So, your car air conditioning won’t work? Huh, tough it out! That’s what I say. You think the pioneers had air conditioning in their wagons? No they didn’t! The whole city of Phoenix was built by people without air conditioning though I imagine they didn’t spend a lot of time in close proximity to each other in enclosed spaces. That’s when folks could overcome hardship, not at all like today. We’ve gotten soft I tell ya!
Nevertheless, I suppose if you insist on working indoors and enjoy the company of other people, air conditioning in your car does assume a certain importance. If yours isn’t working, here are a couple of things you can look for.
First off, is there any air blowing at all? If the blower’s not working then how would you know if the rest of the AC system was working? C’mon! You knew that! Sometimes the blower will work at only one speed for some time than stop altogether. In a case like that it’s probably a resistor. The blower motor can burn out too but you’ll usually hear a bunch of noise before it fails completely. That noise and the smell of burning wire is pretty much a clue that you have a problem and where to look.
Next, does the AC blow hot or just kinda cool? If it’s a little cool then you’re most likely just low on refrigerant, if it’s hot it could be completely out of refrigerant or there might be a mechanical failure of some kind. In those situations where the system is just a bit low you can recharge it to get you by for a while. Auto parts stores sell kits to do just that though I recommend against them. Those kits are imprecise and won’t do anything to help you find the leak (If it’s low, there’s a leak) but what the heck, it’s cheap. If the AC just blows hot then it could be that the system is just real low on refrigerant, the compressor has surrendered its spirit, the heater blend door is stuck, a faulty sensor or maybe the computer isn’t telling the compressor to come on. If recharging the system doesn’t get ‘er done, take it to the shop. For the love of Pete, whatever you do don’t use a stop-leak product. That stuff is death to a system.
Another trick your AC might pull is blowing through the floor vents or the defroster rather than the dash vents where you want it. Happens a lot. What you’re experiencing there is a mode door failure. That isn’t really something most back-yard mechanics want to deal with ‘cause it often means pulling half the interior out of the car to repair. Let me suggest an outfit that would be more than happy to take that burden from you.
I hope this provided some useful information. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call your Local Mechanic, All Tune and Lube Total Car Care. Complete Auto Repair and Maintenance.