Understanding how your car air conditioning (AC) works and what happens when it’s not working is important for a couple of reasons. Not only does the air conditioning provide for a more comfortable ride, but it can also affect the performance of your vehicle.
So how do you know if your air conditioning is working correctly or not?
Step 1. Turn the air conditioning on
The first step in diagnosing faulty air conditioning is to turn it on. Start the vehicle
and turn on the aircon to “high” or its maximum setting. Make sure you have the
“recirculation” setting turned off – you want to use fresh air for this diagnosis.
Step 2. Listen closely and smell the air coming from your AC
Is the air coming from the aircon system warm or cold? It should be cold – so if it’s not, there’s definitely something wrong with your AC. It may be time for a recharge (also known as a regas). Does the air smell unusual? If so, this may be a sign of a leak of refrigerant which has a sweet smell like ether or chloroform.
Does the air smell musty? If you don’t use your aircon regularly, there may be bacteria or mould built up in the system.
Are there any odd sounds coming from the vents or AC system? If so, there may be an issue with your compressor that needs repairing or replacing.
Does aircon affect car performance?
If your aircon system has to work harder than normal, this in turns make the
engine work harder. The other components like drive train, alternator, etc (the
parts responsible for horsepower) get less energy or power, and your car doesn’t
run as efficiently as it should.
If your engine doesn’t seem as grunty as it should, it could simply be a case of your aircon system not working properly due to a clogged air filter.
Does a car air ﬁlter affect air conditioning?
If you haven’t changed your car’s air filter in a while, it may have a buildup of dirt
or debris on it that is affecting the AC system. If the cabin air filter is blocked, it
may interfere with the proper functioning of the aircon.
How to clean a car air conditioning system
Start by cleaning the vent slats with a brush dipped in a mild cleanser. This can be a specially made AC vent cleaner or a homemade solution of water with just a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice.
Next, replace the cabin air filter. It’s best to refer to your owner’s manual for
Check that the intake vents on the outside of your car are free from leaves, dirt anddebris.Spray the external vents with a disinfectant cleaner. Turn the AC on to high, roll down the windows, and let the vehicle air out for about ten minutes.
An aircon clean is part of our Mt Roskill Collision Centre aircon check and service – if you’d rather leave this task to the professionals, we’re always happy to help.
When you need car air conditioning repair If your AC blows warm air, it may be time for a recharge or regas. This involves removing the old refrigerant gas from your air conditioning system and replacing it with new refrigerant, so your aircon can run cold again. It’s best to leave this job to the professionals. If the refrigerant gas comes into contact with your skin or eyes, it could cause painful freeze burns.
If your car’s AC continuously stops working, it’s time to bring it in for repairs.
There’s a chance that your aircon system is leaking. Refrigerant does not evaporate in an airtight system, so air must be leaking in.
At Mt Roskill Collision Centre we offer a full aircon check and service to ensure your vehicle is running at its best. Call us on 0800 227 762 or email [email protected] to book yours today.