If you’re considering DIY car air conditioner repair, it’s important to keep in mind that most issues need to be addressed by a professional auto technician. That said, there are some issues you can take care of yourself with minimal skills. First, try to pinpoint the problem.
Cool, but not Cold
If the air blowing out of the air conditioner isn’t as cold as it should be, it could be an airflow problem. Try to determine if the cooling fan on the radiator or condenser are running when the A/C is on.
Look for restrictions like bugs, dirt, or leaves that might be keeping the air from passing over the A/C condenser. Also, make sure the cabin air filter isn’t clogged. You can check the pressures in the air conditioning system with a manifold gauge set. You can also find the recommended low and high slide pressures in your vehicle’s repair manual.
Check to See if the A/C Compressor is Working
When diagnosing an air conditioner problem, it’s best to begin with the compressor. While the engine is running, turn the air conditioner to max cool, fan on high, and make sure the clutch is engaging on the compressor. If it’s quickly engaging and disengaging, the refrigerant might be low (this is a fairly easy DIY car air conditioner repair problem).
If the clutch isn’t engaging, you’ll need to use a voltmeter to figure out if voltage is getting to the A/C compressor. If there’s voltage, the clutch could be bad. If there’s no voltage the problem could be a blown fuse or a defective cycling switch. The problem could also be that there’s not the appropriate amount of refrigerant pressure available to trigger the low-pressure cutoff switch. It’s also a good idea to check the compressor’s wiring. Most of these problems, including replacing the compressor, require specialized tools used by auto repair professionals.
Look for Leaks
Leaks are the most commonly encountered problems related to the air conditioning system. This a DIY car air conditioner repair test that’s fairly uncomplicated. You can pick up a leak detection kit at your local auto parts store to help identify leaks. These kits include dye that runs through the lines, seeping out of any cracks and leaks, making them easy to see. If you detect any leaks, you’ll need to take the car in for repair. If you don’t see any leaks, you could just be low on refrigerant. If this is the case you’ll need to determine the right type of refrigerant for your vehicle. Cars built after 1995 use R134a and any older than that typically use R12.
DIY Car Air Conditioner Repair
Trying to keep cool during the heat of an Arizona summer isn’t a joke, especially if you realize that your car’s air conditioning system isn’t keeping you comfortable anymore. If the DIY car air conditioner repair issues mentioned here are beyond your skill levels, contact us today. Even if your air conditioning system loses performance gradually, it can be an indicator that there’s a larger problem.