AUTOMOTIVE TERMS

ACTIVE SUSPENSIONS

A computerized hydraulic suspension system that uses hydraulic "actuators" instead of conventional springs and shock absorbers to support the vehicle's weight. A "chassis computer" monitors ride height, wheel deflection, body roll and acceleration to control ride and body attitude. Bumps are sensed as they are encountered, causing the computer to vent pressure from the wheel actuator as the wheel floats over the bump. Once the bump has passed, the computer opens a vent that allows hydraulic pressure to extend the actuator back to its original length.



AIR CONDITIONING (A/C)



A system that cools and dehumidifies air entering the passenger compartment. The system uses a refrigerant to cool the air and carry heat away from the passenger compartment. Major system components include a compressor, condenser, evaporator, accumulator or receiver/dryer, and orifice tube or expansion valve.

Compressor: This compresses and circulates the refrigerant in the system
Refrigerant: On modern cars, this is usually a substance called R-134a, while older cars have r-12 freon which is becoming increasingly more expensive and hard to find, and also requires a license to handle. The refrigerant carries the heat.

Condenser: This changes the phase of the refrigerant from gas to liquid and expels heat removed from the car.
Expansion valve (or orifice tube in some vehicles): This is somewhat of a nozzle and functions to simultaneously drop the pressure of the refrigerant liquid, meter its flow, and atomize it.
Evaporator: This transfers heat to the refrigerant from the air blown across it, cooling your car.
Receiver/dryer: This functions as a filter for the refrigerant/oil, removing moisture and other contaminants.

     The compressor puts the refrigerant under pressure and sends it to the condensing coils. In your car, these coils are generally in front of the radiator.Compressing a gas makes it quite hot. In the condenser, this added heat and the heat the refrigerant picked up in the evaporator is expelled to the air flowing across it from outside the car. When the refrigerant is cooled to its saturation temperature, it will change phase from a gas back into a liquid. The liquid then passes through the expansion valve to the evaporator, the coils inside of your car, where it loses pressure that was added to it in the compressor. This causes some of the liquid to change to a low-pressure gas as it cools the remaining liquid. This two-phase mixture enters the evaporator, and the liquid portion of the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air across the coil and evaporates.Your car's blower circulates air across the cold evaporator and into the interior. The refrigerant goes back through the cycle again and again.
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