Tips for Troubleshooting Common Auto Air Conditioning Problems
The easy, simple fix for your AC system is to recharge your refrigerant. However, there are other common auto air conditioning problems that may be the cause. If you find yourself having to recharge your system often, then you probably have another problem. There are some tips to finding out the cause of your problems, and some simple fixes.
Check for Leaks
If you have recently added refrigerant and your AC is still blowing hot air, it is very likely that you have a leak. If there is a leak in your system, then the refrigerant will leak out or it will not remain pressurized. To check for leaks, use a dye kit that you can purchase from an auto-supply shop. You inject the dye into your system and then use a UV light to check for a leak. Each dye kit has its own instructions which you can easily follow. You can also use a gauge to check the PSI level at the low pressure level. If there is a really bad leak, there will be no pressure on the system. Once you know that you have a leak, then you can work on tightening or fixing the area that is leaking.
The compressor is a large, important part of your AC system that you can easily check to see if it is working. Pop your hood and look for the AC compressor, a pump-like item that is usually on one side and has large rubber and steel hoses. There is no filler cap but will have something that resembles the valve systems on a bike tire. There is a pulley on the front of the compressor that should be moving when the AC is on. If it is not moving, then its clutch is not engaging. You could have a bad fuse, a broken AC switch, wiring problem or be low on refrigerant. If you have already recharged the refrigerant, than you will want to check the other factors. If the compressor is not working, you will not get cold air.
Other Common Problems
A bad AC system could be due to broken switches on your dashboard, bad fuses, faulty wires, a busted fan belt, or a failure in the sealing within compressor. To check for bad wiring, take the wire near the compressor leading to the electric clutch. There is a connector in the middle. If you unplug it and take a part of wire and from your compressor to the plus side of the battery and hear a loud clack, the electric clutch fineand you need to replace the wiring and fuses. Otherwise, the electric clutch and compressor will need to be replaced. You can usually easily tell if the fan belt is broken. There will be a notice or you can visually see the fraying or broken parts of the belt.
Your car’s AC system has many parts that could contribute to problems. Once you know what is wrong, you can start the journey towards fixing it. Many of the problems are easy and you can fix yourself without much cost. However, for some of the bigger problems with the whole AC system, you might need to take your car to the shop for repairs.