What Type of A.C Compressor Does my Car Use.

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By Quick Auto Brain

Automobile A.C. Compressor

The Automobile cooling system has many parts that works together to give you that very chill air blowing when the outside temperature is very hot. The compressor unit is the most important and the most expensive part of your cooling system. Today we will be looking at how to identify the type of compressor that is installed in your vehicle.

First you need to know that there are two types of compressors, the Fixed displacement compressor (sometimes referred to as manual) and the Continuous variable displacement compressor (sometimes referred to as Automatic).

Fixed displacement compressor

Fixed displacement compressor

These are the standard for compressors due to their high reliability, small size, light weight, and high efficiency. They have a swash plate, which is set at a fixed angle which means whenever the compressor is turning the pistons they are always moving through the same travel, compressing the gas. The only changes are the speed of the compressor and the amount of gas in the system. The major disadvantage with this setup is that it has a clutch which goes on and off causing load on and off the engine, higher fuel consumption and it delivers the same pumping capacity at all temperatures.

Continuous variable displacement compressor These are compressors found in newer cars they work by automatically varying its pumping capacity to meet the air conditioning demand. So when the vehicle’s temperature is very high, it increases its capacity until the desire temperature is achieved, it also reduces its temperature when the desired temperature is achieved. This system is so effective that in some cases there is no need for a clutch fitted to them as they spin continuously, varying the refrigerant compression according to demand. The changing factors are the compressor speed, quantity of refrigerant in the system and swash angle.

Continuous variable displacement compressor

It is important that you know that while the fixed displacement compressor is more durable and affordable it has its own draw backs as it has higher fuel consumption on your engine and the cooling effect is fixed no matter how high the temperature gets. Some technicians may recommend you change yours to fixed displacement but you have to understand the trade off.

On the other hand the continuous variable displacement compressor has got super cool and very light on the engine which reduces fuel consumption but it has one major disadvantage which id dirt in the system

Identifying the compressor in my vehicle

The simplest way to identify which of the compressor is in your vehicle is to notice the sudden change in R.P.M when you air conditional is turned on. If there is a lot of load on the engine its most likely you have a fixed displacement.

Secondly to check the model year of your car with the oem part number.

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