Why isn’t my Air Conditioning working?
The A/C system on your vehicle has a lot of components, both mechanical and electrical that can fail resulting in warm air coming from your vents. The cause could be as simple as fuse or relay that failed to as complicated as a leaking evaporator that requires the dashboard be removed to replace. If you find the air coming out of your vents isn’t as cool as it once was ask us to evaluate your A/C system.
What is refrigerant?
Refrigerant is the liquid or gas that circulates through out your air conditioning system and removes the heat from the air coming out of your vents. There are two common types used for vehicle Air conditioning system; R134A and R1234YF. R134a is being phased out and replaced with R1234YF on newer vehicles.
Do I just need a recharge?
Possibly. There is a certain level of refrigerant loss that is deemed acceptable. If your vehicle is a number of years old and requires just a few ounces of refrigerant a recharge may be all that is needed. However if the system is very low or empty, a recharge will only last a short time before it leaks out again. Since refrigerant is in gas form under atmospheric pressures you will not see a puddle under your car when it leaks out. The source of the leak will need to be identified and repaired.
How do you know if the Refrigerant is low?
Unfortunately there is no dipstick to visually check the refrigerant level. To identify a system that is not fully charged we hook up a gauge set to the service ports. If the pressures are far off from what is expected it may be easy to identify a low charge. However typically the system will have to be recovered using a dedicated machine. This machine measures exactly how much was present. From there we can determine if you just need a recharge or you have a significant leak that needs to be addressed.
What can I do to help maintain my A/C system?
Two main points of maintenance for any A/C is your cabin air filter and compressor drive belt. A drive belt that fails will result in the compressor not spinning and not cooling the air. Cabin air filters that are neglected will block airflow over the evaporator resulting in efficient cooling of the cabin air.