It never seems to fail, the hottest day of the summer and your automotive air conditioning system decides not to work. All you are getting is a feeble, slightly less than air temperature stream of air out of the vents. If all is going according to par, this will typically happen over a weekend when your favourite mechanic is enjoying his days off.
There are some simple and quick automotive air conditioning troubleshooting tips that may allow you to get a few more days out of the system before getting it in to be checked by a mechanic or automotive air conditioning technician. The following are simple, easy troubleshooting tips that can help you solve the problem or at least be able to better describe the situation to the mechanic.
Check the condenser fan motor to make sure it is running.
The condenser is at the front of the car, under the hood near the radiator. In older models of cars there will be a visible fan, make sure the blades are turning when the automotive air conditioning dial or switch is in the “on” position. If the car is a recent model, there will not be blades visible but you should be able to hear the electric motor of the fan engage. If the fan is not turning the heat is not being removed from the Freon, which in turn is not allowing the evaporator core in the dash to cool off the air since the Freon is hot. Sometimes a blown fuse can be replaced or a wire needs to be reconnected to the fan to correct the problem. The fuse diagram in the owner’s manual will indicate which fuse controls the condenser fan motor.
The engine is overheating.
If the engine of the vehicle is running too hot either because of an emissions system or exhaust problem, the system will not allow the Freon to cool significantly enough to cool the air in the passenger area of the vehicle. Most engines have their own cooling fan, make sure that it is running. In addition check to make sure that there is enough coolant in the vehicles reservoir to make sure proper engine temperature.
Freon levels or pressure are too low.
Only a trained professional should work with the automotive air conditioning system as Freon is hazardous. If the pressure or levels of Freon drop in the car the cooling ability of the system is dramatically decreased. Have the vehicle tested by a garage that has air conditioning repair certification to check this problem. If you think their may be a small leak in the system buy a can of dye, available in the automotive air conditioning area of the auto store, and add it to the system using the directions on the can. You can then check for leaks in the hoses along the air conditioning system. Big leaks will be evident by the staining or discolouration along the hose or tubing.