The steady growth of air conditioning as a standard vehicle feature means that the UK aftermarket is seeing a similarly steady rise in demand for replacement air conditioning parts.
Why do compressors fail?
Ideally, the air conditioning system should be used all year round and not just in the summer months. This is because the system ensures that the car’s occupants are provided with clean, filtered air. Yet in reality, this is rarely the case; systems often go unused throughout the winter months, and so, come spring, faults and demand for replacement air conditioning parts starts to rise exponentially.
A major cause of compressor failure is lack of lubrication. Lubrication is provided by the oil mixing with the refrigerant and flowing through the system. As refrigerant levels drop, the system becomes less and less effective. A 25% loss of gas charge can lead to compressor damage. Each year up to 10% of the refrigerant is lost through natural seepage alone. Stone chips and corrosion will cause additional damage to the system.
The refrigerant also absorbs humidity by trapping moisture in the drier. If the drier becomes saturated, the excess moisture causes corrosion, increasing wear and mechanical damage to all system components. There is also the possibility that it could freeze, leading to the complete failure of the system.
The compressor can also fail due to excess high pressure, caused by system blockages that cause high-pressure to build up very quickly. This puts undue strain on the unit which can break internal components. High-pressure switches help to protect the compressor but may not be enough to avoid some damage. Other causes of high pressure are:
• Insufficient condensing of gas
• Cooling fin blockage on condenser/radiator
• Failure of cooling fans, pressure switch or related wiring
• Overcharging the system with refrigerant
The Viper range of replacement air conditioning parts
Supplied in damage resistant packaging, Viper’s compressors and condensers are BER compliant. Each compressor is also supplied with installation and flushing instructions, as well as technical advice. With comprehensive coverage of the UK car parc, key applications covered include Volkswagen Golf V (03-12), part no. CA13809V (compressor) and Ford Focus (04-12), part no. CT35551 (condenser).
In addition to compressors and condensers, Viper also supplies PAG oils, R134a air con gas and leak detector dye through FPS, allowing motor factors to provide their garage customers with a complete air conditioning solution and stay on top of seasonal demand.