This Is Why Your Car Air Conditioner Is Not Working
There are several reasons why your car air conditioner may not be working. You can learn more by checking out our guide here.
The heat is on! Summer is in full swing and it is hot outside. When you get into your car, it is even hotter! You can’t wait to crank up the AC and get that cool air flowing. But what if the air is not cool at all? What if you are experiencing car AC problems?
There are many reasons why your car air conditioner may not be operating at full capacity, or even at all. Before you can go about deciding how to fix it, the problem must be identified.
Let’s take a look at what might be going wrong if your car AC stopped working.
How Does a Car Air Conditioner Actually Work
In order to understand what is not going right with the car’s air conditioner, it helps to know how it is supposed to work properly. Here is a simple breakdown.
The main component is the compressor. It is powered by the engine of the car and basically condenses the refrigerant chemical into a liquid. The refrigerant liquid is designed to be vaporized at low temperatures to cool the air.
This liquid then travels through a condenser. It looks a lot like a radiator and when the refrigerant is pushed through, the heat is removed and it is cooled down.
The cool liquid then moves through a receiver drier to take out any moisture. It moves on to the evaporator where it is blown out through the vents as cold air.
So what problems pop up during this process that causes the AC not to work.
One of the first things to check is to see if the car is leaking refrigerant. This can happen anywhere along the line but usually is seen at the hose connection points. It can also show up around the gasket.
The compressor or condenser can also be the cause of a leak. The condenser especially because it is located at the front of the vehicle and could sustain damage from the impact of debris or another car.
A leak will appear as an oily substance. You may also be able to hear the escaping refrigerant as a hissing sound. There are sealants available that will close up the leak and fix the problem.
The AC Needs to Be Recharged
Even without a noticeable leak, sometimes the refrigerant will run low over time. Slowly losing the refrigerant will mean the max cooling temperature within the car will not be as cold as it once was.
A compressor that is running low on refrigerant will cut off and on frequently. The AC may still be working, but not as effectively. If it is really low, it will not come on at all. This is a common problem and when diagnosed, the fix is to recharge or replace the refrigerant.
Your car needs other attention in the summer as well. Find other ways to beat the heat with cool car tips.
Something Is Blocking the Condenser
The job of the condenser is to cool down the refrigerant. This is done through the airflow that comes from the front of the car. Since most condensers are located there at the front, it can easily be blocked by something it came in contact with.
It is a fairly simple check to see if there is an object blocking the front of the condenser and therefore inhibiting the cool air from reaching the inside of the car.
It is also possible that instead of being blocked, it was actually punctured by debris that came up from the road and went through the grill of the car.
If you are wondering if insurance can cover debris or accident damage to your car’s air conditioning, this information is highly valuable.
Worn Out Compressor
All systems will eventually wear out. The compressor works overtime to keep the refrigerant circulating and moving through the car. Over time it will just stop working.
Another cause for a compressor problem is lack of use. This is why some automotive air conditioner problems are seen right at the beginning of summer. After not being used all winter, the compressor can fail at first startup.
It is a good idea to run the AC for short periods of time even in the winter to keep the compressor working properly with no issues when you need it the most.
Preventative maintenance goes a long way for other systems in your vehicle. Check out 7 key benefits.
Your car’s AC unit is all tied into the electrical system of the car. If one of the wires becomes frayed or even broken, it will stop everything.
It can be time-consuming to try and locate the exact wire that may be causing the issue, but once found, it can either be taped around or replaced completely.
Control Module Issues
If you have a newer car, then the controls for the AC system basically run on a computer. This computer passes information back and forth between the car and the cooling system.
With any type of computer system, they are known to break down and fail to perform properly. These types of problems are much harder to diagnose and treat and usually require an experienced technician.
Fans are needed to work properly in order to push the cool air out. Cooling fans that are malfunctioning will keep the condenser from doing its job.
Some problems with fans include needing to replace a fuse, and others also involve being damaged by debris that has blown up from the road.
Keep It Cool
During the heat of summer, the inside of a car or truck can become unbearable. It takes a fully functioning system to cool down the interior and keep you and your passengers comfortable on the road.
The car air conditioner needs to be in tip-top shape. There are many working parts and any one can break and be the source of the problem. Once you notice the air inside the car is not cooling properly or at all, take steps right away to get it fixed.
For more information on how we can help with your AC or other aspects of car repair, please reach out.