Car Air Conditioning System – Troubles and Tips

Your car’s air conditioning system is probably something you only pay attention to in the summer when it’s hot. Even then, as long as it turns on and blows ice cold air when you flip the switch, you never give it a second thought. A car air conditioning system is complex and expensive.You really shouldn’t wait until it starts blowing hot air before you take notice of it.

There are some common causes for the failure of a car air conditioning system.  If you get into your car and discover your air conditioning isn’t working, one of these might be the reason.

Cooling Fans Don’t Turn On

Your car is equipped with multiple fans which can stop working properly. When you turn on your car air conditioner, it’s the high speed fans in particular that should come on. If they suddenly fail to turn on, they should be replaced.

Car Air Conditioning System - Troubles and Tips

Compressor Locks Up  

The compressor for your car’s air conditioner has a clutch which can get locked up and cause your air conditioning system to stop working. Should it get locked in the off position, it is usually because of an air gap which prevents the clutch from engaging the compressor. When locked in the on position, the compressor can run constantly.

If you can take care of a bad air conditioner clutch at the first sign of trouble, you may be able to save the compressor. If you keep putting it off, it will cost you more as you will end up replacing both.

Refrigerant Leak

One of the most common car air conditioning system problems is a refrigerant leak. A standard air conditioning system covers a lot of ground in the engine compartment and even goes inside the car into the dashboard area. This requires a lot of connections and fittings, each a possible suspect for a leak.

To determine the source of a leak, a fluorescent dye is used in your air conditioning system, which shows up easily when leaked out.  If you have a leak, it will need to be sealed and your refrigerant recharged.

Air conditioner refrigerant contains a special oil that lubricates much like motor oil does with the car’s engine. This keeps the system’s parts cool. With a refrigerant leak, your air conditioner will still blow cold air but eventually there will not be enough oil to protect the parts. This will cause them to wear out faster than they should.

The refrigerant can also break down over time and result in excessive wear, beginning in the compressor. Sharp and grimy metal particles created from compressor breakdown can then travel through the rest of your car’s air conditioning system. This will often result in the demise of your car’s air conditioning system, sometime referred to as the Black Death by mechanics.

Car Air Conditioning System - Troubles and Tips

Car Air Conditioning System Preventative Maintenance

A good rule of thumb is to have your air conditioning system checked annually. It’s natural to lose some refrigerant over time, just like your tires lose air pressure over time. Even with regular service, air conditioning system parts can fail from normal wear and tear eventually. Addressing problems early can save on more extensive repairs down the road. In between regular service, if your air conditioner isn’t reaching the same brisk temperatures it use to, have your system inspected.

As a four-generation family owned business, Holiday Service Center takes pride in our exceptional service. We have been Toms River’s trusted auto service & repair shop for over 30 years and offer a wide range of automotive services including air conditioning system maintenance and repair.

We focus on building a relationship with the customer to make the experience as comfortable as possible. Contact us for all your automotive maintenance and repair needs.




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