It’s starting to get hot outside here in the Triangle area. This is the time when more and more people roll up their windows and crank up the air conditioner. It’s also the time when a number of drivers realize their car’s AC isn’t working as well as it was last year. Maybe it’s blowing cool air rather than cold air. Maybe it has a funny smell that doesn’t go away. Maybe it just blows hot air.
No matter what type of vehicle you have or what kind of driving you do, it’s tough to be comfortable in our hot summers without working AC. It can also be a safety issue. Studies show that uncomfortable cabin temperatures cause distracted driving, a major source of collisions and other accidents. Don’t take chances with your safety!
If you’re having problems with your car’s AC, there could be a variety of causes. Keep reading to learn more about common car air conditioner issues. Spoilers: no matter what the problem, your solution is easy: bring your vehicle to the friendly experts at Auto Pro To Call for fast, affordable service.
1. Not Enough Refrigerant
Refrigerant is a specialized liquid that carries heat away from your car’s cabin to be released into the surrounding outside air. Because it’s under varying amounts of pressure as it goes through the AC system, leaks tend to form over time. You may or may not see a visible leak.
You should know that a working AC system will cause condensation to build up underneath your car that will drip off. This usually happens after medium to long drives on hot, humid days. It can resemble a leak, but it’s perfectly normal!
If your AC system has a refrigerant leak—even a small one— it can let refrigerant escape. Running your AC without enough refrigerant will reduce its cooling ability. You might notice the air just isn’t as cold as you remember, especially after the system sits unused over the winter.
Often, a routine refrigerant recharge is all that’s needed to restore performance. But, if you have a bad leak, we’ll need to run a pressure test, find it, and repair it for ongoing reliability. Bring your car to Auto Pro To Call for expert advice and friendly service!
2. Blower Motor
Your car’s AC system has a small yet powerful fan inside your dash called the blower motor. The blower motor forces air over the condenser core, which is hyper-chilled by the refrigerant. This cools the air before it’s blown it into your car’s interior.
If your blower motor is damaged or malfunctioning, you might notice squeaks or squealing sounds coming through your vents when you have the AC fan running. Other symptoms include reduced airflow or a total lack of airflow if the blower motor is fully dead.
No matter what the issue with your AC blower motor, the fix is simple: the ASE-certified experts at Auto Pro To Call. We have years of experience servicing all kinds of vehicle AC systems, so there’s no blower motor challenge we can’t handle.
The air conditioner compressor is a special pump that pulls power directly from your engine using a belt and pulley system. When the compressor pressurizes the refrigerant in your AC system, the refrigerant heats up very hot. Much hotter than the outside air. This super-hot compressed refrigerant is fed through a radiator that releases a lot of that extra heat into the outside air. After the refrigerant is decompressed to normal pressure, it’s hyper-chilled enough to cool the air blown into your car’s interior.
The AC compressor is the biggest power drain on your engine, causing you to lose a small amount of power and efficiency, but it’s a fair trade in the summer. Compressor problems, however, can leave you blowing nothing but hot air. One possible cause could be a worn, slipping, or detached compressor belt. It could also be a problem in the compressor itself.
Most of the time, you should be able to hear or feel the compressor activate when you turn on your AC. Or, you may see a very small dip in your engine’s RPMs while idling. If nothing happens at all when you turn on your AC, there’s an issue. One possibility is your engine’s thermostat is failing to tell your compressor to come on at the right time. Or, the compressor could be worn out or faulty. Either way, a nonworking compressor will need the expert touch of an Auto Pro To Call mechanic.
4. Clogged Condenser
The condenser is a small radiator-like part inside your dash. It’s where the real conditioning of the air happens! Here, the hyper-chilled refrigerant cools the air flowing through, and it also removes moisture to dehumidify. That’s why your AC kicks on whenever you run your windscreen defroster, helping blow away the foggy condensation with cold, dry air.
If you condenser is dirty or clogged, it won’t allow the right levels of refrigerant to flow through, and your AC won’t be as cold or effective. It could also stop it working altogether. The problem may be fixed by flushing the refrigerant and trying to restore proper flow. Or, the condenser may need to be replaced. No matter what your condenser needs, the Auto Pro To Call team is here to serve you with a smile.
5. Bad Smells that Don’t Go Away
It’s somewhat normal for your car’s AC to smell a little funny the first few times you run it after the winter. But, if there’s a foul, musty odor that just doesn’t go away, you might have bacteria, mold, or fungus growing in your system somewhere.
At Auto Pro To Call, we’ll find the source of your smelly AC. Then, we’ll clean and sanitize your system to ensure any microbial growth is removed. With help from our expert mechanics, you’ll breath easy!
So, no matter what’s wrong with your vehicle’s air conditioning system, your best answer is the same. All you have to do is call us today at (919) 914-0623 or contact us to schedule your appointment for a free estimate. It couldn’t be easier!