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The car's air conditioning system conditions the air, which means whilst cooling the air in the car down, it also helps to ensure there isn't too much moisture in the car, so it stops the air getting too humid. The car's air conditioning unit also cleans the air in the car by filtering the dust and other particles from the air inside the car.
The aircon evaporator is a vital part of the car's air conditioning system. It basically acts as a heat exchanger, enabling the temperature of the air flowing into the car from the air conditioning unit to be cool.
Aircon evaporators are usually made of aluminum and are made up of a series of internal tubes with little fins on the end. The aircon evaporator looks similar to a car radiator, but is actually a bit smaller and thicker than a radiator, and it performs a similar job to a radiator too. As the air in the car begins to warm up, the aircon compressor uses the heat from this warm air to begin the air conditioning process. The warm air is taken from inside the car, compressed in the aircon compressor and then this hot, compressed air is pumped into the aircon condenser. This hot air is then cooled in the aircon condenser and turns into liquid. This really cold liquid then flows from the aircon condenser into the aircon evaporator. As this is happening, warm air is blown through the evaporator and the warmth from this air is absorbed by the cold liquid travelling through the aircon evaporator, which makes the air being blown through the aircon evaporator really cold at the point it flows into the car.
If the aircon evaporator fails it will need replacing. The likely cause could be a leak. Aircon evaporators will deteriorate over time, and leaks can arise when the surface of the evaporator corrodes from dirt and leaves coming in through outside air vents. If you detect a bad smell when using your car's air conditioning system, it's a sure sign that leaves and dirt from the road have caused corrosion and the aircon evaporator has a leak. The fins at the end of the internal tubing of the aircon evaporator are also prone to damage and can get blocked up from mud and leaves.