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Common Car AC problems & How to Fix Them

As the scorching summer heat bears down upon us, there is nothing quite as frustrating as when your car’s AC system stops working. To avoid sweltering days, get your AC service done with OkayKer. 

What are the basic components of a car’s AC system? 

  1. Compressor: The AC compressor is responsible for compressing and circulating the refrigerant gas. It compresses the low-pressure gas refrigerant into a high-pressure gas, facilitating the cooling process. 
  2. Refrigerant: Refrigerant is a special fluid that easily changes between gas and liquid states at different temperatures. It absorbs and releases heat in the Air conditioning system.
  3. Condenser: The condenser releases heat from the refrigerant, causing it to cool and condense into a high-pressure liquid.  
  4. Evaporator: The evaporator is located inside the car’s cabin and works with the blower fan. As the high-pressure liquid refrigerant enters the evaporator, it evaporates into a low-pressure gas, absorbing heat from the cabin air and cooling it. 
  5. Blower fan: The blower fan pushes the cooled air across the evaporator and into the car’s interior, providing a fresh breeze. 

                        Source: https://images.app.goo.gl/ej6psoD85LJtiXbQ6

What are some of the common car AC problems?

The most frequent car AC problems usually revolve around leaks or compressor-related issues. However, there could be other potential issues as well. From faulty condensers to evaporator issues, let us look into some common car AC problems

1. Insufficient cooling:  The most common problem that often arises in a vehicle is inadequate  cooling. This means that the car’s AC system is not cooling the interior as effectively as it should. This could be due to refrigerant leaks or low levels of refrigerant marked by the presence of oily spots and greasy stains. Since the car refrigerant absorbs heat and releases it outside, leaks can cause the AC to blow warm air.  

2. AC compressor failure: A malfunctioning compressor such as a faulty clutch or damaged bearings will result in reduced circulation of the refrigerant. Without proper refrigerant circulation, the system’s cooling capacity is significantly diminished. This disrupts the proper functioning of the AC system, which is necessary for effective cooling. So, if your car’s AC is not working properly, you must check your compressor belt for cracks or looseness.

3. Electrical issues: If the AC system is not blowing air, this could be due to a blown fuse, a frayed wire, or other wiring problems. Likewise, if the blower motor is faulty, the air will not be properly circulated through the vents. This leads to a decrease in the cooling performance. For a properly functioning AC system the blower motor needs to be replaced. 

4. Weak Airflow: Your car’s AC system can experience reduced performance if its filters are clogged or dirty. The accumulation of dirt and debris within the vents and ducts can obstruct the airflow, affecting the overall functioning of the AC system. It could even result in warm air blowing out rather than cool air. Therefore, cleaning your cabin filters will ensure optimal cooling performance. 

5. Strange odors: Unpleasant odors from the AC system are often caused by bacteria or mold growth on the evaporator. The presence of bacteria growth results in the emission of an unpleasant odor from the vents. Cleaning or replacing the cabin air filter will reduce the concentration of odors. Similarly, regular maintenance and interior cleaning of the car helps to eliminate the pollutants from entering the Air conditioning system. 

6. Unusual noises: Noises like squealing, grinding, or rattling from the AC system indicate a faulty compressor, worn-out bearings, or a failing blower motor. This can result in reduced cooling performance or potential risk of breakdown during hot weather.

How to prolong your car’s AC life?

Now that we have identified the common problems in a vehicle’s AC system, let us move towards the next step. 

1. Park in shaded areas: Whenever possible, you should park your car under the shade to avoid exposure to sunlight. Excessive heat can put a strain on the AC components, such as the condenser and compressor, leading to faster wear and tear. By parking in the shade, the interior of your car remains cooler, resulting in less strain on the system. 

2. Use the AC system regularly: Regular use of the AC system is essential to keep it functioning optimally. During the winter season, running the AC occasionally also helps to circulate the air inside the car, preventing a stale and musty smell.  

3. Keep the interior clean: Regular maintenance of the interior of your car increases the chances of a well-functioning AC system. A clean interior prevents dirt and dust from accumulating in the air vents and filter, which allows for optimal cooling. 

4. Let the hot air out: Before turning on the car AC during hot weather conditions, you should first let the hot air out by opening the windows. This allows the heat to dissipate, enabling the AC to cool the interior more efficiently.   

5. Check for leaks and unusual noises: Last, but not least, look for signs of refrigerant leaks as well as any unusual noises in the car AC system. Addressing these issues quickly helps to extend the life cycle of your AC. 

Car problems can be frustrating to deal with, but with regular car maintenance and AC service, these issues can be resolved efficiently. To get your AC service done by us, schedule an appointment with our OkayKer Guru!  

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