6 signs that indicate your car’s AC system needs immediate service

Nothing can be more uncomfortable and unbearable than having your air conditioner suddenly break down while you’re on the road in the middle of summer, or somewhere warm. Even if you can pull down the windows, the air coming from outside won’t cool you down.

You will end up inhaling smoke, dust, and other pollutants that won’t do anything good for your health, too.

If you want to have a cooling system you can use any time of the year, you need to have it checked and maintained frequently. More importantly, you have to bring your vehicle to a trusted car AC service center immediately if you notice any signs that it is starting to malfunction, or it is not working as efficiently as before.

If you don’t know when to have your car air conditioner checked and inspected by a professional, take note of these warning signs:

The car is not cooling up

This warning sign is the most obvious and easiest one to spot. If you turn on the AC and there is no cold air coming out of the vents, you already have a problem with your system.

In case you feel hot air coming out from the vents, you also need to bring your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible.

There are several reasons why your system is not cooling your vehicle down or making it even hotter. These include damaged cooling fans, low refrigerant level or clogged vents or cabin air filters.

A quick trip to a service center will enable you to have a working air conditioner again. More importantly, you will avoid dealing with a more complex issue, one that will cost more to fix.

Suddenly weak airflow

In case you can feel air blowing from the vents but is weaker than usual and it is now taking longer to cool down your vehicle, you have a problem on your hands, too.

When the ventilation is not as strong as before, it usually means that the air is having difficulties reaching the vents. This can be due to mildew or mold buildup in the evaporator core, a loose blower hose, an opened or exposed core case, blower house, or evaporator core seals, or an overheated ventilation fan.

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Another possible reason would be an insufficient amount of refrigerant in the AC unit due to leaks.

If you notice this sign and do not have your vehicle inspected and serviced straight away, you will strain the system further. And this can cause more problems in the future.

A mechanic that specializes in air conditioner repair will be able to pinpoint the exact cause of this problem and provide the needed fix.

Small puddles or water stains inside your vehicle

When you see water leaking out from the dashboard when you turn on the AC, or stains and puddles on the mat, this is a clear indication that you need to have a pro check your cooling system.

A leaking dashboard is often caused by a clogged hose. The blockage prevents the tube from siphoning the water out.

A leaking dashboard is a car issue that you should address immediately. If you don’t, it can damage other components.

Unpleasant smell coming from the vents

Feeling hot air blowing from the vents is an uncomfortable experience. However, smelling something bad when you turn on the air conditioner can even be more unpleasant and worrying.

When there is a foul odor coming out of the vents, there is a big chance that there’s mold inside the cooling unit.

Although the bad smell may be your primary concern, there are other things you have to worry about. The presence of mold in your AC system means that you are inhaling unhealthy and unsafe air that can trigger allergic reactions or aggravate existing or underlying respiratory diseases.

Strange or loud noises when you turn on the AC

You should only hear the fan working whenever you turn on the air conditioner. However, if there are banging sounds or rattling noises coming from the unit as well, you should have it checked as soon as possible.

These unusual noises can be caused by a number of things, which include debris (leaves, twigs, and trash) getting stuck in the blower motor, worn-out condenser and faulty compressor belt

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Cleaning or replacing these parts requires a professional. As such, bring your car to a service center when you hear these loud noises.

The compressor clutch is not engaging

A car AC compressor clutch connects and disconnects power to a vehicle’s AC compressor shaft. If your compressor clutch is not moving, this is a clear indication that your cooling system has a big problem.

When it does not engage, it can seize, which will keep the compressor activated permanently. Another possible consequence is that it can break, which will prevent the compressor from receiving power.

In the second instance, you will have no option but to have the entire compressor replaced.

If you’re not ready to buy a new car yet to feel cool and comfortable whenever you are on the road, remember these signs. Ensure you get your AC unit inspected and serviced as soon as possible when you notice them.

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Mahesh Rohra is the Managing Director of AWR Strategic Ventures, part of the AW Rostamani Automotive Group, a trailblazer in the automotive fraternity with a legacy of over 50 years.

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