What To Do When Your Car’s AC Stops Working
The air conditioning system in your car or truck has a few critical parts that can affect the system's operation. If the AC in your vehicle suddenly stops working, taking the vehicle to an AC repair shop is often the best solution.
Low Refrigerant Level
One of the most common causes of AC failure in your car or truck is low refrigerant in the system. Several things can cause the level to drop, but in most cases, it is due to a leak in the system that allows the refrigerant level to fall slowly over an extended period.
The AC repair shop can check the level and the pressure in the system for you, and if they find it low, a leak test can be performed to determine where the leak is. A fitting in the system can often start to leak, or the AC condenser can get punctured by a rock or debris on the road and allow the level to drop without you noticing it until the AC stops working.
The AC repair shop can add some dye to the refrigerant system and then pressurize it to see where the dye comes out. Even a pinhole will allow the dye to pass through and mark the leak's location for the technician to find. Once the leak is discovered, an AC tech can repair it pretty quickly, but it may require replacing the condenser or a refrigerant line that is leaking.
Another common issue with the AC system in older cars involves the failure of the AC compressor. The compressor pressures the AC system, and if it is not working correctly, the system will not get cold.
In some cases, the compressor's clutch is the failure point, and other times, the compressor seizes up from sitting and not being used. In either case, the car will need to go to an AC repair shop so that the compressor can be replaced and the refrigerant in the system replaced and recharged to the correct pressure.
Replacing the compressor is not a difficult job. Still, the refrigerant lines need to be taken loose, and that requires having the right equipment to capture the old refrigerant for proper disposal. Once the lines are off the compressor, the remaining job requires a few bolts, an electrical connection, and a belt to be removed; then, the unit can come off the engine and be replaced with a new one.
Most AC repair shops can replace the compressor and get the system running for you, but be prepared that the parts' cost can be expensive for most cars. For more information about broken AC repair, contact a local auto shop.