Why Is My Car Air Conditioning Not Working?

May 18, 2017
Category: A/C, Maintenance

At one point or another, we’ve all had the same experience: getting into the car on a hot day, driving down a few streets and attempting to cool off using the air conditioner only to discover that it is not doing its job. You’re left with hot air, weak airflow or even a completely inert system – no amount of knob-turning is getting you out of this one.

Why Is My Car Air Conditioning Not Working?

Troubleshooting Car Air Conditioning Systems

Before taking your car into a Gaithersburg auto repair workshop, do some basic troubleshooting to see if you can root out the cause of your air conditioning problem. There are a few basic things to look out for:

  • Weak Airflow – this could mean you have loose seals within A/C ventilation system, allowing air to escape. It might also indicate a defective ventilation fan or a loose hose. Even mold or mildew growing in the evaporator core could cause weak airflow.
  • Air Only Blows Warm – This is a common issue that typically stems from a Freon leak. Although it can also happen as a result of clogged expansion tubes, failed air compressor equipment, condenser or evaporator failure, or electrical issues. Of these, leaking Freon is probably the most expensive to repair, but not if you catch it early and have a Gaithersburg mechanic stop the leak before it damages sensitive equipment.
  • Air Blows Cold Then Gets Warm – This is a slightly more complicated issue that usually happens as a result of expansion valve problems or compressor clutch issues. Both of these components are designed to make your air conditioning respond to the environment and deliver the desired temperature. If the valve becomes clogged, refrigerant will accumulate once moisture is present. If the clutch doesn’t engage with the compressor correctly, cold air will slowly turn warm.
  • Bad Odor – There are only two reasons why your car air conditioner might produce a foul odor. Either the air cabin filter has collected foul-smelling debris and needs to be replaced, or mold has grown inside the air conditioner’s evaporator case. Mold typically grows when the case drain is blocked – resolve that issue and the problem should go away.

How To Prevent These Issues From Occurring

Almost all of these things are regular vehicle wear-and-tear issues that can pop up in any vehicle. Rubber valves slowly lose their elasticity over time and eventually let moisture in. Moisture then mixes with refrigerant, creating the conditions for any of the above-mentioned problems.

To avoid these issues, take your car into a Gaithersburg auto repair expert and have the air conditioning thoroughly tested before the hot summer months hit. This only takes a few short minutes and it can save you a great deal of time, money, and sweat in the long run.

General Automotive Servicenter is a Gaithersburg mechanic shop that specializes in preventative maintenance which saves vehicle owners time and money. Bring your car into our shop and rest assured it’ll run smoothly for the foreseeable future.

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