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30Apr Air condition troubleshoot - NOLA Automotive Repairs

How to Diagnose Your Car’s Air Conditioning: Common AC Problems and How to Troubleshoot Them

By NOLA AutomotiveRepairs | 0 Comments

It’s irritating when you are about to go on a long drive and you notice that your car AC is not working.

You switch it off and turn it back on, and it still doesn’t cool the car down.

The car’s air conditioner system consists of various components, such as the compressor, expansion valve, evaporator, condenser, and two heat exchangers.

Now, it may not be possible for you to figure out which part is causing the problem.

That’s why you need to focus on the symptoms and try to troubleshoot the problem accordingly.

How Do You Diagnose Car AC Problems?

An AC not cooling your car isn’t the only problem that you may face.

Here are a few other symptoms that can help diagnose your car A/C problems:

Air conditioner goes from cold to hot

troubleshoot air conditioner - NOLA Automotive RepairSometimes, the A/C goes from cold to extremely hot without you changing the AC’s settings.

It means there is something wrong with the AC’s expansion valve.

The expansion valve is responsible for dispensing the right amount of refrigerant to the A/C’s evaporator.

The AC will provide hot air if the expansion valve gets blocked. This happens because the refrigerant doesn’t reach the evaporator.

In fact, it may cause the valve to freeze if the evaporator contains moisture inside.

The best way to fix this problem is to call a professional mechanic or technician.

Refrain from looking for DIY methods as you may not have the tools to open up the expansion valve and evaporator.

Let the expert handle the situation and fix the problem to make the AC work normally again.

The car AC makes noise

The car’s AC sometimes makes noise when turned on.

It may be due to road debris or leaves blocking the unit.

How to Fix It

Check the AC compartment for such blockages. If you find dirt or debris accumulated on the AC pipe, clean them thoroughly.

If you don’t see anything, it may be due to a problematic compressor clutch. In that case, take your car to a technician to fix the problem.

The AC smells like mildew

Bacteria can grow in your car’s AC leading to an obnoxious smell of mildew whenever you turn the AC on.

This may happen as your car grows old. Fungi, mold, and mildew may develop inside the evaporator’s dashboard.

How to Fix It

It is best to replace the AC’s air filter from time to time.

If the smell still persists, you should contact a technician. They’ll add an antibacterial solution in the evaporator to kill the mold and mildew and prevent the AC from emitting a bad smell.

car air condition button

How Do I Troubleshoot My Air Conditioner Not Cooling?

Air conditioner not cooling is one of the most common complaints among car owners.

This usually happens due to a refrigerant leak in your car.

Without sufficient refrigerant, the AC will blow warm air out.

A refrigerant leak may occur due to a hole in the compressor, ruptured evaporator, condenser, compressor, hoses, and connection pipes.

This type of leak is tough to identify if you don’t have experience in handling car air conditioners.

How Should I Fix It?

The best solution to fix this problem is to get in touch with a mechanic or an auto technician.

They will use a fluorescent leak tracer dye to identify the location of the leak.

Once they find the leak, they’ll fix it and refill the refrigerant tank so that your AC can blow cold air again.

Other Alternatives

You can check the filters for debris buildup. Sometimes, dirt and dust accumulate inside the filters and prevent them from passing cold air.

Make sure you unscrew the front panel carefully to take out the filters.

Clean them using liquid soap and warm water. Allow the filters to dry before fitting them back to their grooves. Switch on the AC. It will provide cold air like before.

How Do I Fix My Air Conditioner That is Not Cooling?

Sometimes, the car’s air conditioner doesn’t provide cold air as it is supposed to.

Two reasons may contribute to this problem:

  • Blocked condenser – The condenser allows the refrigerant to flow smoothly and removes heat from the car.

    A blocked condenser will prevent cold air from coming through the vents.

    You can look for accumulated grime that may cause this problem.

    If you can’t remove the debris alone, call your nearest car technician to take a look and fix the problem as soon as possible.

  • Failed clutch switch – This problem requires help from professionals. A failed clutch switch prevents condensing of the refrigerant, thus not allowing the air conditioner to cool down the car.

How Do I Get My AC Cold Again?

car ac repair - NOLA Automotive RepairsIf you are not confident about DIY methods to repair your car’s AC, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced technician.

Replacing air filters or cleaning dust from them are easy DIY tasks, but fixing the condenser or finding leaks in the AC requires professional help.

Call out technician right away to fix the AC and make your rides cool and comfortable once more.

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NOLA Automotive Repairs has been serving New Orleans clients for nineteen years, making us as one of the trusted auto repair shops in The Big Easy.

We offer a variety of services including engine repair, brake jobs, AC repair, and diagnostics.