Car AC Not Working? Follow These 5 Simple Tips to Diagnose the Problem

Car AC Not Working

Traveling in a vehicle with a malfunctioning air conditioning system can ruin your day. Most auto manufacturers recommend having your vehicle’s AC inspected every 30,000 miles. Unfortunately, not knowing where to begin when finding the right solution is problematic. To determine whether your car AC system requires repair, you must first diagnose the cause of the problem. Knowing why your car’s AC isn’t working can make you less likely to be scammed at a repair shop.

Common Signs of a Poor Air Conditioning System

checking car Poor Air Conditioning System

 

The first step should always be to ensure that your AC is turned on correctly. If it is turned on but not cooling, there could be a problem. This problem usually accompanies some tell-tale sign of a faulty AC.

These include:

  • Loud noise and sound
  • Blowing hot air
  • Leakage of refrigerant
  • Blockage of compressor clutch
  • Overheating
  • Airflow through the vent is slow
  • Damaged wires

5 Tips to Diagnose the Problem if Your Car Ac is Not Working

Why did your car AC stop working suddenly? The problem could be anything from a leaked refrigerant to having a blocked condenser. What is essential is that you can diagnose the problem quickly to nip them in the bud and cut significant repair costs.

Your Car AC Needs to Be Recharged

 

man charging car ac

 

Like any other electronic device, your car’s AC must be recharged. However, the recharging of AC is different from that of the devices. When recharging a car AC, we are talking about adding more refrigerant (freon or R134a). If your AC does not work correctly, it might be running low on coolant that makes it work.

Signs of having AC System Refrigerant Leakage:

  • Hissing sounds
  • The car is not blowing cold air
  • Audible click
  • Frequent switching on/off AC cycles
  • Oil residues around hoses

You can resolve this problem by implanting a DIY kit from an auto store. But if the problem persists, you might want to consider getting the AC inspected and repaired by a professional AC repair mechanic.

The Blend Air Door Is Stuck

 

hand on car ac outlet

 

The blend air doors are the flat plastic panels installed within the air conditioning system, working with the temperature sensors. Their principal function is to divert air into different passages and maintain an optimal temperature in the passenger area. In addition, they can be controlled by a control dial based on the temperature you want. Unfortunately, the blend doors sometimes get stuck, preventing the air conditioning from working.

You might need to replace the blend air door if you:

  • Hear a knocking sound upon turning the ac on
  • Hear a clicking sound coming from the dashboard
  • Experience inconsistent airflow and temperature
  • Temperature does not set according to the control

A car ac mechanic can easily replace poor blend air doors of your car’s air conditioning system.

Malfunctioning Compressor

 

car heating Malfunctioning Compressor

 

If you face hot air blowing into the passenger cabin, it may be due to a compressor malfunctioning. A compressor is the primary and central working unit of AC. It compresses refrigerant and gets hugely cool when it expands—the magic of science.

Here are a few signs of a malfunctioning compressor:

  • Low level of refrigerant
  • Overheated engine
  • Faulty car AC pressure sensor
  • Electrical problem
  • Power problem
  • Wiring problem
  • The compressor clutch is not working
  • Compressor is dead

The Fan Motor Has Failed

 

car ac fan motor failing

 

Another reason the AC is blowing hot air into the cabin is a faulty fan motor. This component of car AC is responsible for keeping the air cool and circulating through the system.

As it is the hardest working part, it faces frequent wear and tears. So, it may need to be changed frequently.

These are the few signs that tell that your AC’s fan motor is bad and needs to be replaced:

  • The fan does not turn on
  • The condenser unit makes a rattling sound
  • The fan’s blades rotate slowly
  • It smells like something inside the car is burning

You Have a Broken or Blocked Condenser

 

broken car ac compressor

 

The condenser is a vital part of car AC that converts gaseous refrigerant into the liquid phase. A poorly working condenser may cause your AC to work improperly.

Here are some symptoms indicating the faulty condenser:

  • Warm air
  • Refrigerant leak
  • Burning smell
  • Overheating
  • Warning light

Removing the old and installing a new condenser is best done by car mechanics.

Tips for Maintaining Your AC

 

maintaining car ac

 

Fortunately, here are some simple tips that you can follow to extend the performance of the air conditioning system:

  • Check the air conditioning system frequently. In addition, it is best to keep the maintenance checkup annually. So, the issues can be solved and remedied as early as possible.
  • Schedule cleaning of installation system; it helps to remove dust and debris, thus preventing the AC system from a bad smell.
  • Use special cleaning equipment for cleaning purposes.
  • Switch on the air conditioner weekly: let it be lubricated, thus reducing the chances of damage.
  • Refill the refrigerants every 2-3 years to maintain the level of refrigerants.
  • Run the AC on defrost mode for 10 minutes weekly: it removes the moisture from the air conditioning system.
  • Avoid pre-cooling your vehicle. 
  • Get your AC services regularly.

The Bottom Line

Unlike many other systems of your car, there are no alert lights to indicate the problems related to the air conditioning system. So, don’t wait for the problem to occur, as often these issues happen in the most inconvenient times, and make timely checks. It will save you a lot of time, money, and grief. Moreover, it helps to avoid significant damage to you and your car.

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