Baking in your car because you forgot to check your air conditioning system before the first hot day of the year isn’t a great feeling. With a few easy steps, you can check for yourself if you just need to add some fluid to your system, or if there can be a more serious problem at hand.
Remember, if your car has been sitting in the heat for several hours then heat has stored up in the car and has to leave before it starts to feel cool. However, if 5 minutes pass and it isn’t feeling any better then there could be a problem. There are several reasons why your air conditioning system might be blowing warm air instead of cool air.
Here are a few possibilities:
1. A refrigerant leak
The leak may be in the evaporator, condenser or hose, in which case you should bring your car to a mechanic to be repaired. The chemical that cools the air is called Freon, and because an air conditioning system is sensitive, the amount of Freon needs to be precise for it to work correctly. If the air still isn’t cold after adding more Freon then there is probably another leak in the system. This is one of the most common issues for air conditioning problems.
2. A bad compressor
The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant and pumps it throughout the AC’s necessary components. Because everything revolves around the compressor, a faulty compressor means that the air conditioning will not work correctly. There will usually be a loud noise when you attempt to turn on your air conditioner if the compressor is broken.
3. A clogged orifice tube
The orifice tube is located between the condenser in the front of the radiator and the evaporator in the passenger compartment. If there is an obstruction in the tube, it will stop the refrigerant from reaching the evaporator, causing your system to blow warm air. If left unrepaired, this will only get worse as time goes on, so getting it checked immediatly is the right way to go.
4. It loses its charge
A very common cause of an air conditioner not being cold is that the refrigerant needs to be recharged. You can charge it yourself with a charger kit, but you may be more comfortable bringing it to the shop for an easy fix.
5. The fan is damaged
You can recognize this symptom if you can feel cold air but it is not actually blowing. If it’s a faulty cable, you can fix it by taking apart the dashboard. However, it might require a new fan unit altogether.
6. Blend Air Door is jammed
Your vehicle’s ventilation system houses a small hatch called the blend air door that draws in cold air when you change the system in your car from heat to chill. If this change doesn’t happen, it could mean that it is still drawing heat from the engine instead. This could be complicated to fix, so take it to a trusted mechanic if you’re inexperienced.
7. Dirt inside the system
Refrigerant, chemicals and oil should be the only substances in your system. If dirt enters, it can cause the expansion valve to fail, the refrigerant to decompose, the compressor bearings to seize, and the metal parts to corrode.
8. Moisture in the air conditioning system
Moisture can cause oxides and acids to form, which can be a serious problem to your air conditioning system. Moisture can also freeze your expansion valves and lead to air conditioner failure.
The air conditioning system in a car is complicated and sensitive. Some issues can be easy to fix, like just adding some more Freon. However, some issues should only be handled by a trained and certified mechanic. They have the proper equipment to inspect the system, repair leaks, and fix the Freon levels to be the right pressure for your specific vehicle and compressor. Although seeing an expert will cost money in labor, it is worth it to have peace of mind and know that the job is being done right for your car.
We’d be happy to assist you with a broken air conditioner. Schedule a service appointment here or call (864) 810-6608, and one of our experienced technicians will assist you in diagnosing or fixing the problem.