Auto Basics AC Systems Check!

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Get to know the common AC system symptoms & problems

Nobody wants to think about fixing a broken automobile air conditioning system when the weather is cold, but maybe you should. As we move into the summer, however, suddenly having a car air conditioning system that works – and works WELL – becomes a top priority. 

Having an AC system that “kind of” works may be sufficient for you, but faulty AC can cause bigger damage to your car down the road if left unattended. An AC running on low or dirty coolant, or on faulty electrical wiring, can end up ruining the entire air conditioning compressor. Car AC systems are connected to the rest of the vehicle’s electrical system. An electrical surge or an AC malfunction can cause problems with the rest of the car such as poor idling, fuel inefficiencies or drained batteries.

Generally, auto air conditioning systems are fast, easy and inexpensive to fix. Most problems are coolant-related, and may often be as simple as getting a coolant flush or refill or repairing a leak.

With that said, unless you’re a qualified mechanic,  a car’s AC system is not something you want to fix on your own at home. Most do-it-yourself instructions for fixing broken AC’s contain scary phrases, like “it is illegal to release freon gas into the atmosphere” and “be sure to wear proper hand and eye protection”; it’s best to leave this up to the professionals.

Here are a few of the problems most commonly found in auto air conditioning systems:

1) Coolant and/or Refrigerant Leaks

2) Noisy AC Compressor

3) Fluctuating Temperatures

4) Faulty Car Electrical System

5) Bacteria Buildup

So how can you tell if any of these are a problem for your car’s air conditioning unit? Here’s a basic checklist of symptoms which indicate something is wrong with your AC:


– If you do not get cold air when you turn on your AC system

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– If the fan or blower doesn’t work
– If there is noise from the fan, blower or AC when turned on
– If one of the dashboard controls malfunctions
– If the air conditioning smells funky
– If the air filter or dryer have never been replaced, or if the AC has never been serviced before

If one of these symptoms applies to your car’s air conditioning system, it’s probably time to have it inspected by a mechanic. Caught early, most auto air conditioning problems are fairly easy and inexpensive to fix.