Testing Car Air Conditioning

How It Happens, How Much It Costs To Repair, and How To Talk To An Expert Mechanic About It For Free

"When these brands have questions about their cars, they use TalkToMyMechanic"

Dealing with a Broken Down Car Air Conditioning System

How it Happens, What To Do, How Much It Costs and How To Talk To an Expert Mechanic About it for Free

In this modern age, we drive our vehicles to and from work or school, and pretty much everywhere and bask in the comfort that our car air conditioning system provides, especially during summer months when it is just too hot outside.

With a simple slide or push of a button, we can effortlessly switch from very hot to super cold in mere seconds without regard as to how our car air conditioning unit functions – that is until it breaks down and we are left in the cold, now how ironic is that?

Ever since car air conditioning systems became widely popular circa in the 1940s, the technology behind it has also gone through a lot of modifications. Upgrades like enhancements to general durability, as well as computerized automatic controls for temperature have boosted the complexity of the already complicated current car air conditioning systems so much so that it is virtually impossible for us to perform DIY (do it yourself) repairs on them should they break down.

James describes what is happening when your car is clicking but won't start in this 30 second video.

So the question you have to ask is, "how do I make sure I pay the right price for my car?" The #1 answer is to fix it yourself if you happen to be a DIY type of person. But for those of us who are NOT mechanics, what can we do?

How TalkToMyMechanic Pro Saves People $100s on Head Gasket Repair

Kathryn J.

My car broke down in Vail, CO. The two mechanics in town seemed untrustworthy. TalkToMyMechanic helped me make sure they didn't take advantage of my situation.


Diagnostic Audit

There are dozens of things that could have led to your blown head gasket and dozens of other problems that could have occurred. This checks your car's diagnostic report with our database of 500,000 faulty repairs and our panel of 10 ASE Certified Master Mechanics, so you know that the mechanic is fixing the right thing. (3 of 10 car repairs attempt to fix the wrong thing).


Price Audit

Want to know whether you need to pay $300 or $3,000? This checks the price of parts for your repair AND labor rates against our database of nationally accepted wage rates, so you'll know that you are getting a fair price. (6 of 10 repair customers are overcharged).


Service Audit

If you drove your car after you blew out your head gasket, there's a 50/50 chance you ruined something else in your car. But would you like to know if that is really true or if it is just a greedy mechanic trying to charge extra? This checks additional repairs and suggested maintenance to find out if the repairs are necessary...or not.



Once you've received your final bill, we will negotiate with the shop on your behalf to see if they have any VIP special customer discounts. About 60% of auto shops are willing to drop the price if approached the right way. Once you know you've gotten a fair price AND THEN it gets negotiated down even further, you know that you've received the best possible price you could.


Repair Warranty

If you purchase before you take your car in, we can direct you to an auto shop in your area that offers a 24,000/24 month warranty on any repair they do (about 20% of shops in the US offer this protection).


I hate feeling like the mechanic is screwing me over when he hands me the bill. Just to never have that feeling again is totally worth the price.

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The Secret to Getting Your Car Air Conditioning Fixed Fast and as Inexpensive as Possible

1. You know the handsome dude in the videos above? (You know, the guy at the top talking about blown head gaskets) That’s James, one of our ASE certified master mechanics. He’s an expert with car air conditioning systems AND he is great at explaining in plain English what is happening with your car. The video to the left explains how you can have James be your personal mechanic to give you advice FOR FREE, talk to the other mechanics at the repair shop so that they don’t overcharge you FOR FREE, and audit your repair so that you know you got the correct repair at a fair price FOR FREE (are we seeing a theme?)

2. Not all mechanics are like James. In fact, only 1/3 of mechanics are actually ASE certified (can you imagine if it was like that for doctors? We’d demand that they get their act together!) But lucky for you, we know who those top mechanics are. We have 45,000 auto shops in our network throughout the US that we know are good, honest mechanics. We can find a repair shop near you that is actually certified to do this type of work. Now you don’t have to go to one of our shops (James will still call in and make sure there isn’t any funny business going on regardless), but its nice to know that the guy working on your car isn’t just a guy off the streets who fixed a few cars as a teenager.

So let us help you. Get free access to James and our 9 other ASE Master mechanics who will make sure that the guys down at the shop charge you the right price, for the right repair, and that they finish it when they say they will. That's all yours for free so try it out by using the form below.

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DIYers, are you still with me? Whatever you do, don't look up at that other section, its forbidden. It will make you want to not become a DIYer, and that would be terrible. Alright, lets get back to the science of a car air conditioning repair.

Undoubtedly, when it comes to car air conditioning repair, we are left to the mercy of our trusted mechanics. What we can do however, is to educate ourselves on the inner workings of car air conditioning systems. Reportedly, the leading threat to car air conditioning units is the buildup of excess water within the system’s refrigerant it uses.

Typically, water is generated as the system functions and it is perfectly normal when you see the water drip under your vehicle. It is however free-floating moisture you should look out for since this will inevitably lead to more complex car air conditioning problems such as the system being corroded or frozen if not addressed immediately.

In order for you understand how issues like these can come about, it would be wise of you to have some knowledge on how a car air conditioning system works. In general, there are 3 kinds of air conditioning systems used for cars which virtually have the same design and concept. Air conditioning components may however vary, but the most common include the following:

  • Compressor
  • Condenser
  • Evaporator
  • Orifice tube
  • Thermal expansion valve
  • Receiver-dryer
  • Accumulator

It is wise to remember though that if your car air conditioning unit has an accumulator; it will not have a receiver-dryer since these two components functions the same. Likewise, your car will either have an orifice tube or a thermal expansion valve (TXV) but not both components.

How Does a Car Air Conditioning System Work?

As its name suggest, car air conditionersconditionsair by cooling it down and decreasing humidity or moisture content. Your vehicle’s air conditioning system function based on two primary principles which are evaporation and condensation, succeeded by two other stages, the compression and the expansion stages.

  1. Evaporation – a kind of liquid vaporization that happens solely on the liquid’s surface.
  2. Condensation – this is the complete opposite of evaporation and is defined as the transformation of matter from gas to liquid.
  3. Heat of Compression – to illustrate more clearly, let’s use a bike pump as an example. When air is pumped into the bike’s tires, the air will be compressed and the air molecules will be bonded even closer together which will then lead to giving off heat because of friction.
  4. Expansion – this can be defined as matter’s natural tendency to alter its form as a response to a change in temperature, which in the case of car air conditioning systems involves matter being transformed from a liquid refrigerant to vapor.

Car Air Conditioning Components Defined

  • Compressor – also known as the heart of the air conditioning system, it is a pump that is belt-driven and attached to the car engine. Its main task is to compress and transfer the refrigerant gas.
  • Condenser – the area where heat dissipation happens. In most systems, condensers may look like the car’s radiator since they have the same purpose and that is to radiate the heat.
  • Evaporator – this primarily functions to absorb heat but is also used for dehumidification. When warm air passes via the cooler evaporator coil’s aluminum fins, the air’s moisture, as well as any pollen and dust will condense on its surface.
  • Thermal expansion valve or TXVregulates the refrigerant flow going into the evaporator and found in most aftermarket and import air conditioning systems. It is also able to detect both pressure and temperature.
  • Orifice tubefunctions like the thermal expansion valve and found in plenty of Ford and GM models.
  • Receiver-dryer – used on car air conditioning systems with a thermal expansion valve and needs a liquid refrigerant. This is utilized to make certain that the TXV gets the liquid refrigerant, with its main function being the separation of liquid and gas. It likewise functions to filter dirt and eliminate moisture. Normally, it makes use of a sight glass found on its top portion for charging the system.
  • Accumulator – used on air conditioning systems with an orifice tube and like a receiver-dryer, meters refrigerants coming into the evaporator. It stores the surplus liquid refrigerant and is directly attached to the evaporator. Like the receiver-dryer, it separates liquid and gas since liquid can damage the compressor. It can likewise eliminate moisture and debris.

As you can see, although car air conditioning systems use only a few components to function, there can still be plenty of things that can go awry. To determine the causes of common car air conditioning problems, specialized equipment is vital. In this regard, if you suspect trouble with your car air conditioning unit, consult your mechanic immediately.

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Why TalkToMyMechanic Pro is Risk-Free for you to try

  • Have the luxury of your own person mechanic
  • Sit back and relax as our mechanic does all the talking for you. (You just give us the name of the autoshop you've walked into and then we go to work.)
  • Save hundreds of dollars on your repair

BUT if at the end of your repair you aren't absolutely thrilled... if you don't enjoy the low prices, safety of an expert's opinion, and experience the most hands off, laid-back car repair of your life, then you're protected by our

100% NO-Risk Double Guarantee

You are fully protected by our 100% No-Risk Double Guarantee. If you are unhappy in any way over the next 30 days, just let us know and we'll send you a prompt refund. No questions asked.

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Is this just a scare tactic? Is mechanic dishonesty really as bad as you say it is?

Short answer - Yes, it really is that bad.

Sources* say that if we have 10 mechanics

That 6 of them will try to overcharge us

And the remaining 2/3rds won’t be certified

Meaning that you have an 87% chance of dealing with
an overcharging or under-qualified mechanic

Fact - Sources say that 60% of all auto repairs are overcharged.

Fact - Government records show that only 1 in 3 mechanics are actually certified.

Fact - The average repair amount that is overcharged is well over $100.

Fact - All this put together means that the average person has only a 13% chance of getting a fair price from a REAL mechanic. But that's just the average person.

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Discover How Some Other People Have Used TalkToMyMechanic

  • Men and Women who "don't speak Mechanic" to understand what their auto shop is talking about.
  • Women, College Students, and Older Drivers to protect themselves from getting scammed (these groups are the groups that are most frequently targeted by dubious mechanics)
  • Business Professionals who just don't have the time to sit around with a mechanic at the shop.
  • Parents who want to make sure that their children's cars are fixed correctly the first time.
  • When We Asked Our Customers What They Like About TalkToMyMechanic Pro Here is What They Said.

    "TalkToMyMechanic Pro helps me feel like every time the mechanics smile when they hand me the bill it isn't because they are about to screw me over."

    "They targeted my mom because she is older but luckily I was able to get her to sign up [for TalkToMyMechanic] right before she almost handed over the credit card"

    See How Our Customers Get the Best Out of The Diagnostic Audit.

    "I had no idea how often mechanics just try to guess what is wrong with the car. The shop almost fixed the wrong thing!"

    See How Our Customers Get the Most Out of Our Pricing Audit.

    "He said the new wheels for my mother's car were going to be $3,200. When the guy at TalkToMyMechanic told him that she could get the wheels for $1,700 online, he immediately dropped the price.

    Why Our Customers Love The Service Audit.

    "I researched online for the price of my repair and it seemed right, but I had no idea how to check whether I really needed the extra 4 repairs he suggested or whether he was trying to fix something that wasn't broken."

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So How Does This All Actually Work?

Step 1

When you buy, you receive your own personal phone number to your master mechanic. Call that line and tell us briefly about what is happening with your car.

Step 2

We find every shop within 20 miles of you that has the 24,000mile/24 month warranty. Then you decide if you want to select one of those shops or pick your own.

Step 3

Once we know what shop you're going to, we take care of the rest. You just bring in your car and the relax.

(PS - while you're relaxing - we call the shop ahead of time, tell them you'll be arriving shortly, introduce ourselves as your automotive repair team, clarify things with the mechanics, check diagnostics, check pricing, check extra suggested service repairs, and negotiate lower prices. All while you don't have to lift a finger.)

Step 4

Once we're finished, we'll give you a call or text summary of everything we uncovered, stopped, and negotiated before you pay. Then you leave happy knowing you got the right repair for the right price.

TalkToMyMechanic vs. JustAnswer vs. AutoMD

  • Auto Shop Locator
  • Auto Shops with 24/24 warranty Locator
  • Get Answers To Auto Questions
  • Get Answers To Auto Questions By Professional Mechanics
  • Get Answers To Auto Questions on the Phone
  • Diagnostic Audit
  • Price Audit
  • Service Audit

Why is TalkToMyMechanic Pro Different From Just Answer

Just Answer doesn't have the ability to talk to a mechanic on the phone, or the ability to call in to an auto shop to do the hard work for you.

Just Answer just has a box where you can type your question, and a box where you get an answer.

But here is the biggest problem with Just Answer - you only one answer per purchase! And it is geared more towards Do It Yourselfers who are stuck on a repair question, not on a regular joe who needs help knowing whether he needs to take his car in at all, or needs to know if he is being lied to.

This is one of the main reasons people use TalkToMyMechanic, because the other answer websites are only for people who are trying to really fix things for themselves!

Why is TalkToMyMechanic Pro Different From AutoMD

AutoMD misses the big picture entirely. They have a diagnostic tool…but think for a few moments: Do you really think it is possible to know what is wrong with your car with a 5 question quiz? Now, the tool can definitely guide you in the right direction, but there are over 10,000 parts in a car. And every mechanic we've interviewed says that it is foolish to try and figure out what is wrong with a car without first running diagnostics.

Interesting Fact: AutoMD is free…Because YOU are the product they are selling.

AutoMD makes money by sending YOUR customer information to high paying shops. Think about it, if AutoMD has to pick between taking care of you or the shop, who are they going to pick? The anonymous website visitor? Or the auto shops paying them thousands of dollars for customer information?

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There is a 87% chance you get the wrong repair or get overcharged. And of the times you don't get overcharged, there is a 60% chance to still negotiate the price lower. So basically, 19 times out of 20, we save people hundreds of dollars.

Colleen (Tanner's Grandma)

I think this product is so great, I signed my grandma up for it! (True Story!) - Tanner, from TalkToMyMechanic Customer Research.

"So I basically forced my grandma into buying TalkToMyMechanic (come on, don't judge, I really think its a good product). Anyways, her car broke down literally a week later on her way up to the airport. She left her car, caught her flight, called TalkToMyMechanic and they got her car towed to a shop for free, saved her $400 off her original bill and had the car all arranged for when she flew back."

Start Using TalkToMyMechanic Pro Now!

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These big brands use TalkToMyMechanic.

Sign Up Now and Discover How We Can Save You Heartache, Hassle and a Ton of Money When You Fix Your Car.

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