The Top 10 Car Air Conditioning Problems

A car air conditioning system has many components, compressors, condensers, driers, valves, pipes etc, so much can go wrong with them; but what are the Top 10 problems you can have with your cars aircon?

  1. You have a leak - This is the number one cause of car air conditioning problems. The aircon system uses a refrigerant Tetrafluoroethylene otherwise knows as r134a, which changes form as the pressure changes within the system from gas to liquid and back again. This can leak out, and when it does, you know longer get cold air. So have the system checked for leaks, specifically looking at the condenser, or aircon radiator as sometimes known as this is often the cause of a leak. It’s right at the front of the car so takes all the damage, stone chips etc. Also check the pipework, compressor seals (any seal in fact). A good A/C engineer will add UV dye to the system, so you can physically see where a leak is coming from.
  1. Compressor Fault – The air con compressor, sometimes call the A/C pump is what ‘pushes’ the refrigerant around the system. This may not be working, It may have seized for example. So get this checked out too. Often from lack of use, or from running the A/C without refrigerant, the internal mechanisms can dry and burn out causing compressor failure. Ideally get the compressor serviced when you have you’re regular air conditioning service to avoid problems as they are expensive to replace.
  1. Pressure Switch – The pressure switch tells the compressor whether to work or not. So if there is not enough refrigerant in the system it tells the compressor not to work. This switch could be faulty.
  1. Fan – The car air conditioning fan at the front of the car can sometimes seize, which means it’s not cooling the air con condenser and consequently you don’t get cold air.
  1. Fuse or Relay– People say it’s often the simple things, so check the fuse for the aircon. It may just be blown and all you need is a new one
  1. Pipework – There is lots of metal and rubber pipework in the air con system so check it’s not cracked or split
  1. Blockage – You could have a blockage. Sometimes when a compressor fails, debris is left in the system if not flushed properly when fitting a new compressor and this causes a blockage, usually in the expansion valve, but this will cause the aircon not to work, and potentially damage the compressor
  1. Compressor Clutch not engaging or noisy - this is a common problem, and indicates a problem with the cars air conditioning and is often not the cause of the problem, but a symptom. Get it checked immediately.
  1. Needs a new Drier - Every car A/C system has a received drier, it removes moisture from the aircon system. Whilst not specifically the cause of your car aircon not working, it may be a possible problem combined with other issues
  1. Is it on? – Good question, is the aircon turned on? On some cars it is on all the time, but especially when buying a new car and not sure of the equipment; check it’s turned on!

If you’re still not sure, call the experts at Cool Car Air Conditioning Specialists. If you need to replace something, then you can get from us all the car air con parts you need.