A Car AC Repair How To
We’ve all experienced a hot summer day with broken down air conditioning. Life can get unbearable quickly. That situation can feel even worse inside your car, especially if it sits outside for hours each day! Before you dash to the mechanic for car AC repair, it might help to figure out what’s wrong with the cooling system.
Today, we’re going to address why your air conditioning may be malfunctioning. By the end, you should be able to figure out the what’s going on under that hood. Let’s get started!
What is Car Air Conditioning Service?
Refrigerant serves as the life blood of your air conditioning system. It circulates from compressor to condenser and evaporator, changing back and forth between a liquid and gas state. Much of professional air conditioning service is spent making sure your vehicle has sufficient refrigerant circulating throughout these parts. If your car runs short of R-134a (the modern replacement for Freon), things are gonna heat up quickly!
Diagnosing the Problem
Your car mechanic can utilize special car AC repair tools and diagnostics to determine whether or not your vehicle is running short of refrigerant. The problem may lie with a broken part. When it comes to your air conditioning system, different parts produce similar results when they start to fail. In other words, when your AC unit stops blowing air or only blows warm air, there could be multiple explanations.
Below, we’ll talk about some of the possibilities.
Why Does My Car AC Stop Working After a While?
At first, your car blows cool air like normal. After driving for a while, the cold air turns hot for an uncomfortable period. Eventually, it returns to normal.
The evaporator is likely responsible. This part’s job is to force the refrigerant to release cold air before it turns to gas. If the evaporator malfunctions (or ices over), the air doesn’t get cooled before blowing into the cabin. Other explanations might include…
- An overfilled refrigerant supply
- A stopped up drain
- A damaged compressor clutch
- A faulty receiver-drier or accumulator
What Does it Mean When Your Car AC Blows Hot Air?
Certain malfunctions may cause your air conditioning to only blow warm air. This likely indicates a problem in the compressor, especially if the warm air is accompanied by banging or squealing noises under the hood. Depending on the model of your car, the engine light may turn on as a result.
After the refrigerant finishes cycling through the compressor, it makes its way toward the evaporator, where it chills the air. However, a faulty expansion valve – the valve partly controls refrigerant flow – may stifle the supply of coolant before it reaches the evaporator. This produces the same effect: uncomfortably warm air.
Why Did My Car Stop Blowing Air?
Sometimes, one or more broken parts may simply result in a complete AC system failure. With no air (or very little) cold air blowing into the cabin, there could be a number of explanations, including:
- Electrical problems in the control module, resistors, or one of the relays
- A busted or burnt out blower motor
- A dying compressor
- Serious refrigerant leaks from a busted hose or shaft seal
- A faulty accumulator or receiver-dryer failing to remove moisture
Unless you have serious experience diving under the hood, it’s best to leave most of these issues (especially electrical) for a mechanic. They have the right diagnostic equipment and car AC repair tools to fix these problems.
Car AC Repair Cost
If you’ve ever had to go through the frustration of water damage restoration, you’ll know that some problems only get worse when you leave them alone. This is the case with leaky refrigerant and dying AC parts; things can spiral out of control if you don’t find the source of the problem and fix it.
Of course, there’s one question that always comes up when talking about busted AC units. How much does it cost to get air conditioning fixed in a car? That ultimately depends on the source of the malfunction and the condition of the part in question.
Expect anywhere from $100 to $300 for an examination and refrigerant recharge. Minor repairs may bring your costs into the upper hundreds. Major repairs could cost you up to $4000, but many choose to purchase a new vehicle at that point. Before you start shopping however, why not see what your go-mechanic has to say?
Schedule Your Car AC Repair!
If you are worried about the condition of your heating and cooling system, why not bring your vehicle in for car AC repair and service? Our team at Bimmer Repair would be happy to assess your machine and figure out the underlying cause behind your AC system’s drop in performance. We know what it feels like to drive long hours without air conditioning, so we’ll work hard to provide lasting relief for your vehicle!