Car Air Conditioning Maintenance: Chevrolet Corvette

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Have you jumped into your Chevrolet Corvette after having it stored
for the winter, only to find out that when you hit the open road your
air condition system was blowing luke-warm air?  Air condition repairs
can be incredibly expensive due to the number of specific tools needed
for a proper servicing but there are a few measures that you can take
before making the call to your mechanic.

First, most air condition systems that stop blowing cold air are
typically dealing with a lack of Freon.  This is the gas that is used to
compress and chill the air entering your Corvette and the high-pressure
is susceptible to leaks.  Since many Corvette owners put their
cars away for months at a time (winter to Northern folks), these long
periods of inactivity can cause the rubber seals in the air conditioning
system to become hard; allowing them to crack and leak the pressurized

The easiest fix for a faulty air conditioning system in your
Chevrolet Corvette is to recharge the system.  Modern air conditioning
systems use R-134a refrigerant as it is more environmentally friendly
than the older R-12 refrigerant.  Before recharging your system, look
around your engine bay for the air condition system information decal
that will tell you if your Corvette takes R-12 or R-134a.  It is
important to understand that you cannot mix the two but you can
?retrofit? an older car to accept R-134a.

Once you know which type of refrigerant your Corvette takes, any
basic auto parts store can sell you small cans of refrigerant and a
small kit to help top off the system.  In some cases, a recharge will
last a good long time and all you will have to worry about is recharging
the system from time to time but in the majority of cases, if your
refrigerant disappeared once – you have a leak.  This means that
recharging it will only give the system more refrigerant to leak into
the atmosphere.  If the system will not hold a charge then the repairs
become more costly and more difficult to do at home.

Regardless of where the leak is in your Corvette’s air conditioning
system, the proper route to fix it begins with an expensive refrigerant
recovery system.  Because of the machine and specialty tools needed, the
average Joe cannot repair air conditioning components at home and even
many small shops don’t have the correct machines ? this is why air
conditioning specialists exist.  Simply opening the pressurized system,
even when you think that there is no Freon left in the lines, is against
the law, bad for the environment and in the right conditions it can be
deadly.  Because of the legality and high risk of doing your own air
conditioning works, the odds are good that you will need to take your
Corvette to a properly equipped shop but you can inspect your system to
see how much the repairs might run you.

The first step is a simple visual inspection of the air conditioning
system.  In most cases, the silver metal air condition lines run out of
the firewall to the compressor (mounted to the engine) with the other
major components being the evaporator, the receiver/dryer and
condenser.  Generally, a leak of Freon occurs where the cooling lines
meet one of those items and a visual inspection will reveal a major leak
but for a minor leak you can buy a special dye that you introduce to
the system when you recharge the refrigerant.  After letting the air
conditioning run for a while to circulate the dye through the system, a
special pair of glasses will allow you to see where leaks by the
presence of the dye.

Fixing your Corvettes air conditioning system could be as easy as a
new seal between the line and one of the major components but this can
only be done correctly by a properly trained and equipped air condition
repair shop.

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