Car problems

Keeping Your Cool: How To Spot When Your Car’s Air Conditioner Needs Repair

Your car’s air conditioner keeps you cool and comfortable on those long drives. However, natural wear and tear come with constant use, so it’s necessary to watch out if things start breaking down.

Whenever your car has a problem, it gives some hints. These signs can help you identify which part of your car has issues and needs repairs. For example, strange smells or unusual noises mean your car’s AC system has a problem.

So proper upkeep is essential to prevent your air conditioner system from breaking.

However, many car owners in the US don’t know the proper primary car care. According to a study, an alarming number of drivers don’t know how to take care of their cars properly. So for most of them, their car has at least one problem.

Furthermore, ignoring signs of AC problems may lead to severe damage and more expensive repairs. Therefore, you must learn the signs that your AC has a problem to fix it immediately. Here are some indications your car’s air conditioner needs repair.

Produces Hot Air

When your car AC produces hot air, it creates a huge health risk. It is one of the common indications that it needs repair. You must inspect your system and determine why it doesn’t cool down. One possible reason could be a clogged condenser.

The condenser removes heat from the refrigerant. Suppose it is congested with dirt or debris. In that case, it won’t function properly, causing your air conditioner to produce hot air instead of cold.

Weak Airflow

If you’re having problems with the airflow from your car’s AC, several possible causes exist. These include mildew or mold buildup in the evaporator core, a damaged ventilation fan/blower hose, or broken seals on the blower housing or evaporator core case.

When you notice that your car’s AC airflow becomes weak, it would be best to have it checked to determine the problem’s primary cause and fix it immediately.

Slow To Cool

If it takes time for your air conditioner to cool down your car, it is most likely due to insufficient refrigerant. It can be caused by leakage or prolonged use.

This can also be caused by restrictions in the air conditioning system or a failed temperature blend door actuator. Issues with the compressor, cooling fan, condenser, evaporator, and air conditioner metering device may also cause your car’s AC to malfunction.

So if it takes your vehicle longer to cool down, have a qualified mechanic check your air conditioning system to identify the root of the issue and correct it immediately.

Burning Smell

When you lift your car’s hood and smell something burning, your vehicle may have several issues. Burned or overheated wirings of your compressor may cause a burning smell.

Damaged compressor wirings cause your air conditioning system to stop functioning correctly.

You have to fix or replace the wiring immediately to prevent further damage to your vehicle.

Some leading causes of burning smells in your air conditioner include the following:

  • Damaged electrical wiring
  • Coolant leaks
  • Cooling fan operation failure
  • Refrigerant leaks
  • A/C clutch failure
  • Pulley bearing failure
  • A/C compressor failure
  • Overheating engine
  • Broken serpentine belt

These are the first things you want to inspect if your air conditioning system stops working.

Unpleasant Odor Coming From the Air Conditioner

When you notice unpleasant odors like sweaty clothes coming out from your car’s air conditioner, your AC’s cabin air filter may be worn or dirty. You have to clean your air conditioner cabin filter or may need to replace it.

Regularly changing your air cabin filters helps prevent long-term damage to your air conditioning system. It also reduces your fuel consumption.

Additionally, nasty odors from the air conditioners may also be caused by a moldy air vent or evaporator case. This may also put your health at risk, as mold can cause allergic reactions.

Clean your evaporator case and air vent regularly to fix this issue and prevent mold from growing in your car.

Strange Noises

One of the most typical signs that your air conditioning system has a problem is noise. When you notice a humming noise when driving, your air conditioner unit may need repairs.

The sound may come from the fan motor, compressor, or other air conditioning system parts. Have your can inspected to determine the leading cause and fix it immediately.

It would be best not to ignore strange noises as they can indicate severe issues on your vehicle.

Compressor Clutch Not Moving

You should hear the compressor clutch engage when you turn your air conditioner on or off. But if you can’t hear it, the refrigerant charge can be too low for the system to function.

If your compressor is immobile, it can be a sign that it is broken or stalled, preventing it from accessing engine power.

To resolve this issue, you must replace either the AC clutch or the compressor component. Call a mechanic to have your air conditioner clutch checked and fixed immediately.

Leaking Refrigerant

Refrigerants create a cool and comfortable temperature in your car for long periods. Your AC lines or hoses may be experiencing a cooling agent leak if you notice a thin, oily substance underneath with leak dye or a neon tinge.

Leaky refrigerant affects your car’s air conditioner function. It also impacts your car’s fuel efficiency and harms the environment as it is a toxic substance.

Once you notice a refrigerant on your AC lines or hoses, contact a professional mechanic to inspect your air conditioner system and determine the leading cause of the leak.

Leak Under the Dashboard

Water leaking underneath the dashboard indicates an issue with your air conditioner. This happens when the evaporator drain or vent hose is clogged with dirt and debris, allowing water to form due to the condensation inside the evaporator case.

A leaking dashboard may also mean a leaking heating core, which may lead to loss of coolant and your car overheating. This requires immediate repair as it may lead to additional damages due to excessive buildup and bacterial growth if you ignore the issue.

Windows Take Long to Demist

When you notice that your interior windows and windscreen are taking longer to dim, it may indicate that your AC system needs re-gassing. If this happens, have your air conditioner system fixed immediately, as foggy windows can affect your visibility, making driving dangerous.

Many accidents happen due to foggy, blurry windows, as drivers cannot see the road. Don’t freak out when driving with foggy windows; go slower to avoid accidents.

Additionally, your car needs to be re-gassed every two years. It might be advisable to call a professional to re-gas your automobile if you need help remembering the last time you did it.

Moreover, avoid re-gassing your car AC system yourself. This can affect your car’s air conditioner system performance, and the solution you use may not be suitable for your vehicle.

Determine When Your Air Conditioner Needs Repair

Your car’s air conditioner is a vital component of your vehicle. It keeps you cool while driving. However, if it is not working correctly, it may lead to discomfort and other issues with your car. Therefore, it is best to know the different signs of air conditioner malfunction to determine and fix the main problem immediately.

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