Vehicle AC: What to Do if It Stops Working

If you’ve ever gotten into a hot car on a scorching Ohio summer day, you know how frustrating it can be to find out that your vehicle’s AC isn’t working. Even worse, this problem can be dangerous: with the sun beating down, car interiors can reach deadly temperatures within 60 minutes without air conditioning.

In other words, fixing your AC isn’t just crucial for your comfort. It’s also essential for your health!

If you’re trying to get cool air into your car’s stifling cabin, here’s what you should know.

Troubleshooting for Common Issues

Before you start worrying about repairs, check for a few common problems that can disrupt your car’s air conditioner.

Cloggen Cabin Air Filter

Your car gets air through vents around the base of the windshield and then it goes through an air filter called the Cabin Air Filter. If leaves, dirt, or debris block airflow in this area, you’ll notice issues with your AC.

Remove debris at the bottom of the windshield for an easy fix. Don’t forget to also check your cabin air filters to make sure there are no clogs.

Refrigerant Leak

Refrigerant leaks are the most common culprits we see when an AC is not cooling.

If you have a leak somewhere in your vehicle’s AC system, you may notice a hissing or bubbling sound when the car is quiet. You may also see refrigerant around the compressor or condenser. Look for oily residue or green spots.

Recharging the system with new refrigerant can help in the short term, but you’ll also need to correct the leak for a long-term fix.

Serpentine Belt Issues

Check the serpentine/drive belt for worn edges, splitting, or tearing. When the car is running, you should see the belt spinning. If it isn’t, you may need a replacement.

Compressor Clutch Issues

One last thing to look out for is an issue with the clutch. When your engine and AC are running, your clutch should engage on the compressor.

If the compressor clutch is engaging only once every few seconds, it might mean you have low refrigerant. Adding more may help.

If your clutch isn’t engaging at all, the component may be failing. Contact an expert for auto repair or part replacement.

Contact a Professional

It should come as no surprise that your car’s AC is a delicate system. Because it’s both closed and pressurized, even small changes can affect its performance. Replacing parts requires a system discharge and moisture or dirt contamination can damage its components.

If your car won’t get cold for reasons beyond some of the simple issues above, you’ll want a professional to repair the problem. Thermostat issues, problems with the electrical circuitry, and broken parts are best addressed by a specialist.

Call a well-reviewed local mechanic for help. Be sure to give them information about anything you noticed when you were troubleshooting. Details like strange noises, unusual smells, and the consistency of the air temperature can help your mechanic identify and fix the problem faster.

Fix Your Vehicle’s AC Today

If your AC is not working, diagnosing and fixing the problem fast is essential for your comfort and health. That’s why it’s important to trust a pro with your vehicle’s AC issues.

At RNS Service, our top master technicians are here to get your AC back up and running when you need it most. Contact us today with questions or to schedule service!