The Most Common Car AC Problems and What To Do About Them

The weather is finally warm enough to warrant turning on your car’s AC. But, lo and behold, it’s not working exactly as you’d hoped. In fact, it might not even be working at all. And in the throes of warm weather, that’s definitely going to be a problem. So before the weather gets even warmer? Consider familiarizing yourself with the most common car AC problems and what to do about them.

How do you diagnose car AC problems?

Things happen, especially when it comes to cars. And, like most things, your car’s AC could stop working. The reason for that could be based on several factors too. The good news is that, according to AutoZone, the most common car AC problems come down to leaks or compressor issues. The bad news is that the most challenging part of diagnosing your car AC problems is knowing where to start. 

Manual car AC in an older vehicle
Manual car AC. | Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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Why your car AC might not be blowing cold air 

Say you turn on your car’s AC and, rather than providing you with a refreshing, cool breeze, it hits you with a warm wall of unconditioned air. Sounds pretty stuffy, right? Well, according to Ace Auto, there could be three reasons for this.

First, your car’s AC may need recharging. Fortunately, this is a relatively simple fix. You can even remedy the issue yourself, assuming your comfortable wrenching on your own car. That being said, to save yourself time and make sure the job is done correctly, there’s no harm in visiting your local auto shop to have your car’s AC recharged. 

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Now, that’s not the only reason your car’s AC may be having problems. If it’s not blowing cool air, your car’s AC system might also have a refrigerant leak. According to Ace Auto, you might hear a click when turning the AC on too. You might even come across oil residue around your car AC’s pipe fittings and hoses. Unfortunately, fixing this issue will likely take a trip to the mechanic. As Ace Auto points out, refrigerant is a toxic chemical and should only be handled by a trained professional.

It’s also worth checking out your car AC’s fan motor. Ace Auto reports that fan motor failure is among the most common car AC problems. If you’re unsure whether or not the fan or fans are working correctly, Ace Auto recommends stopping into your local mechanic just to be sure.

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

If you’ve ever had your oil changed at a local repair shop, odds are you’ve been asked if you want your cabin air filter replaced during the oil change. You might be wondering why, especially when cabin air filters and oil changes don’t really go hand in hand.

As it turns out, though, a dirty cabin air filter is one of the most common car AC problems. It could even result in your car’s AC blowing warm air out rather than cool. Sun Devil Auto explains that your car cabin air filter needs to be totally clean to work correctly. Cabin air filters are designed to capture all sorts of debris, and a clogged air filter can negatively affect your car’s AC. Meaning, replacing your car cabin air filter during your next oil change might not be such a bad idea after all.

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Don’t overlook the most common car AC problems this summer

To ensure you’re able to keep cool this summer, we recommend checking out your car’s AC, just in case, it happens to be experiencing one of these common car AC problems. After all, no one wants to spend the summer behind the wheel of an unbearably hot car.