Common Problems With Car Air Conditioning Systems

Posted on: 28 September 2016


Air conditioning in your car is great, especially in the summer. With a flick of a switch, you get a rush of cold, dry air that banishes all the heat and humidity. Sometimes, however, something goes wrong and you're left wondering why your vehicle's air conditioning isn't working anymore. Here are three of the most common problems with your car's AC and what can cause them.

Warm Air Blowing

When warm air blows instead of icy cold, there are quite a few things that could cause it. The main reason for warm or hot air blowing is because the coolant can't get the heat out of the air. That can be due to a number of reasons. The number one reason is low coolant. If there's not enough coolant, there's not enough to suck up the heat, leaving you with warm air in your face. This is a fairly easy fix, however; you just need to top up the coolant. Most hardware and auto stores will have refill kits in stock. If you aren't sure what to do, ask one of the service attendants for help.  

Something Stinky

Sometimes you turn on your air conditioner and it just smells weird. It doesn't matter what the odor is, you just know it doesn't belong blowing out of your vents. In this case, the smell can be caused by many things. If the odor has been gradually building up, it's likely due to mold or some other residue that has accumulated in the vents. The best way to get rid of this odor is to clean the short ducts and (if your car is equipped with one) replace the filter. It's also a good idea to have the AC unit inspected, because mold requires a damp environment to grow. A properly functioning AC will dehumidify air, retarding mold growth.

Ice on the AC

If you open up the hood of your car and see ice on your air conditioner, that's an issue. This means there isn't sufficient air flow through the evaporator, which causes the coil temperature to drop below freezing. It can also be a sign that there is low coolant or even a leak. It's important to have this repaired immediately. Ice, if left to accumulate, will cause permanent damage to your AC.

While not every problem you have with your car's air conditioner is dangerous, in most cases you should still have it checked out by a licensed service technician, like one from Terwood Auto Repair. After all, the worst time to be stuck without it is during these summer months when you want it the most.