How To Diagnose And Repair A Car's Broken Air Conditioner

Did the air conditioning in your car stop working? If so, you'll most likely want to have it fixed before the hot temperatures of summer start to hit. Here are some ways you can quickly diagnose a broken air conditioner, as well as how the problem can be fixed.

AC Diagnosis

There are a few things you can do to diagnose a broken air conditioner on your own. If the air conditioner doesn't do anything when you turn it on, you need to troubleshoot the power going to it. Start by looking at the fuse box in your car and see if any fuses have been tripped. The problem may be as simple as hitting a reset switch, but you may need to replace a broken fuse as well. If the reset switch doesn't do it, try getting a new fuse from your local auto supply store.

If the air conditioner is blowing warm air, then you know the problem is not with the blower receiving power. You most likely have a problem with the evaporator. Small vehicles have one evaporator for the front of the car, but larger vans can have a front and rear evaporator. For a larger car, verify that both evaporators are not working, since the problem may be isolated to a single evaporator. If one is working and not the other, that confirms it is an evaporator issue.

AC Repair

When the air conditioner is giving you problems, your mechanic will start by looking at places where coolant could be leaking from the system. All leaks should be repaired before the system is recharged, or else all that new coolant will flow right back out. This can be done by putting a dye into the system to visibly look for leaks. One a leak is repaired, new coolant will be put into the air conditioner to help make the air cold once again.

If just the rear evaporator in a van is broken, know that you do not have to fix it if the repair is too expensive. You mechanic can actually disconnect the rear evaporator and plug the system so that only the front air evaporator works. The cold air from the front should still be strong enough to cool down your entire vehicle once it gets going, but you'll avoid the necessary repair costs to fix the second evaporator.

Speak to a mechanic shop like Modern Auto Air if you have any other questions about car air conditioning repair.