My Car's A/C Isn't Cold—What's Wrong?
Summer weather may have you reaching for the air conditioning, but when your car’s A/C isn’t working right, you may be wondering just what went wrong. Don’t sweat it though! Our car repair experts are here to explain some of the common reasons your car’s A/C may not be blowing cold air.
Reason #1: You Have a Leak
Leaks are not an uncommon issue for many cars, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Your car uses a refrigerant known as Freon in your air conditioning system, but when it leaks out of your cooling system, your car will have nothing to dispel heat with. Freon can leak out slowly over time or may drain more quickly out of a larger opening.
If you notice fluid under your car, it’s time to schedule an appointment with a trustworthy mechanic. A fluid leak can indicate that you’re A/C is leaking, but it also can be the sign of a much more serious problem. If you notice a leak and your air conditioning isn’t cold, let your mechanic know, so they can check for leaks in your cooling system before checking out any other potential issues.
Reason #2: Your Compressor Won’t Engage
If your home has air conditioning, you’re probably familiar with the compressor unit outside your home. Your car has a similar unit, though it is much smaller. A compressor uses refrigerant to dispel heat and cool the airflow into your car. If there is an electrical fault in your A/C system, your Freon is low, or your vehicle is overheating, the computer in your car may automatically shut off the compressor to protect the system from damage. If there’s an issue in your engine, the air conditioning system is one of the first systems to be shut off.
If this occurs, it can be a sign of a more widespread issue. Your mechanic can check your car for other problems, including electrical issues and overheating issues, to narrow down what could be causing your compressor to shut off.
Reason #3: The Blend Air Door is Stuck
When you switch your car’s climate control from heat to A/C, there is a small door inside your ventilation system that moves to allow heated or cooled air into the system. This part is known as the blend air door, and it can cause a lot of problems with your heating and cooling when it gets stuck. If this door won’t move, your system may continue to blow hot air from the engine, even when you have it switched to air conditioning.
Your mechanic can replace your blend air door easily enough, so take your car into the shop if it is blowing hot air when you have it set to blow cold air.
Reason #4: Your Fan has Stopped Working
There is a fan in your air conditioning system that pushes air through the vents. If your fan isn’t working, your system can’t blow cool air. It can be as simple as a bad wire or as serious as a fan in need of replacement, but your A/C fan can require your entire dashboard to be taken apart. It’s best to consult your mechanic if you think your fan is out of commission, since it can be easy to damage your dash board and interior systems trying to fix your fan.