
Blower speed selector: HI
Temperature selector: MAX. COOL
A/C switch: ON
A/C inlet temperature: 30 to 35C (86 to

Inspection / Test

1. Normal



Inspection with Manifold Gauge

1. Normal
If the refrigeration cycle is normal,
the gauge pressure values are as
Low-pressure side 0.15 to 0.25
MPa (1.5 to 2.5 kgf/cm)
High-pressure side 1.37 to 1.57
MPa (14 to 16 kgf/cm)

Inspection / Test

Inspection with Manifold Gauge

2. Insufficient refrigerant amount



2. Insufficient refrigerant amount

As shown in the illustration, if the
refrigerant amount is insufficient, the
gauge pressure for both the lowpressure and high-pressure side will
show as being lower than the normal
(1) Symptom
Pressure is low at both lowpressure and high-pressure side.
Bubbles can be seen in the sightglass.
Insufficient cooling.
(2) Cause
Refrigerant volume is low.
Gas leak.
(3) Remedy
Check for gas leakage and repair.
Replenish the refrigerant.

Inspection / Test

Excessive refrigerant or insufficient condenser cooling



Inspection with Manifold Gauge

3. Excessive refrigerant or insufficient

condenser cooling
If there is excessive refrigerant or the
condenser cooling is insufficient, the
gauge pressure for the both the lowpressure and high-pressure side shows
as being higher than the normal value.
(1) Symptom
Pressure is high at both low-pressure
and high-pressure side.
Bubbles not observed in the sightglass, even at low speed operation.
Insufficient cooling.
(2) Cause
Excessive refrigerant.
Poor condenser cooling.
(3) Remedy
Adjust to correct refrigerant amount.
Clean the condenser.
Inspect the vehicle cooling system
(electric fan, etc.).

4. Moisture in
refrigeration cycle

Inspection / Test



Inspection with Manifold Gauge

4. Moisture in refrigeration cycle

When moisture infiltrates the cycle, the
gauge pressure is normal at the start of the
air conditioning operation. After a period of
time, the low-pressure side gradually
indicates a vacuum pressure. After several
seconds to several minutes, the gauge
pressure is restored to a normal value. This
cycle is repeated. This symptom occurs
when the moisture infiltrated repeats a
freezing and melting cycle near the
expansion valve.
(1) Symptom
Normal operation at the start of air
conditioner operation. After a period of time,
the low-pressure side gradually indicates
vacuum pressure.
(2) Cause
Moisture infiltration.
(3) Remedy
Replace the receiver.
Thoroughly evacuate the cycle before
refrigerant charging. This removes the
moisture from the cycle.

Inspection / Test
5. Compression defect in compressor



Inspection with Manifold Gauge

5. Compression defect in
When a compression defect occurs
in the compressor, the gauge
pressure at the low-pressure side is
higher than the normal value. The
gauge pressure at the high-pressure
side is lower than the normal value.
(1) Symptom
Low-pressure side is high, highpressure side is low.
Turning off the air conditioner
immediately restores the highpressure side and low-pressure side
to the same pressure.
Compressor unit is not hot to the
Insufficient cooling.
(2) Cause
Compressor defect.
(3) Remedy
Inspect and repair the compressor.

Inspection / Test
6. Clog in
refrigeration cycle



Inspection with Manifold Gauge

6. Clog in refrigeration cycle

When the refrigerant fails to circulate (due to a clog
in the refrigerant cycle), the gauge pressure at the
low-pressure side indicates a vacuum pressure.
The gauge pressure at the high-pressure side
becomes lower than the normal value.
(1) Symptom
For a complete clog, the low-pressure side
immediately indicates a vacuum pressure (Fails to
For clogging tendency, the low-pressure side
gradually indicates a vacuum pressure (Cooling
depends on the degree of clogging.).
Temperature difference occurs before
and after the clogged section.
(2) Cause
Dust or frozen moisture is blocking an expansion
valve, EPR or other orifice preventing the flow of
Gas leak in heat-sensing rod.
(3) Remedy
Clarify the cause of the clog. Replace the part
causing the clog.
Implement thorough evacuation of the cycle.

Inspection / Test

Inspection with Manifold Gauge

7. Air in refrigeration cycle



7. Air in refrigeration cycle

When air infiltrates the refrigeration cycle, the
gauge pressure at both the low-pressure and
high-pressure side is higher than the normal
(1) Symptom
Pressure is high at both low-pressure and
high-pressure side.
Cooling performance decreases in
proportion to the increase in the low-pressure.
If the refrigerant amount is correct, the flow
of bubbles at the sight-glass is the same as
during normal operation.
(2) Cause
Air infiltration.
(3) Remedy
Replace the refrigerant.
Implement thorough evacuation of the

Inspection / Test

Inspection with Manifold Gauge

8. Excess opening of expansion valve



8. Excess opening of expansion valve

When the expansion valve opening is
too wide, the gauge pressure at the
low-pressure side becomes higher
than the normal value. This decreases
the cooling performance.
(1) Symptom
Pressure at low-pressure side rises
and the cooling performance
decreases (Pressure at high-pressure
side shows almost no change.).
Frost adhering to the low-pressure
(2) Cause
Operating defect in expansion valve.
(3) Symptom
Inspect and repair the installation
condition of the heat sensing tube.

Inspection / Test


2. Test condition

Performance Test

3. Measure each temperature



1. Description
For cooling performance of the A/C, measure the
difference of temperature between the inlet port and
outlet port of the air, and judge whether the value is
within the standard range in the standard performance
2. Test condition
Test the vehicle in the following conditions:
Stopping condition in shade
Engine coolant temperature: After warm-up
All doors: Fully open
Airflow selector: FACE
Air inlet selector: RECIRC
Engine speed: 1,500 rpm (R-134a), 2,000 rpm (R-12)
Blower speed: HI
Temperature selector: MAX.COOL
A/C Switch: ON
Pressure on the high-pressure side: 1.5MPa (15.5
3. Measure each temperature
Place a dry and wet bulb thermometer at the air inlet
and a dry bulb thermometer at the center of the outlet
port. When the air temperature at the outlet stabilizes
(after approximately 5 to 6 minutes), measure the
difference between both dry bulb thermometers and
the relative humidity of the air at the air inlet port.