Summer will be here soon. If you haven’t already turned on the air conditioning in your car, you likely will in the next few weeks. If you’re anything like us, you’re probably looking forward to the warmer weather and hoping that ice scraper can stay in the trunk forever. But with the warmer weather, you might soon be reminded that the air conditioning in your car wasn’t working very well last fall. Perhaps the air conditioning worked fine last year, but now you’ve found that it blows mediocre cool air instead of cold air. Worse yet, maybe your AC is blowing air the same temperature as the air outside. Let’s look at diagnosing problems with your air conditioning system and where to go for help.
Diagnosing Faults in Your Car’s AC System
From inside your car, and with your car running, turn on the air conditioner to its highest setting. If your car has a max air conditioning setting, use that. Make sure that the circulating air is set to outside circulating, not inside recirculating. You will need to roll your windows in the car to their up positions, and you will need a pen and notebook to write down your findings. This diagnosis process will help you determine what part of your air conditioning system needs to be replaced or repaired. Even if you find one problem as you work through the following steps, continue with all of the checks. There could be more than one issue with your air conditioner system.
Finding the Problems
After you’ve done all of the above, check the following:
Pressure of the Air
When you adjust the blower from low to high, pay attention to the change in the air pressure. If the pressure is low but the temperature is cold, you likely have a bad filter in the air conditioning system. Another common problem is faulty blower motor resistor. This would cause the blower to change pressure sporadically or to simply stay on the same pressure all the time, regardless of whether you adjust the blower speed.
Temperature of the Air
The temperature of the air coming out of the air conditioner in your car is another indicator for what is wrong with your air conditioning system.
Mildly cold and consistent: If you car is blowing mildly cold air consistently, but the air
never really gets cold, you likely have a problem with your radiator, clogged filter, or a cooling fan problem.
Cold at first, then gets warm: If the air starts blowing cold air at first, but then gets warm after your car has been running you likely have a leak in the compressor or the hoses of the air conditioning system. Once there is a leak, the refrigerant is escaping from the cooling system. This can only be fixed if the leak is fixed first and then the system can be recharged with refrigerant. You should never add refrigerant to an air conditioning system if there is a leak in the compressor.
Another possibility, if it’s not a leak in the system, you could have a faulty compressor clutch. The compressor clutch keeps the pressure in the AC unit at a set pressure. Because the compressor clutch is being used every time the AC is running it is subject to normal issues of wear and tear. Both a leak in the system or faulty compressor clutch will present in the same manner, blowing cold air at first and then switching to warm air. An expert service technician at Revolution Automotive Services will be able to properly discern the issue for you.
Blowing warm or hot air: This is most likely due to a loss of refrigerant in your cooling system. It’s also possible that the compressor has frozen up. The compressor is usually between the radiator and the engine, so if the compressor is not working but the air is still moving through the coils and then into your car, they could be pulling the heat from the car’s engine in through the vents.
Sounds from the AC Systems
Sounds from the air conditioning system when you turn it on can mean several things. The most common sound is a rattling sound from the AC compressor. When the compressor begins to wear out from normal use, rattling is usually the first thing you will notice. Another sound you might hear is a grinding or squealing noise. This can happen if the compressor pulley bearings are starting to fail or have failed. Once a compressor or pulley begin to fail you want to get them fixed right away. They will only get worse with continued use.
Repair Your Car’s AC System at Revolution Automotive Services
Air conditioning problems can be hard to diagnose and challenging to fix. At Revolution Automotive Services every service professional is an ASE Master Certified Technician. They put in the extra time to attend workshops to learn everything there is to know about industry changes and best practices. They pride themselves on knowing the newest and best methods to service all makes and models of cars.
Revolution Automotive Services is located in Norwood, MA. We serve the communities of Norwood, Westwood, Walpole, Sharon, Canton, Medfield, Needham, Dover, and Boston, MA. we can diagnose the issues of your automobile and make the necessary repairs so that you can be safely and comfortably back on the road again. Let the experts technicians in Norwood earn your trust like we have earned the trust of so many other drivers in the area.