The car’s air conditioning is one of the most used parts when the vehicle is on. It’s on hot afternoons when you find yourself really needing the cold air the most. But just like any other part of a car, it might break down and need repairs. Maybe your vehicle currently needs one as we speak.
As we enter cooler seasons, there may not be much use for the air conditioning system. If you’ve been putting off some much-needed air conditioning repairs, this is the perfect time to get them fixed.
How Does an Air Conditioning System Work?
A car’s air conditioning system works by converting refrigerant from liquid form to gaseous form. The refrigerant absorbs heat and humidity from the vehicle when it changes states, allowing the system to produce col, dry air. The system uses pressure and temperature management to transform the refrigerant from a liquid to a gaseous state. An air conditioning system is made up of several parts that include the dryer, metering device, compressor, evaporator, and condenser.
Like any other part of a car, the air conditioner needs regular inspection and maintenance, too. But sometimes, other factors such as frequency of use or the age of your vehicle can determine the state of the air conditioner. Here are among the most common air conditioning malfunctions and how to solve them.
No Cold Air
Your air conditioner is on, but for some reason, it’s not giving off cool air. This is easily a telltale sign that something is wrong. You can put the air conditioner on full blast, and yet there’ll still be no cold air from it. A refrigerant leak is often the cause here. The source of the leak could be a hole in a hose, condenser, etc. Unfortunately, the leak is often hard to spot since the refrigerant evaporates as soon as it makes its way to the car’s external. This isn’t going to be a DIY-able fix considering that. You’ll need an expert eye to spot the source of the leak before the problem is addressed. Reach out to your local auto care service provider to get it fixed.
Do you hear hissing, vibrating, or whistling when you turn on the air conditioner? As soon as you notice any sounds coming from it, it’s best to stop using it until it gets fixed. There could be several reasons for the noises. There could be a problem with the compressor, a bent valve, a refrigerant leak, or a combination of faulty air conditioning parts. Sometimes, the root of the problem is some dirt and other debris causing a blockage somewhere in the system. Again, this isn’t a problem that’s typically fixed on your own. The best course of action is to have it checked immediately by a professional.
For old cars or cars that seldom use their air conditioners, mold or bacteria can grow in one or two places in them. This is often caused by moisture since part of an air conditioner’s function is to absorb moisture. Because the air conditioner dehumidifies the air entering the cabin as the vents and ducts are cold, water will condense on them when the car is turned off, causing mold. It sounds a bit more temperature-centered and has less to do with the system. On the flip side, it’s entirely avoidable. Avoid parking your car directly under sunlight and clean the vents about one to two times a year. But if this is already a problem your air conditioner has, the best thing to do is have it professionally inspected and have the filter cleaned out. There’s no reason to endure the smell on every car ride, especially when it can affect your health.
Is your air conditioner on, but no air is coming out of it? This could mean that the blower motor is stuck or has stopped working. This could also mean that there is a loose belt somewhere in the system. Consult a trusted mechanic about this problem for a sure diagnosis and a sure way to fix it.
Seeing that the air conditioning system is one of the most used parts of a car, it should receive equal care and attention. To make it last as long as it’s meant to, take note of these telltale signs of air conditioning problems and get yours looked at as soon as possible. Putting these off causes more damage and more costs on your end. It can only drive the air conditioner further away from repair-focused solutions and more towards buying a whole new system.