Signs that your AC needs TLC

If there’s one thing California auto shops know, it’s the importance of a good and strong running A/C system. Our auto mechanics at Foothill Auto Service know how hot it gets in our area, and we want to ensure you stay cool in traffic and while out on the road. Our certified auto repair team is here to ensure your vehicle is operating in tip-top shape. Stay cool in the warm temperatures of Southern California with a properly functioning air conditioning system with Foothill Auto Service on your side. Let’s go through the basics of your vehicle’s air conditioning system and answer some common questions.

When you bring your vehicle into Foothill Auto Service for an air conditioning issue, you can rest assured that we will perform the following on your vehicle:

  • Air conditioning system leak down test
  • Pressure check A/C unit for any damage
  • Inspect the drive belt on the unit
  • Evaluate the condition of AC compressor
  • Assess and recharge system to factory specifications

How Does AC Work?

In the most basic explanation, any AC system requires a refrigerant, such as R-134a. Your vehicle’s compressor, powered by the serpentine belt, will compress the refrigerant gas, commonly known as Freon. As the kinetic energy of the gas increases due to compression, it becomes hot. The hot and pressurized gas is then passed through a series of coils that use the outside air to cool the gas down. This, in turn, will lead to the condensation of the gas into a cold liquid. However, many errors can cause this process to fail, leaving you stuck in a hot vehicle.

What refrigerant is used for car AC?

Different types of refrigerants are used in the car AC. Originally, R-12 Freon was used but when it came to the knowledge that the R-12 Freon depletes the ozone layer, it was discontinued. Instead, R-134A is used, which is an effective refrigerant and causes no harm to the ozone layer.

What happens if my AC runs out of Freon?

What will happen if there is no blood inside the body? It’s the same with no refrigerant in the air conditioning. Although the mechanical parts of the AC will work, the cooling power will be lost, and the system will start to sustain severe damages.
These damages will result in higher costs for repairing or even replacing some parts. The compressor will overheat or may even burn out, thus leading to the whole system being replaced. Thus it is advised that if you find any issues, don’t test the patience of your car’s AC and get it checked and serviced as soon as possible.

How do I know if my AC needs Freon?

In an ideal situation, your car’s AC will never require a refill of Freon. But the reality is different. If there is a leak in the channel anywhere, you will have to refill the refrigerant. All you need to check is whether the cooling is enough or not. You will have to get the refill if the answer is no. Also, check if there is a leak by carefully checking for any hissing sounds.

Can a dirty air filter cause car AC not to cool?

The answer to the above question is a definite YES. If the air filter is not clean, the airflow gets restricted- the efficiency will indeed reduce. Also, a dirty filter means a build-up of allergens which will cause health problems when they enter the air. Thus it is strongly advised to get your air filter checked. A clogged AC filter badly affects performance and cooling. It is the simplest thing you can do to maintain your car’s AC. Just take the air filter out and clean it regularly. If the filter is too clogged, you should go for a replacement.

There are many components within your air conditioning system, and our expert team of auto mechanics knows all about them and is here to help you stay cool in the California heat. If your air conditioning is acting up and you feel something is amiss, the auto repair team at Foothill Auto Service is here to help. If your air conditioner does not quickly cool down the inside of your car any longer, or not enough air is coming out of the vents, then it is time to schedule your vehicle to have the air conditioning system checked out. If you turn on your air conditioning and catch an unpleasant or musty odor, you may also have an issue with your air conditioner.

Written by Foothill Auto Service