What to Do When You Have Air Conditioning Problems in Your Car
If you tried to turn on the air conditioning system in your car on a hot summer day but found it difficult, you might have problems with air conditioning. Diagnosing air conditioning problems is a crucial step that will help you eliminate possible problems with your vehicle. Let's look at the situation when your air conditioning system blows hot air and what you must do.
How to Diagnose Air Conditioning Problems?
The first step is starting your car's engine. Your air conditioning system will not work correctly if your engine does not work. For this reason, start the engine and turn the AC on. You may notice the AC not working in the car, blowing hot air, which could be the main problem.
Turn the fan to the coldest setting, or use the "Max AC" setting if your car has this option. Listen to the sound your fan produces to find out what problem the fan has. If you notice unusual noise, there is a possibility that your compressor does not work correctly.
In this case, you should pop the hood and find the compressor. It is usually located next to the engine. If you have difficulties finding the compressor, it is good to remember this part of the car is a belt-driven part with a clutch, and the pulley turns only when the clutch is engaged.
Once you have found the compressor, you can continue diagnosing air conditioning problems.
When your AC is in the highest setting, the clutch is expected to spin with the accessory belt. When the AC is on, the compressor clutch will turn on and off regularly. The compressor should turn on if your AC is set to maximum level. If this does not happen, there might be some problems with the compressor.
It is good to know that a compressor is responsible for the refrigerant compression and pumping through the vents.
At this point, you should check the temperature of the air from the vents. Take a meat thermometer and check the actual temperature. Stick the thermometer in one of the vents and wait for a few minutes. You will see the reading revealing the temperature of the air blowing from the vents.
The air temperature will be 50–70 ?F if it is hot outside. When the temperature outside is low, the air blowing from the vents should be 35–40 ?F. These are normal temperature ranges. If you do not have similar results and find out the air is at room temperature, there must be some problems with the compressor or refrigerant.
What to Do When AC Is Not Working?
You should notice the airflow changes when you turn your AC dial to the low and high settings. If the air is not coming from the vents, there might be problems with the blower motor. If there are filter problems, the airflow slows down when set at a higher speed. In this case, you should access the filter by opening the glovebox and removing a drawer.
Then, adjust the vents and make sure they do not interfere with airflow. Confirm that the vents work by putting them in the open and closed positions. After that, slide the selectors to ensure they move in the correct position.
It is good to remember to change the AC filter every 15,000 miles. If you have trouble with the filters, this could be noticeable when you smell the air from the vents. If the smell is unusual, your radiator fluid may leak. This smell could mean you must change the old filter and replace it with a new one.
If you notice a moldy smell, it could be a sign to change the filter. However, if the odor is sweet and chemical, it might be a sign that your radiator fluid is leaking.
In the end, if you want to ensure your air filters are good, you can replace them with new ones. They are usually full of dirt and debris, and replacing them with new filters could save you time and money. If your air conditioning system is still causing you trouble, it is time to talk to your mechanic and explain the problem.
A reliable mechanic will help diagnose the air conditioning problem and make things easier.
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