What to Do If Your Car’s AC Doesn’t Run Cold | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

What to Do If Your Car’s AC Doesn’t Run Cold

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As we approach the hot summer months, driving in a car that doesn’t have working air conditioning (AC) can be miserable. If your car’s AC isn’t running cold air, these could be the possible problems. It can get really hot outside — so just imagine how hot your car can get. Unfortunately, sometimes we can experience issues with how our car’s AC is running. If your car isn’t blowing cold air, read on to learn why you could be experiencing this and what you need to do.

Common Reasons AC Doesn’t Run Cold 

In modern cars, it is reasonable to expect an air conditioning system to be dependable for 100,000 miles or more. However, sometimes problems happen. Nothing can ruin your day quite like realizing you don’t have working AC in your car on a hot summer day. The most common causes of broken air conditioning leaks or compression issues. If you are feeling cool — but not cold — air, the issue could be a clogged filter, a problem with the cooling fan, signs of radiator trouble, or it could simply mean it’s time to recharge your AC. If you’re not sure what’s causing your problem, here’s a diagnosing guide from AutoZone

If your AC is cold but not cold: 

If the air conditioning is set to the max cool setting but is only blowing slightly cool air, you should:

  • Check to see that the cooling fans on the condenser or radiator are running when the air conditioning is on. 
  • Look for any restrictions like leaves, bugs, or dirt that could be preventing air from passing over the condenser.
  • Check the cabin air filter to make sure it’s not clogged. 

Look at the AC compressor:

When trying to get the source of your AC issue, it’s best to begin at the compressor. To do this, follow these steps:

  • With the engine running, turn the AC on max cool. Set your fans to high, and make sure that the clutch is engaging on the compressor. 
  • If the clutch is not engaging and the system has refrigerant, use a voltmeter to check for voltage getting to the compressor. The clutch may be bad if there is voltage. If there is no voltage, a cycling switch may be bad, a fuse could be blown, or the system may not have enough refrigerant pressure to trip the low pressure cutoff switch that cycles the compressor. 

Low air pressure:

One of the most common reasons air conditioning systems experience problems is due to a leak. If air pressure is low, it could signal a leak. To check for a leak, AutoZone recommends following these steps:

  • The easiest way to detect a leak is by using a UV AC leak detection kit.
  • If you don’t have a kit, check around all fittings to make sure they are all secure.
  • Check hose manifolds on the compressor.
  • Look at the front seal and the o-rings sealing the pressure switches on the back of the compressors.
  • Check where the hoses are crimped onto the fittings.
  • Look at the Schrader Valves. 
  • Check for pin holes in the condenser. 
  • Look where the evaporator drains condensation with UV light. Sometimes oil or dye can be seen. 

Feel Cold Air Again with Scott’s Auto

The warm summer months are just around the corner and it can get smokin’ hot out — but your car shouldn’t be while you’re driving it. If you think your car’s AC isn’t functioning properly, stop by and see us. We want to make sure you ride comfortably this summer. With five convenient Scott’s Auto locations around Colorado — we have a team of the best professionals at every location fully equipped to help you stay cool in the warm summer months. 

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