Some Basic Mercedes Ac Components

By: Kimberly Baker

Driving a Mercedes Benz has given its owners unbridled pride and satisfaction of being part of the three-pointed star automotive tradition. This tradition has built a bridge from the tentative beginnings of motorization in the last century up to the modern automotive technologies characterizing style, power and comfort. Today, automobile comfort provided by Mercedes Benz has, more than ever, increased its vehicles' comfort levels that rivals the cosiness experienced at home and at work. With just a push of a button or the slide of a lever, seamless transition from heating to cooling and back again is now possible without ever wondering how this change occurs.

Like the brand name of Mercedes Benz, which has over a century of rich history and colorful tradition, the automotive air conditioning system underwent extensive changes since its advent in the 1940's. Improvements, such as computerized automatic temperature control (which allow the car owner to set the desired temperature and have the system adjusted automatically) and improvements to overall durability, have added complexity to today's modern air conditioning system. To add to the complications, tough environmental regulations have been created, governing the very simplest of tasks, such as recharging the system with refrigerant R12 commonly referred to as Freon® (Freon being the trade name for the refrigerant R-12 manufactured by DuPont). Freon is known to be an atmospheric hazard.

However, the key to the comfort provided by Mercedes air conditioning systems all goes back to its single basic components. One of the most common components, and perhaps the most important one which make up these automotive cabin cooling systems is the Mercedes Benz AC compressor. Commonly referred to as the heart of the Mercedes' air conditioning system, the Mercedes Benz AC compressor is a belt-driven pump that is locked to the engine. Its primary role is to compress and transfer refrigerant gas. The AC system is split into two sides, a high pressure side and a low pressure side, defined as discharge and suction. Since the Mercedes AC compressor is basically a pump, it must have an intake and a discharge side. The intake, or suction side, draws in refrigerant gas from the outlet of an evaporator or, at times, an accumulator.

Accumulators are used on systems that accommodate an orifice tube to meter refrigerants into the evaporator. It is connected directly to the evaporator outlet and stores excess liquid refrigerant. Introduction of liquid refrigerant into a compressor can do serious damage. Compressors are designed to compress gas, not liquid. The chief role of the accumulator is to isolate the from any damaging liquid refrigerant. Accumulators, like receiver-driers, also remove debris and moisture from a Mercedes air conditioning system.

Once the refrigerant is drawn into the suction side, it is compressed and sent to the condenser, where it can then transfer the heat that is absorbed from the inside of the vehicle. This is the area in which heat dissipation occurs. The condenser is designed to radiate heat. Its location is usually in front of the radiator, but in some cases, due to aerodynamic improvements to the body of a vehicle, like that of Mercedes, its location may differ. Condensers must have good air flow anytime the system is in operation. On rear wheel drive vehicles, this is usually accomplished by taking advantage of an existing engine's cooling fan. On front wheel drive vehicles, condenser air flow is supplemented with one or more electric cooling fans. As hot compressed gases are introduced into the top of the condenser, they are cooled off. As the gas cools, it condenses and exits the bottom of the condenser as a high pressure liquid. Air conditioning systems may be complex and diverse in designs, but the comfort they provide relies heavily on these basic components.

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