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Compressor Malfunction - Moisture Contamination

We talk about one of the most common problems in the A/C system

Moisture contamination refers to a failure that results from conditions that can occur when moisture is introduced into the A/C system.
The A/C compressor is designed to perform efficiently under specific controlled conditions. If contaminants are introduced into the system they act to reduce compressor efficiency, effectiveness, and durability.
Moisture as used in this context refers to water in any form (solid, liquid, or gas). When moisture is introduced in the A/C system, it may combine with the system refrigerant to form an acidic solution which can erode internal compressor components. In this case, moisture does not cause direct compressor failure; the failure results from the failure of a part that has been weakened as a result of the effects of rust and/or corrosion.


Moisture can create ice at the expansion valve level which can cause erratic functioning of the valve. As a consequence of this malfunction, a liquid refrigerant arrives at the compressor or a low amount of the refrigerant/oil mixture arrives at the compressor.
Moisture can also cause corrosion of internal parts, such as the valve plate.


During normal compressor operation, the pistons compress refrigerant gas in the cylinders. Moisture in the system can lead to liquid slugging.

Liquid slugging is a condition that occurs when liquid is allowed to enter one or more cylinders. Because the liquid is practically non-compressible, the compressor seals may be compromised when the pistons attempt to compress the liquid. Liquid slugging can lead to permanent valve damage and reduced compressor efficiency.

Moisture contamination occurs as a result of moisture being allowed to enter and remain in the A/C system.

This condition can be caused by the following:

• Improper vacuuming of the system.
• Contaminated system components.
• Contaminated refrigerant and/or oil.
• Saturated or malfunctioning drier.
• Water permeability through the hoses.
• Leaving uncapped hoses or any A/C components exposed to the air for long periods of time.
• Leaving the suction/discharge caps off the compressor
• Receiver drier must be replaced according to A/C system manufacturer-recommended service period.

There are 4 primary identifiers of moisture contamination.


1. Contaminated Oil = Contaminated oil is identified by its color.
Clear/yellow oil - new or used oil.
Light grey oil - Common within the first few hours of use.
Light green/yellow oil - oil contains a leak detector additive.
Silver/grey oil - indicates the presence of larger metal particles in the oil.
Black oil - small metal particles are present in the oil.
Brown oil (carbonized oil) - the A/C system has overheated due to condenser malfunction, blockage or air flow restriction through the condenser, defective pressure switch, or lack of oil/refrigerant.
Orange oil (this is applicable only to Sanden oil) - the oil has become contaminated by humidity.
2. Rust = Rust may occur on internal steel compressor components that are exposed to moisture for extended periods.
3. Slugged Valves = A slugged valve is one that has been permanently deformed as a result of liquid slugging.
4. Copper Plating = The presence of copper plating generally occurs when there is a high moisture content in the A/C system.

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Frig Air S.p.A. Holidays

Please see our holidays closure.

   
1 January New Year's Day
6 January Epiphany
Monday after Easter Easter Monday
25 april Liberation Day
1 May Labour Day
2 June Republic Day
15 August Assumption Day
1 November All Saints' Day
8 December Immaculate Conception
25 December Christmas Day
26 December Saint Stephen's Day

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OUR PARTNER TECHRAD

Techrad is one of our production plants: more than 15.000 sqms, 300k radiators a year, 100 motorcycle radiators, 1500SKUs car applications.

Frig Air associated company Techrad (Zhejiang) Automotive Thermal System Corp. was established in May 2006 in Hangzhou, China.

Techrad main products include brazed aluminium heat exchangers, expanded aluminium heat exchangers, aluminium/plastic radiators, and heater cores.
Their range covers North American, European, and Asian applications (cars, vans & moto).

They follow strict quality control procedures starting from the material’s provisioning, throughout the production process, to the packaging, shipping, and after-sales support.

Techrad can manufacture more than 300k radiators a year.

In their catalogue they have more than 100 references for motorcycle radiators and more than 1500 SKUs for car applications. All the products are tested in different conditions.

In the past few years, the auto industry’s transformation has accelerated around the world. Electric cars are going to have a very large market in the future, Techrad is programming its long-term strategy around the EV’s market.


They are designing cooling plates for EV battery packages. All cooling plates are customer-tailored, Nocolok brazing, suitable for a strictly operating environment.

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New Products March 2021

Check out our new products.

New Arrivals!

This month we added some new references, check out our catalogue.

The summer season is nearly year and we added some new compressors.

Download the complete compressors catalogue.

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NEW AGRICULTURE & OFF-HIGHWAY CATALOGUE

NEW A/C & THERMAL CATALOGUE AGRI & OFF-HIGHWAY WITH STANDARD APPLICATION. DOWNLOAD IT IN OUR DOWNLOAD SECTION. MORE THAN 300 REFERENCES.

In the DOWNLOADS section of our website, you will find the new AGRI Catalogue, more than 300 references. A/C & Thermal Spare Parts, also you will find OE compressors and OE Oil coolers.

Have a look at our online catalogue and discover all the products, easy research with the OE/AM codes. 

Frig Air is near the workforce.

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Compressors Maintenance Tips

Frig Air tips for the maintenance of the Compressors.

FrigAir and Sanden give you some suggestions for the maintenance of your compressors.

The core of the automotive A/C is the refrigerant circuit. Within this cycle, the heat from the cabin is exchanged with the ambient, transported by the refrigerant (e.g. R134a).  The components of a standard refrigerant cycle are the compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator. The compressor is the heart of the vehicles’ air conditioning system; it is a very delicate component, the principal source of disruption in the A/C structure.

The compressor is sucking in the refrigerant in a gas state with low pressure. After compressing it up to a higher pressure, the hot gas is pumped into the condenser. At this stage the refrigerant exchanges the heat with the ambient and cools down nearly to ambient temperature, the pressure is still high. At the Thermostatic expansion valve the refrigerant expands, pressure and temperatures go down. The cold refrigerant is now passing the evaporator and exchanging the heat with the hot cabin air.

The compressor is driven by a belt attached to the vehicle’s engine which is engaged by an electromagnetic clutch called the compressor clutch. The A/C compressor is activated by the electronic clutch. When the a/c is switched on a drum inside the belt pulley is magnetized attracting and locking the belt drive into place making it so that only when engaged does it add extra resistance.

In the A/C system, the performances of one component affect the performances of the rest, due to its delicate components when the A/C system fails, the first part that is suspicious is the compressor, and so it is the first part replaced. From Sanden’s experience: 30% of compressors replaced during the warranty period are without any problem; more than 65% are broken due to reasons not liable to the compressor, and less than 5% fail due to a compressor production defect. Wrong diagnosis and wrong repairs cause a high cost to all involved parties.

The main enemies of the compressor are hits, dirtiness, and bad refrigerant/oil circulation.

HITS

It is obvious that hits to the car can cause serious damages to the compressor. Hits can break the ears or the armature of the compressor and they can affect the right functioning of the pulley, causing noises and general wrong functioning of the compressor.

DIRTINESS

The refrigerant pumped from the compressor to the condenser must be without impurities, so it’s really important to have cleaned filters to prevent a lack of performance or damages to the system. Remember to flush the system after a compressor failure, because it could be contaminated with particles that can cause severe damage to the valves and subsequently to the right functioning of the compressor.

REFRIGERANT/OIL WRONG CIRCULATION

If we have conditions under which there is not a proper circulation of oil or refrigerant, the compressor internal parts will not be refrigerated or/and lubricated, and so the internal parts will be damaged.

The typical causes for wrong circulations of oil refrigerant are:

- Wrong amounts of oil/refrigerant. It is important to adjust the oil/refrigerant amounts to the one specified by the A.C. system manufacturer. In case of too small amounts of oil/refrigerant, the internal compressor parts will not be refrigerated/lubricated, and so the compressor will fail. The most difficult situation comes when a vehicle has had a crash and we do not know the amount of oil lost. In such cases, the best option is to do a flushing of the system and put the oil amount recommended by the A.C. system manufacturer.

- If any part of the system has a lock, the oil/refrigerant circulation will not be correct. Special attention must be given to the receiver drier, which has to be replaced after a compressor replacement, expansion valve proper functioning, and any other filters of the system as the one of the calibrated orifice.

- In the case of a small leak, the refrigerant amount will be decreasing in a slow way. It is thought that the compressor is protected from leaks by the pressure sensor. The pressure sensor protects the compressor in the case of a quick leak (Eg.: the condenser is broken in a crash), but it does not protect the compressors in case of a slow leak.

Recommended procedure

An expert mechanic must check all the symptoms before changing the compressor, so before proceed with the wrong procedures you need to make the right diagnosis, to help you with this process the compressor oil aspect is an excellent tool that can tell us what is happening with the compressor without disassembling it.

The clear yellow color is the aspect of oil in normal conditions.

The light grey color is common in compressors that have run for a short time (very new compressors) due to the surface treatment of compressor internal parts. Later on during the A.C. running the oil turns to normal color.

The green color indicates the presence of additives to detect leaks. As there are many additives in the market, Sanden cannot guarantee the behavior of the compressor when additives are added to the oil.

The orange color indicates the presence of humidity. The origin is due to poor vacuum, or components contaminated by water. A proper clean of the system and replacement of the received drier is required before proceeding to charge the A.C. system with refrigerant.

Dark grey indicates the presence of very small metal particles inside the oil. The origin is due to compressor wear/seizure as a consequence of wrong oil/refrigerant circulation.

The silver color indicates the presence of medium-size metal particles inside the oil. The origin is due to compressor internal damage, due to compressor defect or wrong working conditions, such as a liquid compression that creates abnormal efforts. The compressor must be replaced. A proper clean of the system and replacement of the received drier+ expansion device is needed before proceeding to charge the A.C. system with refrigerant.

There are other several problems concerning the compressor:

  • Overheating, you can see the label blistering;
  • Burned Clutch,
  • Short circuit/open coil;
  • Short circuit coil;
  • Condensation problems;
  • A.C. noise diagnosis is a difficult matter. The compressor (like any other machine) creates noise. The noise level inside the vehicle depends on many factors rather than the compressor’s NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Harshness) level itself. A proper design of the A. C system (compressor bracket, hoses, pipes, HVAC insulation, etc.) is the key to avoid noises. In the case of abnormal noise, it is important to try to identify the conditions under which noise appears, the kind of noise, and, the repeatability of the noise under such conditions (define the problem). Examples of conditions: hot/cold days, at certain RPMs, etc. When the compressor has engaged the charge to the engine changes, so it is normal to notice a difference in the quality of the perceived noise.

Remember that the warranty on compressors will only be granted for defects caused during the manufacturing process. Furthermore, FrigAir warranties will not be awarded unless the following procedures carried out:

  1. Before installing the new compressor, the system should be flushed with approved flushing fluid.
  2. The receiver drier/accumulator must be always replaced when mounting a new compressor.
  3. The expansion valve or orifice tube must be replaced because most of the particles or other contamination in the system just blocks the orifice.
  4. New compressors already come supplied with the correct amount and type of oil.
  5. Once the compressor has been fitted, a complete system check should take place to ensure that the pressures are correct, because if the compressor undergoes incongruous pressures it will surely be damaged.

Did we check the leak, clean the system, put a new receiver drier, verified replace the TXV?

(source: Sanden “Compressor failure root causes”)

 

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Sanitize your Vehicles with Frig Air products

New Frig Air sanitizing products

Discover our complete new line of sanitizing products for your vehicles, fleets, offices, and workshops.

Several products to help your business works safely.

Frig Air nebulizers range: 41.30751 OZclean, 41.30753 NEBUclean & 41.30754 ATOMclean

The liquid sanitizers: 60.12047 for NEBUclean & 60.12048 for ATOMclean.

Frig Air can offer two sanitizers spray: 60.12044 Cleansì & 60.12046 Sanibact, they can be used on every surface.

 

Furthermore, you can find the interior cleaning treatment 60.12045 for your SUV - Wagon - Commercial Vehicles -Minibus - Motor Home up to 20mq.

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NEBUclean FRIGAIR

New FrigAir nebulizer NEBUclean 41.30753

NEBUclean uses an ultrasounds system to nebulize the sanitizing liquid - 60.12047 - at room temperature so that the liquid becomes a fine mist of tiny and extremely light particles.

It can be used to sanitize the air conditioning systems of motor vehicles or for small rooms/offices.

Treatment time for 120ml 12 min. approx.

 

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ATOMclean Atomizer 41.30754

Atomclean FrigAir and ATOMclean sanitizing liquid 60.12048

ATOMclean is a nebulizer spray composed of an air compressor and a spray gun.
ATOMclean rapidly nebulizes the disinfectant on any surface, without wetting.
ATOMclean can be used on:
- Vehicles : steering wheels, gear levers, dashboards and A/C vents
- Worktops and toolings
- Clothes

 

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Frig Air AGRI

Discover our line of Off-Highway spare parts, OE and Aftermarket products.

Frig Air is a leader in the spare parts aftermarket for cars and trucks business.

Recently we put our expertise in the Off-Highway market, we have widened our range, now you can find more than 200 references for the most important agricultural equipment and heavy-duty machinery.

Our range is composed of OE and remanufactured compressors, also we are expanding our condensers catalogue. Most importantly we added new OE TitanX oil coolers.

The agricultural equipment must be productive to help the farmers in their daily work, for this our technicians have chosen carefully the suppliers.

Discover our Agri catalogue. 

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Frig Air New Products

Check out Frig Air new products

Frig Air catalogue is always growing, we added some new air cooling and thermal products, find out our new Off-road condensers and compressors or discover our new SCANIA OE Radiators by TitanX. 

If you are looking for radiators, we added more passenger cars references, have a look at our September and August catalogues in the Download section.

You can find it in 6 languages or call the Frig Air company near you.

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New Scania Radiators

0222.2013 - 0222.2014 - 0222.2015

Check out our Truck radiators for SCANIA LPGRS Euro 6: P200-G/R300-S400.

All these radiators are OE manufactured by TitanX.

Discover our complete Trucks line, OE and OE quality products, only the reliable suppliers: TitanX, Sanden & Borg Warner.

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New Radiator AUDI & VW

0110.3184

Check out this new FrigAir radiator for AUDI A4-A5-A6-A7-A8-Q5-Q7-Q8 & VOLKSWAGEN TOUAREG.

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NEW PRODUCTS 60.12044/60.12046

Discover our two new Hygienising Products Cleansì & Sanibact

60.12044 Cleansi is a powerful 80% alcohol-based purifier in an aerosol can that deeply cleanse for vehicles: sprayed directly on handles, dashboards, shift levers, steering wheel.

60.12046 Sanibact is a disinfectant Presidio Medico Chirurgico with Virucidal and Bactericide efficacy, specifically developed to kill germs and bacteria on all surfaces granting a deeper level of disinfection.

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Chiusura estiva agosto 2020 - August CLosure

Chiusi per Ferragosto 14 - 17 agosto 2020 - Frig Air will be closed from 14th to 17th August 2020

Si comunica ai clienti che FrigAir spa rimarrà chiusa  solo per ferragosto. I nostri uffici saranno chiusi dal 14 al 17 agosto 2020.

Gli ordini effettuati durante questo periodo verranno elaborati dal 18 agosto 2020.

Frig Air will be closed for Bank Holiday from 14th to 17th August 2020, we will be back from the 18th August.

 

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Automechanika Frankfurt postponed to 2021

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Messe Frankfurt has decided to postponed the event.

The spread of the new coronavirus is having a significant impact on large events, businesses and economies in several countries, and that now includes Automechanika Frankfurt.

The world's leading trade fair for the automotive service industry will take place in Frankfurt am Main from 14 to 18 September 2021.  

Frig Air approves this decision because now is the time to act in order to protect our employees and their families through this difficult time.

See you next year we will keep you posted.

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COMUNICAZIONE FRIGAIR

Frig Air rimarrà chiusa da martedì 17/03 fino a Venerdì 20/03.

Viste le nuove disposizioni in materia di coronavirus, al fine di tutelare la salute dei propri dipendenti, delle nostre famiglie nonché dei nostri partners commerciali e limitarne al massimo il rischio di contagio, Frig Air rimarrà chiusa da martedì 17/03 fino a Venerdì 20/03.

La situazione è in costante evoluzione. Sarà nostra cura informarVi tempestivamente in caso di nuovi aggiornamenti

Cordiali Saluti

Dino Zappaterra e team Frig Air

 

Following the recent provisions in terms of coronavirus, to protect the health of all employees, our families and our business partners, with the aim to limit the risk of infection, Frig Air will be closed starting from today, Monday March 16th, till Friday March 20th.

We will promptly keep you informed on any new updates.

Best Regards

Dino Zappaterra and Frig Air team

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Frig Air at EICMA 2019

Visit us Hall 18 Stand G84

FrigAir will attend the 2019 EICMA Exhibition in Milan, 05 - 10 November 2019.

FrigAir is an OE Manufacturer for Cars and Motorcycles Radiators for Aprilia, Fantic and BetaMotor. 

Visit us at EICMA and discover our Motorcycle Range, Hall 18 Stand G84.

EICMA, acronym of International Motorcycle and Accessories Exhibition is, at the world level, the most important trade fair event for the entire 2-wheel sector and represents the marketing tool of ANCMA, the Confindustria Industrial Association of which the most prestigious companies in the industry.

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Remanufactured Compressors

Pre-Season is here.

The Summer preseason is here and we are expanding our A/C catalogue so that we will have a wider availability and we will be more efficient during the busy season.

For this reason, now we can offer three lines of A/C Compressors: OE 920 - Aftermarket 930 - Remanufactured 940, we have over 1.000 references in the catalogue.

The 920 is our mainline and is composed of only of OE Compressors, due to our long partnership with Sanden, we can have always a great availability.

The 930 is our line dedicated to the Aftermarket Compressors, equivalent products to the original.

The 940 is our line of OE Remanufactured Compressors, this line is new and is going to be composed of over 200 references, all the compressors are refurbished in Italy.

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FRIGAIR CABIN FILTERS

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FRIGAIR CABIN FILTERS
MONTHLY PROMOTION

Spring is here, and that means warmer weather is on its way. With rising temperatures, many motorists will turn their A/C without cleaning or maintenance checkups. This can damage the vehicles’ A/C System or it can lower its effectiveness. Clean air is essential to your vehicle running properly; your car’s ventilation system counts on the cabin air filter to keep a steady stream of clean air flowing. FrigAir cabin filters have two main functions: Security, by supporting the demist/defrost of the widescreen; Health, by improving the air quality inside the passenger compartment by filtering the pollution and pollen. FrigAir offers you a complete range of cabin filters for cars, vans, trucks, and agriculture/off-highway vehicles.

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