Air Conditioning System Service

Heating and Air Conditioning System Services at ​Rice Tire

Car air conditioning systems promote a comfortable cabin interior and help prevent driver fatigue. During normal vehicle operation, a substantial amount of heat is created by the engine and exterior contributors like the road and sun. During the cool months, this heat is transferred to the interior of the vehicle to keep you warm but during the hot months, your vehicle’s AC system is responsible for cooling, purifying, and circulating air. Your air conditioning system works through a series of processes that involve refrigerant. In your vehicle, the refrigerant is responsible for removing heat from the cabin compartment. Refrigerant goes through a continuous cycle of air compression that is dependent on your compressor’s drive belt. The compressor pumps the refrigerant through the system where it is transformed from a hot gas into a liquid and then cooled. Through a number of other components, such as the condenser, compressor, and evaporator, the liquid is again processed into a gas, pressurized, and vaporized before being released into the cabin as cool air.

Rice Tire Tech Servicing an automotive air conditioning system
Rice Tire Air Conditioning Compressor

Air Conditioning Compressor

The compressor used to air condition your car works in a similar way to the one in
the refrigerator in your kitchen. The job of the compressor is to move liquid
refrigerant around in a pipe. The compressor pumps, or forces, the liquid from the
evaporator into a condenser and expansion valve, and then back to the evaporator.
There are three common types of compressors:

  • Two cylinder reciprocating piston type
  • Four cylinder RADIAL type
  • Six cylinder AXIAL type

The engine drives the compressor with a belt. In action, the compressor takes the
low pressure refrigerant from the evaporator and compresses it according to speed
and air temperature. The inlet side is known as the low (pressure) side and the
outlet side is known as the high (pressure) side.
The compressor compresses the refrigerant, and raises its temperature higher than
that of the surrounding air. Then, the compressor forces the refrigerant into the

Rice Tire Serpentine belt driving air conditioning compressor

Here’s great video from our friends at Valeo Smart Cars.

It provides a great overview of the air conditioning and heating process and takes  deeper dive into the function of the compressor as well as these other components.

  • Compressor Clutch
  • AC Compressor Drive Ring
  • The Condenser
  • The Evaporator
  • Expansion Valve
  • Discharge/Suction Service Valves
  • The Compressor Relay
  • Electric Air Conditioning Fan
  • Compressor Belt

Rice Tire is #1 place to go for your tire or wheel needs, automobile maintenance, and repairs in the mid-Atlantic region.  We have 11 locations throughout Washington DC, Baltimore, Maryland, and Virginia. We are in, or near your neighborhood making us your best local tire shop.  Give us a call, we are happy to schedule an appointment to check your vehicle and get you safely back on the road as soon as possible.


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