Your car's air conditioning unit is designed to maintain the comfort level within your car while driving during the summer. However, like all automotive systems, general wear and tear can cause the unit to begin to malfunction and perform poorly over time. Understanding what could be causing your air conditioning problems can help you pinpoint the problem and have it fixed more quickly, before the problem can spread.
One of the most common reasons for a malfunctioning or broken air conditioning system within your car is damage or problems to the electrical system. A single broken wire or burnt out fuse can cause the entire air conditioning system to shut down. In order to pinpoint this problem, check the other electrical components of your car. If you notice any problems with your radio, headlights, power steering, or the like, the issue is probably with your electrical system, as it is rare for a single component to burn out and not affect the rest of the system. You'll have to head to a mechanic to have your electrical system looked at and the offending component replaced.
Just like a regular home air conditioning system, automotive air conditioners make use of a compressor to circulate refrigerant throughout the entire system to move cool air into the interior of your car. Over time, the compressor can begin to fail as it becomes more worn due to use, resulting in reduced performance. If you notice that your air conditioning system isn't working as strongly as it used to, the issue likely lies with the compressor. There's no real way to avoid this problem. Though you can reduce your usage of your air conditioning system in order to extend the lifespan of your compressor, it will still need to be replaced at some point in the future.
Automotive air conditioning systems make use of refrigerant in order to cool the air within the system. However, if the refrigerant begins to leak, your air conditioning system may only blow hot or barely cool air. Unlike coolant and other fluids within your car, refrigerant will evaporate rapidly when it begins to leak, so there are no puddles that will develop within or underneath your car. If you believe that your air conditioning system is leaking refrigerant, you'll have to take your vehicle into a repair shop like Precision Automotive to have it looked at. Damaged hoses or components will have to be replaced, and the refrigerant levels within your system topped up.
When do you call it quits on your old car? The car that you once referred to as "old reliable" might not be the reliable vehicle that it once was. You may be able to make the repairs as often as they need to be made, but think about how much you are spending on making those repairs. This blog is filled with tips that can help you decide if it is time to let go of the car that you love and replace it with something that will keep you going when you need it to get you there with no problems.