Most Common Car AC Problems

car ac problemsThe most common car AC problems all manifest themselves in the same way.  Warm air either blows out of your vents some of the time or all the time.  Depending on the time of year and the part of the country you live in, this can be a mild inconvenience, or a crisis large enough to make you stop driving your car due to the AC problems.

Most common car AC problems:

  • Failed condenser fan
  • Failed compressor
  • Electrical problem
  • Ventilation system malfunction
  • Fast or slow leak

One of the most common problems with the air conditioning system in your car isn’t actually a problem with your air conditioning system at all.  Your vehicle is equipped with electric fans that cool the condenser at the front of your car while your car is stopped or traveling at low speeds.  The fans often double as cooling fans for your engine’s cooling system as well so if they fail it can cause even bigger problems.  These fans usually fail due to blown fuses or bad relays, but sometimes the fan motor can short or burn up as well.  For information on chasing down electrical faults like these, check out our article on diagnosing electrical problems.

Another one of the car AC problems you might experience is a failed compressor.  The AC compressor in your car is simple but it operates at such high pressures it’s not usual for it the fail even with normal operation.  If your air conditioning system is ever opened due to a leak or to replace a component, it can allow contamination in the system increasing your chances of a failed compressor.  To check for compressor failure, measure the pressure rise across the compressor using a set of mechanic’s AC gauges and compare it to the factory specifications.  If the pressure rise is too low, your compressor is probably failing or failed.

Electrical problems are frustrating anywhere in your car but can cause mysterious problems in your air conditioning system as well.  As sensors fail or wires short they can cause problems to appear one minute and be gone the next.  If you’ve got a problem that comes and goes you might start by checking your system’s sensors for proper operation and the compressor signal wire for a short.

Another problem that isn’t actually in your air conditioning system is a problem with your ventilation system.  Your ventilation system is designed with the heater core after the AC evaporator so you can have warm dry air to defog your windows.  The problem here is that if the ventilation system fails it could be warming the air conditioned air making it feel like your AC isn’t working when in fact it’s working just fine.  If you suspect this is your problem try checking your air blend door actuator and the door itself for damage.

Leaks are the most common of the car AC problems you might experience.  A fast leak will often leave your air conditioning suddenly broken and when you measure the pressure will turn up zero psi on either side of the compressor.  Slow leaks often leave you with cool but not cold air and can cause your system to lose efficiency of the course of days or even weeks.  If you suspect a leak in your system, add Red Angel A/C Stop Leak & Conditioner to your system to condition the seals and stop and small leaks you might have.  Then refill your system with refrigerant and get back to being cool and comfortable.

Red Angel AC Stop Leak & Conditioner





You can find Red Angel AC Stop Leak & Conditioner at any of our partnering local auto parts retailers like:

  • AutoZone
  • Advance Auto Parts
  • Bennett Auto Supply
  • CarQuest Auto Parts
  • NAPA Auto Parts
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts
  • Pep Boys
  • Fast Track
  • Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts Specialists
  • S&E Quick Lube Distributor
  • DYK Automotive
  • Fisher Auto Parts stores
  • Auto Plus Auto Parts stores
  • Hovis Auto & Truck Supply stores
  • Salvo Auto Parts
  • Advantage Auto Stores
  • Genuine Auto Parts stores
  • Bond Auto Parts stores
  • Tidewater Fleet Supply
  • Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts
  • Any Part Auto Parts
  • Consumer Auto Parts

Pictures Provided By:

car_ac_problems.jpg – By jimdoberman – Licensed by Getty Images – Original Link

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