It's hard to imagine right now since it's still winter and spring is still around the corner, but when you drive your car without an air conditioner in the summer, it's scorching torture. Regardless, it's best to be prepared when summer comes along even as you still have to deal with winter snow and spring rain.
Once of the most common problems of the typical car is a busted air conditioner, actually. Your primary means of temperature control aside from your heater can break down, leading you to spend thousands of dollars to fix it.
Basic Air Conditioner Repair at Home
- Prepping for the Refrigerant: Usually, when your A/C is full of hot air, it's a refrigerant or coolant problem. You might be out of it or there might be a leak. In any case, all cars built after 1995 use the R134a type of coolant. As for the older ones, they use 12 refrigerant. Also, you might need professional help if your car is of the vintage type. Furthermore, you may need a thermometer in order to check the ambient temperature because your A/C's health is determined by the temperature of the air it's blowing.
- Check the Air Flow: Start your car and turn on your air conditioner. Put it on high setting and see how warm the air flowing through it is. Make sure it's your A/C that's activated instead of your heater if you have an HVAC system installed. It can be cold but not as cold as it's supposed to be. In such cases, you may have air flow issues. You can fix it by replacing the cabin air filter and cleaning out the outer parts of your A/C system so that there's no blockage of the air flow and coolant.
- Look for Electrical Issues: Check to see if your cooling fans are still functioning. Then, for good measure, check your A/C compressor. The thing about this is if these parts aren't working, it might be an issue with power or electricity. You need to look at these parts to know which needs repairs. Look at the engine bay and see if the pulley's middle part doesn't turn. This means, the A/C compressor itself is nonfunctional. To solve this problem, you either need to fill it with coolant or replace the part altogether. Contact your local mechanic for further details.
- Probing for Other Problems: Many compressors are connected by wire to the clutch. Find the connector then unplug. Check it for current with your battery. If it doesn't produce current, then it needs replacement. Also, check for leaks. The coolant might be leaking all over the place, which is why your A/C is working properly. Have the hoses sealed or replaced by a mechanic. Remember, the refrigerant's temperature will vary from one part of the A/C system to another since it occupies different amounts of space within it.