Air conditioning is no longer a luxury feature in a car. Most buyers would take a hard pass on any car listing that revealed AC issues.
But not all car ac problems are irreversible. Unless your car doesn’t have AC installed at all, there are probably simple solutions to getting your car cool again.
Here is an overview of common car ac issues and how to fix them.
Car Air Conditioner
The air conditioning system in your car is linked to many other systems. If any of these systems malfunction, your car ac suffers.
Before you start browsing for a new car, check out these components to troubleshoot the air conditioner issues.
Car owners are used to seeing residue on the driveway from vehicle leaks. In fact, the drip of fluid from beneath your car could be a sign it’s working well in certain models.
Older cars can be expected to leak certain fluids as the systems kick into high gear upon starting up. But there are some leaks that impact your car ac unit.
Refrigerant leaks cause your car ac to blow hot air. The refrigerant is a compressed gas that turns into a cooling liquid for the air conditioner.
If the refrigerant is low or leaking, the air conditioner won’t function properly. Have a mechanic check the joints and connection hoses for potential leaks.
Electrical System Problems
This car ac issue is one of the most challenging to diagnose. The tangled web of electrical wiring beneath the hood of your car isn’t an easy map to read.
They flow between the systems under the hood providing power to your air conditioner as needed. If you knew where to look, you could technically find the wiring associated with the air conditioning unit and look for fraying or signs of breakage.
But even after you identify a potentially damaged wire, you’ll need special equipment to test and repair the unit. To avoid the risk of fire, it’s best to leave this troubleshooting task to a professional mechanic.
Electrical mistakes can sabotage another car system leaving you with a much bigger problem than when you started. You might need a digital ac recharge without even knowing it.
The refrigerant that flows through your car ac has to go somewhere. With the help of the AC Condenser, heat radiates or escapes from the refrigerant buildup.
This means your unit doesn’t get overworked over time. Your unit is pretty much doomed to fail if the condenser goes out.
The refrigerant can’t work its magic and you’re left with a car filled with hot air. It might be possible to restore the AC Condenser simply by removing collected dirt and debris from the cooling fans.
Inspect your condenser for clogs. It’s located near the front of your car typically between the radiator and grate.
It’s smaller than the radiator with two small expulsion fans on either end. In newer cars with lots of computer components, the AC Condenser will be harder to reach.
The Compressor is Bad
The central component of your car’s air conditioner is the compressor. It helps keep the entire system flowing smoothly.
Without your compressor, the refrigerant wouldn’t know which way to move through the car ac. It’s rare, but the compressor might be the culprit when your air conditioner breaks.
The weird thing is that compressor issues are the result of one common problem–inactivity. Simply not running your air conditioner can cause its most important part to go bad.
The problem with inactivity is that it can cause the unit to go into shock after months of not being used.
How can you prevent this issue? One easy way is to start your air conditioner every few weeks.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the dead of winter or a blazing hot day. Your compressor needs to get its exercise in to avoid the possibility of going bad.
As the main unit in your air conditioner, it won’t be a cheap fix if something goes wrong. It’s far better to get ready a few minutes early to start up your car ac for around 10 minutes in the morning than to risk the compressor going bad.
Should I Fix My Car AC?
Depending on where you live, you might be able to skate by for most of the year without worrying about a broken air conditioner. But before you skip out on your appointment with the mechanic consider the bigger issue at hand.
Your car is a mashup of components that rely on each other for stability. Skipping out on the maintenance of one part leaves other parts at risk.
Avoid allowing one failed component to break another system in your car by getting your air conditioner repaired. Even in the dead of winter, a broken car ac presents a threat to the wellbeing of your vehicle.
Don’t leave a broken car ac unattended for long. If you think it’s expensive to get fixed now, wait until you double the bill by allowing your broken components to sabotage your entire mechanical system.
Common Air Conditioner Issues
Car ac issues don’t wait until summer to wreak havoc on a vehicle. You might have small problems that start in winter but go unnoticed because you aren’t starting your air conditioner on a regular basis.
Make sure you pay attention to your compressor. Start your car ac unit at least once a month to catch any problems before they happen.
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