What is the Refrigerant Pressure Sensor (Switch) all about?
The air conditioning system is pressurized with a gas known as a refrigerant. The refrigerant flows through the lines in the air conditioning system to remove heat and moisture from the interior of your vehicle. It circulates it through the condenser by the radiator, which disperses the heat into the air. The refrigerant is pressurized in the air conditioning system to operate properly, and it is monitored by the refrigerant pressure sensor. This switch, located in a refrigerant line by the firewall, is designed to assess how much pressure is being used in the AC system. If there is too little pressure, then a leak has most likely occurred and the AC system is at risk. If the pressure sensor fails, it can mimic the symptoms of a refrigerant leak. Your air conditioning may take a long time to cool down or it may not cool at all.
Keep in mind:
- AC systems are complex. If you’re having issues, it may not necessarily be the refrigerant pressure sensor.
- Air conditioning refrigerant is a controlled substance and can only be handled by licensed individuals in many areas in the United States.
How it's done:
- The A/C refrigerant is removed from the system
- The defective refrigerant pressure sensor is removed
- The new refrigerant pressure sensor is installed
- The A/C system is evacuated and recharged with refrigerant
- The vehicle A/C is tested for proper operation and temperature output
The refrigerant pressure sensor does not require service or maintenance. It would be a good idea to have its operation checked when any air conditioning work is performed. If there is a problem with the pressure sensor, have it replaced by one of our expert mechanics; after that is completed, the air conditioning system will be recharged with refrigerant.
What common symptoms indicate you may need to replace the Refrigerant Pressure Sensor (Switch)?
- No cold air produced by AC system
- Long time for the AC unit to cool the car
- Metallic sounds or high-pitched noises that sound like air is leaving a tight space
How important is this service?
Air conditioning is a convenience feature, and as such doesn’t present a safety concern if dysfunctional. However, you will be more comfortable in your vehicle if you have a faulty refrigerant pressure sensor replaced.