6 Reasons Why Your Car Aircon Isn’t Working
What once was a great luxury in cars has now become a very common feature. An essential item in every motor vehicle – especially if you live in Australia – there’s absolutely no fun in being suffocated with warm air blowing out of your unit on a hot summer’s day.
But unlike your tyre pressure and engine level checks, most air conditioning systems rarely get any TLC. Quite frankly, we forget about it all entirely. That is – until you go to heat your car up on a freezing winter morning or when winding the windows down in summer isn’t going to cut it. Keeping your car cool and maintaining a comfortable temperature throughout the year enables you to get the most enjoyment from your air conditioning system and car journeys. There’s a few tell-tale signs when your system fails, from cold air turning warm and weak air flow, but why isn’t working how it should be?
1. It Hasn’t Been Serviced, Since Forever!
No doubt you get your car serviced on a regular basis but when was the last time you had your air con system thoroughly checked by a professional? The same way your car needs to be serviced to keep it running smoothly, your heating and cooling system requires maintenance.
Failing to get the system serviced not only leads to reduced performance – usually when you need it the most! But it can also lead to increased fuel usage. Many problems associated with your car’s air conditioning system can be eliminated with a yearly service and re-gas. During the service a professional will check all components, add refrigerant oil, inspect drive belts and pulleys, read temperature and conduct a leak test.
2. There’s Idling Issues
If your car air conditioning is not working or not cooling efficiently at idle, it can be a sign there’s a lack of air flow across the condenser. To determine if it’s this issue, make sure the electric cooling fan motor near the condenser is coming on. Systems that are equipped with a fan blade will need to be checked to ensure the blade is spinning very fast.
Engine overheating can have a significantly negative effect on your air con system too. Most cars have two cooling fans – for the air con and for the radiator, and both need to be working properly to prevent air con problems and the engine overheating. Low pressure levels can also contribute to idling issues and should be checked by a professional.
3. A Build-up of Bacteria
As your car ages; bacteria, mould and fungi can start growing on the evaporator. Usually this causes unpleasant odours in the vehicle – especially when you first turn your air con system on, and can result in headaches and flu like symptoms.
Accumulation of this bacteria and mould will prevent the air reaching the air vents over time. This will contribute to weak air flow or a lack of cold air. The problem can be solved by a thorough service of the system which includes the use of an anti-bacterial treatment designed to kill the growth. It’ll also leave your car smelling fresh and air con system working efficiently again.
4. It Needs a Re-Gas
One of the top reasons the system needs a yearly service is to re-gas it. The refrigerant gas used to operate the system will deplete over time with an average of 15% loss each year. If the system is left too long without a service or re-gas, the seals will dry out resulting in a detrition of the system’s performance or costly leaks. This damage can be permanent until eventually the system won’t work at all.
5. The System is Leaking or Blocked
System leaks can be caused from a build-up of bacteria but also blockages of dirt, leaves and bugs. Leading to weak air flow and warm air when the system should be blowing cool, leaks and blockages can be detrimental to the system if left untreated.
Leaks in the refrigerant can be a sign it needs to be re-charged ore-gassed – two major issues that can be eliminated with a regular service. System leaks or blockages are one of the most common reasons your car’s air con is not blowing as cold of air as you would like.
6. You Haven’t Been Using it All Year Round
Running your air conditioning system all year round will help keep things running smoothly. Don’t just wait to the hot summer month’s to crank your air con, keep it lubricated and leak proof by using it during winter and the remaining seasons too.
Turning your system on a regular basis will assist the refrigerant to carry the oil through the system to keep it lubricated. This also helps the compressor to keep working effectively and prevents the seals, hoses and valves from drying out and leaking.
By taking your car to a professional air conditioning servicer for a check, re-gas and repair, you can eliminate a lot of mechanical issues within your vehicle’s system. A healthy air con system can contribute to a healthy, happy car and save you money in the long run.
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Autospark – Perth’s leading auto electrician to service, re-gas and repair your air conditioning system. You can catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.