The 2 Most Common Issues With Vehicle Air Conditioners – and What You Can Do About It
Warm weather will be here before you know it.
Imagine loading everyone into the car for a road trip and you turn on the AC only to have hot air blowing in your face.
The good news is that you can prevent being in this scenario by having your vehicle’s air conditioning system checked out by your trusted mechanic BEFORE the warmest weather hits. Here’s what you need to know.
The condenser has an important job.
It turns the hot air into cold air. Here’s how:
- Refrigerant enters the condenser tubes in the form of pressurized gas.
- This gas cools as it flows through the tubes and turns into a liquid.
- The process produces the cold air you feel when you blast the AC.
Dirt, dust, and other environmental debris can clog up the condenser, causing it to fail to work properly. Have an experienced auto mechanic take a look at your condenser and give it a good cleaning, if it needs it. A word of caution: This is not a job you want to DIY. The fins on the condenser are fragile and they can be damaged easily if you don’t know how to handle them just right.
Air filter replacement
Before that glorious cool air reaches you, it goes through an air filter that’s designed to remove the dust, pollen, and other unwanted junk before it reaches you. It’s important for everyone’s health but especially for those who have asthma or other breathing and respiratory issues.
When the air filter does become clogged, you’ll notice a major decrease in the air flow. Like the condenser, this is a job best left to a trusted mechanic.
Signs of a failing AC system
Here are several symptoms you may notice if your air conditioning system is on its way out:
- Noticeable moisture builds up in the car.
- The compressor has ice build-up on it.
- The air conditioner makes a grating or grinding sound when you turn it on.
- You notice that the air isn’t blowing as strongly as it should/normally does.
- No cool air comes out.
Have your air conditioner serviced
Don’t let warm weather sneak up on you without having your vehicle’s air conditioner checked. An AC that isn’t working properly is not only uncomfortable, but it’s not optimal for your gas mileage either.