Why Is My Car’s Air Conditioner Blowing Hot Air?

July 6, 2017

Diagnosing Car Air Conditioning Problems

You get behind the wheel on a surprisingly warm day and decide to turn on the air conditioner. Uh-oh. The air that flows from the vents is not as cool as you think it should be. After you drive for a little while longer, the air still isn’t cooling down. Why is your car blowing hot air?

Air conditioning repairs can be very tricky. Your car uses refrigerant to cool the air that is circulated in the vehicle. Unlike other fluids in your vehicle, such as engine oil, brake fluid, or coolant, you do not have to change or service the refrigerant (or Freon) every once in a while. Most vehicles today use a type of refrigerant called HFC134a or HFO1234yf, and both refrigerants do not “go bad” or become contaminated like other fluids over time. Refrigerants should only need to be replaced if there is a refrigerant leak in the system.

If you do have a leak in your air conditioning system, it can be caused by something as simple as a loose fitting, bad seal or “o” ring, an old hose, or worn part. Refrigerant leaks can be very difficult to detect because refrigerant is a colorless and odorless gas. Additionally, once a leak does occur the system becomes what we call an “open system” – this means that moisture may enter the A/C system and combine with the refrigerant. This mixture creates an acid that contaminates the system and may cause various components to malfunction or need additional service.

However, a leak is not always the reason that your car’s air conditioner is blowing hot air.

A failed electrical or mechanical component may be to blame. Your A/C system is made up of many working parts, including a compressor, condenser, evaporator, lines & hoses, blower motor, solenoid, as well as blend & mode doors, controls, switches, fluids and control modules. If one of these should break or malfunction for any reason, you may find your car’s A/C not working properly. Other issues might include internal pressure problems, control problems, or electrical problems.

Once you detect that your air conditioning system is not performing as well as it should be, schedule an appointment with a trustworthy a/c automotive repair shop right away. The longer a problem is ignored, the more damage it may cause (especially if there is a leak in the system).

If you suspect your car’s A/C is not blowing cool air, contact a Rad Air location for an appointment. Check out our current specials and learn more about how you can get 0% financing for your repair. Rad Air automotive technicians are Northeast Ohio’s air conditioning experts with the experience and tools necessary to repair the system in the best, most affordable way without sacrificing quality.

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