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Analyzing and Fixing Car Air Conditioner Not Cooling Problem

Drivers living in hot climates and areas where the temperature climbs in the Summer want to stay cool. Having a non-working a/c system can be a nightmare. One of the first signs, is that the system is producing warm air.

Car Air Conditioner Not Cooling?

There are many reasons why this can occur. A faulty compressor, cracked hoses, or simply needing a charge are some of the reasons why the a/c system may not be working properly. Before beginning to determine where the trouble lies, you should first understand how the system works.

A car’s a/c system works much like a refrigerator, though with a much different configuration. The compressor helps circulate the coolant throughout the system. Therefore, if it is not working properly, the coolant is not going to circulate.

The condenser removes heat, by changing the gas freon to liquid. The evaporator sends heat to the coolant, to cool the car’s inside temperature. In order to properly check the system, the full amount of refrigerant should be available. If not, this could indicate a leak.

However, you won’t know until the proper level of refrigerant is installed. Many automotive shops will offer this service and the contents of the refrigerant are under pressure. Therefore, if you lack experience, its best to let a professional handle the job.

The next step is to turn the system on and determine if the compressor is working. You may be able to spot the leaks, but not necessarily where they are originating. Adding a colored dye to the system may help with this task. After the system is running, check all hoses and fittings. These are the simplest parts to replace. If they are leaking even a small amount, the system could be losing pressure and therefore, producing warm or slightly warm air.

Another detail to consider is whether the system pulley is functioning. If the system is on and the blower is working, but the pulley remains still, a wire, fuse, or clutch may be bad. This may be a matter of checking over all the parts, to see if an obvious problem exists. Many shops can offer some a/c system services, but some jobs, like replacing the compressor or clutch may require more skill. If in doubt, it is always best to leave this type of work to the experts.

If a low refrigerant level is responsible for the problem, the system will need to be recharged. If this is a matter you believe you can handle, be sure not to overcharge the system. This can cause it to function poorly. Shops will often keep the system running and let out some refrigerant until the system is operating at its full capacity.

Remember, the slightest leak can cause low pressure and can affect the performance of a car’s a/c system. It is best to make sure enough refrigerant is available first, then look for leaks. Make sure the system is on so you can determine whether all the parts are functioning as they should.

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