How to Know When Your Car’s Air Conditioner Needs Attention

interior of car with focus on air conditioning

With the hot weather in full force, the last thing you want to deal with is a broken air conditioner in your car. In general, a car’s air conditioning system will give you a warning when it is about to malfunction. If you take quick action when you notice these signs, you can fix any issues that would leave you without cold air in hot weather.

Here are some signs you can use to determine if your car’s air conditioner is in need of repair.

The Cooling Level Is Decreased

When you know how your car’s air conditioner functions under normal circumstances, you can notice if the temperature suddenly does not cool like normal. If this happens, your system needs attention.

At first, you may not notice the decrease in cool air because it can be very minimal. You may attribute the change in cool temperature to a really hot day or the air flow is not as strong. Eventually, the change will be more noticeable. The air flow can be faint or almost non-existent. The air could also be warm even when you have the setting set to cold.

Your airflow may act abnormally for many reasons. For instance, mildew and mold can build up on the evaporator, which prevents the air from getting to the vents. Other issues can be attributed to a damaged or loose hose. If the air is not cool, the ventilation fan could be damaged.

You Hear Strange Sounds

If you hear any odd sounds when the air conditioner is on, you could have a problem. Typically, you should not hear any sounds coming from the air conditioner except for the flow of air through the vents.

The air conditioner relies on the compressor. The compressor is what helps build up pressure within the system and causes proper flow of refrigerant. The compressor uses a pulley bearing. When the bearing wears out, the air conditioner will squeak or grind.

The compressor also uses a clutch, which can wear out over time. If the clutch wears out, it rattles. In either case, the bearing or the clutch can be changed to repair the problem. However, the compressor itself can wear out, which will require a replacement.

You Smell Odd Smells

Another indicator of a failing air conditioning system is odd smells coming from the air flow vents. If you smell an old, musty smell, the cabin filter is either dirty or too old. Mold can also cause bad smells to get into the car. If either of these issues occur, you should have the system checked to clear up the air in the car.

Water Gathers Inside the Car

If you begin to see pools of water in the car when you run the air conditioner, you could have any number of issues. In normal circumstances, the air conditioner should drain any water away from the car.

In some cases, the drain which moves the water away can get blocked, which causes water to back up and pool inside the car, which then causes mold and mildew growth, undesirable smells, and more.

If the drains are blocked, the water can build under the floor mats or underneath the dashboard. This leakage can be due to a variety of problems, so be sure to have it checked.

If your car’s air conditioning system needs attention, call us at BRAKEmax right away. We can look at the system and help diagnose the problem. We offer a wide range of additional services, including oil changes, brakes, transmission repair, and more. We offer leading technology with diagnostics, computer updates, and flashing services.

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