Possible Reasons Your Car's AC Isn't Keeping You Cool

One form of auto repair you probably won't put off long in the summer is fixing a broken air conditioner. An air conditioner is vital if you want to arrive at your destination looking fresh and calm. Driving in intense city heat makes you miserable, and it isn't always safe to drive with a window rolled down. Here's a look at some causes of air conditioner trouble in a car.

Low Air Flow From The Vents

If the air feels cold, but the flow isn't strong enough to keep you cool, it's just like having no cool air at all. At least you know the refrigerant should be okay. Low airflow could be a sign that the fan has died or is failing. Clogging can also cause low airflow from the accumulation of debris in the system. Mold can sometimes grow on the air conditioner parts due to condensation and heat, and that can block airflow. If mold is the problem, you might detect a mildew odor when the AC fan kicks on.

Air can also be lost if a hose is loose or a seal is bad and air escapes before it reaches the vents. These problems can be repaired if you take your car to the shop in time. When your car's AC shows signs of low airflow or other problems, early repairs can save you from costly damage later on.

The AC Doesn't Blow Cold Air

An equally annoying problem is when the air blows strong out of the vents, but it isn't cold. This can be caused by problems with the electrical system or the AC compressor, evaporator, or condenser. A big reason for loss of chilled air is a refrigerant leak. When the refrigerant leaks out, the AC can't make cool air. Simply filling the refrigerant is a temporary fix since it will leak out again. The cause of the leak has to be pinpointed and repaired so the system holds refrigerant and starts cooling your car.

While the workings of a car AC may seem mysterious to you, your mechanic has tools that help diagnose the problem. This could involve the use of an electronic leak detector or other means. The cost of repairing a faulty air conditioner will vary depending on the problem. Some repairs are minor, quick, and inexpensive. Others may require more complex work and cost more. Take your car to a mechanic at the first sign of air conditioner trouble, and you might prevent a complete breakdown that costs more to repair.