Posted by Will Parrish Uncategorized

Is Your Car Air Conditioning Letting You Down?

air conditioning repair

If you turn on your car’s air conditioning (AC) you should quickly begin to feel cool air blowing from the vents.  If the air is not cold, there could one of many things going on. You may need air conditioning repair.

Your car’s air conditioning system works very similar to your unit at home. Generally, it is a closed operating system with elements of high and low pressure that condition the air by removing the heat and humidity.

Check Your Car Air Conditioning Settings

The first thing to check is that you have the appropriate settings. Each AC system works a little differently. You can find the proper settings in your owner’s manual. Options include:

  • Move the control knob to the blue area
  • Set an operating temperature
  • Press a button with a snowflake
  • Press a button to select recirculating cabin air vs fresh air intake.

No Cold Air? Possible Causes

If your air conditioning settings are correct and you don’t feel cold air, you may have a leak in the system that allowed your refrigerant to escape.  Without the proper amount of refrigerant (Freon or other), the compressor will fail to operate.

AC that isn’t producing cold air could also have a problem with a system component such as the compressor, condenser, evaporator or drier. To cool the car, the system pulls the hot humid air from inside the vehicle, passing the dry air over the evaporator, then blowing it into the cabin. If one element of the system is not right, then we sweat!

Air Conditioning Repair Options

The most common way to attack the problem is to recharge the entire system with a dye additive.  If the components are operating once fully charged, then we can begin to look for a leak.

A leak can be very small and take days to detect or can be large and the system will empty straight away. Using a light and glasses we can easily spot the fluorescent dye if it escapes.

Many auto stores sell cans of refrigerant that you can use to top off the system. Be careful. Too much refrigerant can have the same impact as not enough and shut down the compressor.

Don’t assume the worst. Take the car to an auto repair shop and let them do the proper diagnosis. It’s better for the environment and, in the end, your pocketbook!

Here at Dulles South Chantilly Automotive we are a qualified shop to evaluate and fix car AC systems. Stop on by and we’ll give you an honest assessment of your AC system.


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