Picture this. It’s a typical hot summer day. You just got done winning an intense kickball game. You are hot and exhausted. All you want to do is cool down and head home to have a relaxing evening. When you get to your car, you blast the AC. You wait and wait, but it never gets cold. It’s actually blowing hot air! How could this be? Well, it could be a couple of different factors. The three most common issues it could be are a refrigerant leak, a worn-out compressor or problems with the electrical system.
If you are experiencing a refrigerant leak, this is because your AC system is no longer sealed properly, and the refrigerant in your car is now evaporating into gas. This happens because it is no longer under the pressure of a closed-looped AC system. If your pressure level drops too low, you will have to get it recharged before it can start working correctly again.
The air conditioning system’s compressor is the power unit which helps turn refrigerant from gas to liquid to pull the heat from your car's cabin. Just like other parts of your car, a compressor can wear out over time. To prolong the life of your vehicle’s air compressor, you should run the AC for at least 10 minutes a month — regardless of the temperature outside — and get an AC diagnostic check periodically.
The AC system is a maze of wires, fuses and pressure switches. This causes it to be one of the most difficult problems to diagnose. If any part of the maze fails to work properly, the system will shut down because it is no longer safe for the operator.
There are other potential reasons why your AC is blowing hot air, but these are the most common problems car owners run into. If you believe your AC is having issues, bring your car in to a trained and experienced auto repair technician to diagnose what exactly is behind your cooling woes. Your passengers will thank you!