Mac's Auto Repair

Is it Time for Car AC Recharge?

Is it time for a car ac recharge in Chandler AZ? Image of Mac's Auto Repair technician using an ac compressor testing machine on a red dodge challenger that is in the shop.

Most people don’t think about the air conditioning system in their vehicles until it doesn’t cool the cab anymore. In some cases, the air conditioning might cool, but not as well – that is the time to get it checked at Mac’s Complete Auto Repair in Chandler AZ. You might need a car AC recharge, or you may have a refrigerant leak or malfunctioning component.

How to Tell if You Need a Car AC Recharge

If the refrigerant leaks out of the system, you need a car AC recharge. However, if a part of the air conditioning system malfunctions, you also need to replace that part before you can charge the system – otherwise, the refrigerant will just leak out.

The Air Conditioning System Does Not Cool the Vehicle

If the air conditioning system blows hot air, you will need to locate and repair the leak and recharge the air conditioning system. Many air conditioning systems will blow hot air when you first start the vehicle, but that should not last more than 30 seconds or a minute. A clogged cabin air filter can also cause the air conditioning to blow cool but not cold.

The Air Conditioning Compressor Clutch Does Not Engage

When you turn the air conditioning on and when the system cycles on, you can hear the air compressor clutch kicking on. If the refrigerant pressure is not high enough or too high, the air compressor clutch will not engage. This feature is to minimize damage to the air conditioning system.

Additionally, the clutch could fail. If the air conditioning is not blowing cold air, listen for the clutch clicking. If you don’t hear it, you’ll have to adjust the refrigerant pressure by vacuuming some refrigerant out, recharging the refrigerant, or replacing the air conditioning compressor clutch.

The Air Conditioning System is Cool But Gets Warm in Minutes

If the air conditioning cools for a few minutes, then starts blowing hot air, the air compressor clutch is malfunctioning. The system cycles on and off, so the clutch eventually wears out. If you don’t hear the clicking it makes when cycling, either the compressor failed, the compressor clutch failed, or the system is low on refrigerant.

Visible Refrigerant Leaks

While air conditioning refrigerant is invisible to the eye, you can sometimes see where it is leaking by looking for an oil slick on the lines or other components of the air conditioning system. If the refrigerant pressure gets low enough, the system will not blow cool.

Malfunctioning Air Conditioning System Components

A vehicle’s air conditioning system is comprised of several components, including the:

  • Compressor and compressor clutch.
  • High-pressure lines.
  • Low-pressure lines.
  • Air conditioning condenser.
  • Dryer or accumulator, depending on the year, make and model of the vehicle.
  • Orifice tube or expansion block, depending on the year, make and model of the vehicle.
  • Evaporator core.
  • Blower motor.
  • Blower motor resistor.
  • Manual or electronic climate control head.
  • Vent doors and the vent door system, whether manual or vacuum.

If any of these components malfunction or leak, the air conditioning system will not work properly. Mac’s Complete Auto Repair has the equipment to diagnose the air conditioning system to find out what is wrong.

If the compressor, condenser, one of the lines or evaporator fails, the tech must replace the orifice tube or expansion block and the dryer or accumulator. Once the system is opened to the air, these two components become compromised.

How Often You Should Check Your Vehicle’s Air Conditioning System

The air conditioning system is a closed system, which means that it can not run out of refrigerant. However, if the system develops a leak, it will expel the refrigerant into the atmosphere.

You should always have the HVAC system checked in the spring and fall to ensure everything is working properly for the upcoming seasons. The tech at Mac’s Complete Auto Repair ensures the head unit, blower motor and blower motor resistor are all working properly and blows out the condensation tube, which tends to get clogged with dirt, pollen and leaves.

Contact Mac’s Complete Auto Repair

If the air conditioning system is not working properly, contact Mac’s Complete Auto Repair at (480) 709-6259 for an appointment. We are conveniently located at 6948 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler AZ, 85226.

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