Getting Your AC System Ready for Summer
The summers in Winston-Salem, NC, are scorching hot. Now is the time to ensure your vehicle’s air conditioning is ready to tackle extreme temperatures. Should your AC stop working in the middle of a sweltering day, it can certainly put a wrench in things.
There are a few common causes of AC breakdowns, such as a leak or compressor failure. Your once icy air can suddenly turn warm and fail to cool the cabin of your car. You could be dealing with an issue like a filter clog or have problems with your cooling fan or radiator. In some instances, the freon levels are low, and your AC needs to be recharged.
Finding the Reason Behind Your AC Failure
The good news is that you don’t need to suffer in that stuffy vehicle when Cloverdale Auto Service can help. The most challenging part of handling AC failure is the diagnostic work. Everyone wants to save money these days, but buying a kit at your local automotive store to recharge the unit might not fix the problem. Throwing your hard-earned cash out the window isn’t wise. Here are some things to consider about AC failure.
1. There Could Be Leaks
Over time, the refrigerant in your AC can leak due to holes or worn fittings. Look around the AC unit for any signs of leakage on the ground. Don’t confuse the condensation water under the car for a leak, which is a common mistake. It doesn’t mean that one isn’t there if you don’t see a leak.
Cloverdale Auto Service uses a leak detection kit to put dye in the system. Using the power of UV light, we can quickly identify the area of concern. Some of the most common places that we find leaks are:
•Fittings and crimps
•O-rings and front seals
•Pin holes in the condenser
2. The Fan Might Work, but It Can Blow Hot Air
If your fan is blasting, but the air it’s providing is warm, it can be a sign of a condenser issue. The AC system inside your car has a condenser and evaporator coil, much like you do in your home’s unit.
Since it’s located on the front of the vehicle, it’s not uncommon for leaves, twigs, and other debris to get into the system and clog things up. Anything that impedes the air from passing over the condenser can cause your air to blow warm.
3. The Compressor Engaging Is Essential for a Functioning System
When you turn your AC to the max settings, the fan should run at full capacity, and you should hear the compressor engage to provide cooling. You can tell when it kicks on because you likely feel the boost or hear it. Under the hood, the clutch engages and disengages a pulley.
We use a pressure gauge to see if your compressor runs on the low side. Commonly, a low-pressure unit doesn’t have the proper refrigerant levels. If you fail to hear the compressor engage and the fluid levels are ideal, we need to use a voltmeter to see if there’s any power. It’s possible that there’s a blown fuse, a bad clutch, or a cycling switch that’s faulty.
The compressor is the pump that sends the freon to the unit, and if it fails to do its job, your vehicle won’t cool down. The compressor is expensive to replace, as it’s common for parts inside the unit to become worn. Having professional diagnostics on this unit is wise before buying parts and trying the DIY method. It may be something that can be fixed without replacing the entire unit.
4. The Evaporator Coil Might Be Compromised
The evaporator coil takes the hot air from the cabin and allows it to pass over the coils to cool. Then, the blower motor assembly transports this cooled air to the vents inside the cabin. Several things can go wrong within this area of the AC system.
For instance, the blower motor assembly can fail to work, so when you engage the system, you feel cool air coming out, but it’s not coming out with any force. Another problem many people experience is a roar coming from the assembly.
This signifies that the unit is at the end of its life expectancy. The coils themselves can become clogged too, or a freon leak may not allow the evaporator to cool the air as it passes over them.
The Importance of AC Inspections
As you can see, diagnosing AC problems is very challenging without proper diagnostic equipment and knowledge of this complicated system. At Cloverdale Auto Service, we can quickly identify the issue to get your AC back up and running. Don’t waste precious time and money trying to fit the unit yourself, as it’s not always as easy as going to the automotive store for quick fixes.
The AC unit has electrical components that can easily be damaged if you’re not skilled in repairs. While watching videos online and trying to save yourself downtime and money is helpful, there are some things that it’s best to leave to the professionals. Is your AC unit ready for the sweltering heat we experience here in the South? If you’re not sure, it never hurts to have an inspection to reduce the chances of complete system failure.