Your car’s AC System may be something you take for granted — until you encounter a problem. Whether it’s taking too long to cool the air inside your car or your windows are not defogging properly, some of your car’s air conditioning problems can become costly if you don’t take the proper precautions.
Some common problems can be taken care of quickly with regular maintenance, so make sure you keep an eye on frequent problem areas.
Do You Know How Your Car’s AC System Works?
Since the first “weather conditioners” offered to limousine and luxury car owners in New York City back in the ‘30s, the car air conditioning system has served to eliminate humidity and heat trapped inside the passenger compartment. This service is now a standard car feature.
The AC system works by using a belt that allows the air conditioning compressor to compress a refrigerant and pump it throughout the AC system. The refrigerant is pressed through a valve that reduces pressure and temperature and then moves through the evaporator in the passenger compartment, delivering cool, dry air. As the refrigerant travels within the system, it changes from gas to liquid. Therefore, it is best to rely on an expert for a/c service.
Common Car AC System Problems You Should Check For
1. Is The Air Cooling?
Your car’s AC system may not be cooling for many reasons, but some of the most frequent causes are:
- Low Refrigerant level – did you know it diminishes by 15% each year?
- Compressor has cracked or damaged belt, defective clutch, inactive pressure switches or idle valves
- If your engine’s cooling system has a problem, the computer will prevent proper a/c performance
2. Do You Hear A Strange Noise?
Noise usually comes from a dying compressor, but some other common causes can be a cross-contaminated refrigerant or the use of the wrong freon. Holes or other broken parts could also be the source of the problem.
3. Does It Feel Moist Inside The Vehicle?
The common cause for moist air inside your car is usually moisture or debris trapped inside your air conditioning system.
4. Does The Air Smell?
When your car’s air conditioning system has not been used for a while (especially during the winter season), microorganisms such as bacteria and fungus can begin to populate and produce a foul smell.
How To Regularly Maintain Your Car’s AC System
Detection and repair of any issue in your car’s air conditioning system could prevent additional damage that will in turn save you time and money.
To maintain your AC system:
- Check the air conditioning compressor belt for cracks and damage on a regular basis
- Regularly check the function of the air conditioning system and other components
- Freon type and quantity varies by vehicle. Measurements must be precise for optimal performance, which is why we don’t recommend the DIY a/c charge kits. Too much freon in the system has the same effect as not enough freon.
- A/C stop leak additives do little to resolve a freon leak. They can actually damage the more expensive a/c components.