What to Do When the Air Conditioning Isn’t Working in Your Car
Published: 10/22/2010 by AutoShopit
The air conditioning system is perhaps the most comfortable feature of your vehicle. The A/C or Air Con is a sealed cooling system made up of different parts that work together to cool the car’s interior by driving the heat away. The most basic A/C part is the compressor that pressurizes the refrigerant gas. Other important parts of the A/C system includes evaporator, blower motor, ac hoses, dryer, accumulator, condenser, in dash controls, the compressor’s drive belt and clutch.
In situations where your air conditioning blows warm air instead of cool air, there may be more than one reason. Before driving your car to the nearest mechanic, here’s what you must do:
- See if your Drive Belt is working properly. The drive belt runs to deliver power to the compressor. If the belt is cracked or worn out, it won’ drive the compressor properly and then it fails to pressurize the refrigerant gas. Replace the drive belt if needed. If upon inspection, the drive belt still looks good, then you have to do the next check.
- Check the engagement of the compressor’s clutch. You can do this by turning on your air conditioning system to the coldest settings, turn on the engine and let it remain at idle. Open the hood and check if the compressor’s clutch located at the front is engaged or is turning. If it is running, then you still have enough refrigerant. On the other hand, if the A/C system is already low in refrigerant, the clutch may not turn or engage properly. The solution would be having an air conditioner recharge kit to refresh the air con. However, if problems got worse and the clutch is not turning at all, you must proceed with the next step.
- Know if there are refrigerant leaks. Your car’s refrigerant should last for years because the A/C system is sealed. If the A/C is low in refrigerant, it can be because the refrigerant is has leaked or is still leaking. There are ways on how to detect refrigerant leaks, first is by visual detection, second by using a hand held leak detector device, or by using a black light after inserting a fluorescent dye into the A/C system.
- Inspect the fuses. Under the dash panel are the fuses and various power distribution parts. Check if some fuse needs replacement and replace it. When the new fuse is still not working there may be a short circuit and you’re A/C may need wiring diagnosis.
- Check for other causes like clogged condenser, clogged orifice tube, electric cooling fun malfunction, and too much oil in the whole A/C system.
- Go to your trusted mechanic or the nearest auto repair shop that provides air conditioning services. Either you need replacing or installing new parts, or other air conditioning services, it is still best done by the experts. But that doesn’t leave you not do the job especially if it needs minor fixings only. But for more complicated problems, going to auto experts is still the best thing to do.
Before going to the auto shop, these steps will help you know what’s wrong with your car’s air conditioning. By such, you’ll also know what needs replacement and how much you should pay for all the services your car needs. By knowing when there’s something wrong with your air con, you can prevent other unnecessary car services and you can save money from auto shop charges. If you need to have your air conditioner fixed or repaired, find a trust mechanic by using our directory.