When you suspect a blockage in a car air conditioning system, what is the first step you take?


The most common blockage area is in the condenser, where gas is transformed into a hot liquid state allowing it to flow through the condenser. While airflow will not be restricted in this case, if there is a blockage in any part of the condenser, the air leaving the vents won’t be cold.


Other areas commonly affected by blockages are:

• The expansion valve, where refrigerant is prevented from reaching the evaporator and if moisture is present, the valve can freeze!

• Aircon hoses and refrigerant lines, where blockages will stop the flow of refrigerant in the system and cause a loss of cooling. When lines are blocked, there is a subsequent build up of pressure and rise in temperature causing compressor failure.


One such new technology is the thermal imaging camera, now a handy and affordable add-on to almost any smartphone. Thermal imaging allows you to see an object’s heat radiating off itself. Temperatures of the objects in your camera frame are recorded and assigned various shades of colours so you can see how much heat is radiating from each object. This gives you the ability to pin point an area for an accurate temperature reading. And since thermal activity can be detected at a distance, it’s ideal for finding issues in areas that are hard to reach.