How to detect car’s air conditioner problems

One of the worst things that can happen in a hot day is sitting in a car with an air conditioner which doesn’t work. Your palms get sweaty and driving becomes almost impossible after a while. If you don’t have proper tools at home, you cannot repair the air conditioner but it’s better to know the most common problems of it to prevent being surprised in a hot day!

An air conditioning system generally contains of compressor, condenser, fan, drier and evaporator. Each of these parts has its own smaller parts and problems. It’s better to make the air conditioner work once a week even in winter. It helps you detect problems before they get worse.

Be aware of noises in the car. Any new noise means a new trouble. If the air conditioner makes some noises that you didn’t hear before you must turn it off and show your car to a mechanic. Sometimes not hearing a specific noise means bad news. For example, if you can always hear the A/C fan then its silence is not a good sign.

If you hear the fan, but the air conditioner blows hot air it means the fan works but there is a problem with the condenser. A condenser converts refrigerant (which is a gas) to liquid through cooling. During this process the refrigerant loses heat and it will be used later in the evaporator to produce cool air. As you see condenser is the heart of the cooling system, so you need to be aware of symptoms of a heart disease. Things like water leakage when the A/C is on, burning smell or extra noises.

It’s always helpful to open the hood and check the air conditioning system. You may find a leakage or a cooling fan which is not rotating.

If the air conditioner makes the air cool but not very cold, it is another problem caused by a bad compressor or weak fan.

Remember to re-charge the air conditioning system with gas and lubricant every two year and replace cabin air filters every 15,000 miles. Dirty filters produce an odor after a while.

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