The 5 Most Common Car Air Conditioning Problems

Having an air conditioning issue in your vehicle can make rides uncomfortable as you struggle to deal with hot weather. 

Here is a guide addressing how an automobile’s air conditioning works, common air conditioning problems, and the solutions you need to cool your cabin. 

How Does a Vehicle’s Air Conditioning System Work?

Your air conditioning (A/C) system comprises of five main components, including: 

Compressor

This is an essential component of a car’s A/C as it pressurizes refrigerant to cool the air. Refrigerant is a gaseous substance used for cooling.

Furthermore, the compressor senses temperature changes inside and outside your car while controlling the temperature output. 

Condenser 

Located at the front of the radiator, the condenser receives air from the compressor and works to reduce the temperature/pressure of hot gasses coming from the refrigerant. 

Receiver or Dryer

A receiver or dryer works to separate gas from the liquid while taking away moisture. It has filters that protect the A/C from contaminants.

Thermal Expansion Valve

Located between the condenser and evaporator, it monitors the pressure and temperature in your A/C system before calculating the exact amount of refrigerant that can go safely into the evaporator for cooling. 

Evaporator

Behind the dashboard, the evaporator is in charge of cooling the air with the refrigerant before the air is blown in your vehicle’s cabin. 

Air Conditioning Problems

Why Does a Car’s Air Conditioning Stop Working? 

There are five common reasons why car air conditioners stop functioning. 

1. There’s an A/C Refrigerant Leak 

Your refrigerant is as vital to your air conditioner as oil is to your engine. These leaks tend to happen more in the winter than summer because the system isn’t used much in cold months. Because it doesn’t run frequently, seals dry out and the refrigeration levels lower, causing warm air to blow out of your unit. 

When your car loses refrigerant, chances are there is a leak. By law, you need to perform a leak test. You can buy leak detectors (with sensors) to find where the leaks are, but your best option is to head to your trusted dealership for maintenance. 

2. Your Cooling Fan is Defective 

Another common issue is that your cooling fan isn’t functioning properly. 

A functional cooling fan saves energy by running only when the air conditioning system needs to remove excess heat from the engine. When the cooling fan is broken, your car will only emit hot air, compromising your car’s air quality. The cooling fan may be broken due to debris accumulation, a faulty cooling fan temperature switch, blown fuses, or electrical issues. 

You will need to have your Hyundai checked in such instances. A qualified mechanic can inspect wiring and connectors and test the cooling fan motor.

3. The Condenser or Radiator is Defective

If your condenser isn't working, the high-pressure refrigerant vapours exiting the compressor won't be cooled, constricting the airflow. This can be caused by debris build-up or breakage. 

If defective, the refrigerant will leak and the A/C system will stop working. The condenser uses many seals and tubes, which experience wear and tear over time. You can determine leakage if you discover an oily, greenish residue around the affected area. 

A broken radiator, meanwhile, may knock out an A/C drive belt, freon line, or wiring, causing the system to malfunction. A replacement of the condenser or radiator is required to fix the issue. 

4. A Bad A/C Compressor 

A compressor malfunction or defective compressor clutch can lead to inadequate cooling or no cooling at all from your air conditioning system. 

If cabin temperatures are higher than normal or there are loud noises when the compressor runs, then it has failed. If the compressor’s interior components break or its sealed bearing seizes, you may hear high-pitched noises. 

The A/C unit will need to be switched on, and the compressor or clutch switch must be checked to see if they are working. Your maintenance team can check the system for issues and repairs.  They will check whether or not the oil inside the compressor has been contaminated and then flush the A/C unit before adding fresh oil. 

5. There’s an Electrical Issue 

Electrical issues within your Hyundai’s air conditioning may be a result of loose connections, such as damaged wires, blown fuses, or broken temperature sensors. The longer you fail to address electrical problems, the more you risk acid build-up. Acid build-up can damage and corrode components so much that a full A/C system replacement is required.

If you have your A/C system inspected when recommended in your vehicle maintenance schedule it can help you avoid costly repairs done the road. Be sure to consult your owners manual and schedule your next appointment with the experts at Cooksville Hyundai!

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