Car air conditioning system is one of the key factors when it comes to in-car experiences. Air conditioning (AC) system undoubtedly plays a crucial role in maintaining a comfortable temperature inside the car and more importantly, filtering polluted air coming in from the outside. This feature is undeniably a life-saver that fights the hot and humid weather. No doubt, car air conditioner blowing hot air or any malfunctioning would be unpleasant to your driving experience.
Other than that, air conditioning is now a standard feature in most vehicle manufacturing. However, when you take your vehicle for a routine repair or checkup, the priority is usually the engine and other essential aspects of the car. Consequently, car owners often overlook developing issues that can impact their car air conditioners and wind up, paying hefty fees to get the AC fixed or replaced.
We are going to discuss various ways or tips to fix your car AC, but if you lack knowledge about ACs for vehicles, it is better to summon help from car technicians as further damage may occur if you fix it yourself.
IDENTIFY THE FAULTY COMPONENTS ON YOUR CAR AC
Is your car AC blowing hot air? Note that car air conditioning apparatus are compound, and numerous things may be the causes of the problem. As a result, we should be very cautious in determining the faulty parts.
Here are five of the common car air conditioning problems together with the best pieces of advice to fix them.
1. Moisture and pungent odors
An air conditioner lowers the inside temperature of your vehicle. It also cools, dries and cleans the air by forcing the warmer air to release outside. If moisture or debris contaminates the air conditioner installed in the car, it will fail to cool the surroundings.
Bacteria, fungi and microorganisms may develop when the air conditioning system is not in use, especially during the winter. The dark and damp interior of your car AC is the perfect breeding ground for them, and they often make themselves known in the form of pungent odors.
It’s a great idea to consistently clean the inside of the car, wiping out dust and other small-scaled debris that may cause contamination. Maintenance is the essential tip not just to fix a problem in your car air conditioning but also to avoid the problem.
2. Low Refrigeration Level
The refrigerant is to your car air conditioner while the motor oil is to your engine. By being present in the vehicle, refrigerant levels in your car air conditioning diminish by 15-percent annually. Ironically, it’s during the cold weather and not the hot summer that this loss tends to be greater. When the system is not in use, seals can dry out and impact the productivity of the unit, causing it to go through the refrigerant quicker. It’s also the cause of why the car air conditioner is blowing hot air. Low refrigeration level can be rectified by refilling the gas in the refrigerant tanks or fixing any noticeable leakage.
The car air conditioner blowing hot air sometimes – seems to be the terrifying thing to discover when you are on a long trip in the middle of the scorching summer heat. The truth is an AC problem is quite common due to the frequency of damaged components and leaks. If the refrigerant level is going down despite refilling repeatedly, there must be a puncture somewhere. You have to know how to check your car AC for leaks.
Car AC leak repair is a complicated and expensive process. However, you can still do it given that you have adequate knowledge, the right tools and patience. If you are curious to know how to fix the AC leak, these two methods will be useful:
• Apply a super seal
The sealant is an inexpensive, quick-fix way to seal small leaks in the air conditioning system. You can find the R-134a Super Seal in almost any auto parts stores.
How to use it?
Kick off the engine and turn the knob of the AC and fan to the maximum. Attach a hose to the Super Seal can and connect the hose coupler to the low-pressure port. After transferring the liquid, refill the system with R-134a refrigerant. Run the AC for at least 15 minutes to allow the Super Seal to spread across the system.
•Work on the evaporator
No Super Seal can fix any evaporator leak. You have to either repair it or replace it altogether. You can cut and crimp the tube to fix pinhole size ruptures. A bit of soldering can help in this regard.
When the puncture is bigger, replacing the evaporator with a new one is the only solution. You have to remove the dashboard to set the evaporator up. You also need to vacuum the system before recharging it.
3. Soiled Condenser
The condenser is responsible for cooling the high-pressure refrigerant vapors exiting the compressor. Blockage of the condenser due to the presence of dirt, grime or debris will constrict the airflow so that no cooling will take place.
To fix it yourself, open the engine hood and get access to the radiator system of the vehicle. This will be the place where the condensers are located in most of the cars manufactured these days. Disconnect the in and out pipes of the condenser unit.
Find the condenser inside the protective cover beside the radiator grille. The same might also be found above the radiator in some cases. Wherever the condenser is located, we need to gain access to that part so that we can dismantle the condenser section alone without disturbing the other parts of the engine or the AC system.
Remove the screws and lift the protective cover; lift the condenser unit away from the radiator grille. Open the box hinges on it and wipe the residue found at the bottom of the plate in it. This will clean the bottom section of the condenser.
Remove the clippings inside to dismantle the condenser module from the box covering. This should be cleaned well with the soft dry cloth. Clean the entry and exit pipes of the airflow duct in the box cover to facilitate easier motion flow of the vapor / liquid refrigerant.
Place the cleaned parts into the slots of the box cover, place it over the radiator slot where you found it, and screw the cover back in place. Reconnect the disconnected air flow pipes.
A clogged condenser can be cleaned by employing a good quality of flushing agent that vaporizes quickly and does not leave residue in the system. Replace the capacitor if it has been used for many years and has given you problems recently. If the rest of your AC is in good condition, the lower cost of replacing this one component should far outweigh the headache of having to replace the entire system down the line.
4. Mechanical Complications
A malfunctioning compressor, defective compressor clutch, defunct pressure switch or non-working valve will lead to inadequate cooling or no cooling at all. Because so many little things are potential repairs waiting to happen, just run routine checks so that when something does crop up, you can tackle the issue promptly.
Usually, when a compressor begins to fail, it will produce a few warning signs that alert the driver that it has a problem. The compressor is responsible for pressurizing and distributing the refrigerant, so if there is any problem with the compressor, the rest of the car air conditioning system will be affected.
• Cabin temperatures higher than normal
One of the first signs that a compressor may be having trouble is the AC no longer blowing as cold air as it once did, or in more simple words: car air conditioner blowing hot air sometimes. A damaged or failing compressor will not be able to regulate the refrigerant flow in the AC system properly, and as a result, the AC will not function properly.
• Loud noises when the compressor is running
Loud noises when the AC is switched on is another potential symptom of a failing AC compressor. Much like other accessories driven by the engine’s belts, the AC compressor has several interior components and uses a sealed bearing to turn. If any of the interior components break, or the compressor’s internal bearings fail or seize, then all sorts of noises can be produced as a result. A leaking or worn out bearing will create a high pitched squealing or grinding sound, while a seizing or seized bearing will produce a grinding noise or a noticeable belt squeal. Due to the complexity and nature of how compressors are assembled, it is usually easier to replace the entire compressor instead of attempting a repair.
• The compressor clutch is not moving
Another sign of a problematic compressor is the clutch, not moving. The clutch on the compressor is what allows the pulley to engage and disengage from engine power so that the compressor only turns on when it needs to. The clutch can seize, which permanently keeps the compressor activated; or it can break, which means the compressor will not be able to receive engine power. Sometimes, the clutch itself can be replaced, but usually replacing the entire compressor turns out to be the most efficient repair.
The AC compressor is the heart of the AC system. If you suspect that your AC compressor or another component of your vehicle’s AC system is having issues, consider having the system diagnosed by a professional technician. If necessary, they will also be able to replace the AC compressor for you.
A car air conditioner is very important, especially during the hot summer to keep the cool air inside the vehicle while exterminating warm air inside, keeping you comfortable during your trip. In that case, In that case, its adverse effects are obvious when it failed to work. When the problem of car air conditioner blowing hot air occurs, you can follow the tips stated above. However, if you are not sure of what is wrong with your AC or you can notice that the damage is considerable, you have to call your technician to do the thing with it immediately. Some components of your car air conditioner are so complex that it is better to be replaced than to be repaired. Consistent car air conditioning maintenance will be a better idea than sweat on it or paying a repair fee.