5 Common Problems With Automotive AC Systems

5 Common Problems With Automotive AC Systems

3rd Mar 2023


Has your vehicle's air conditioning (AC) system been acting up? During the summer, the interior of a typical car or truck can get very hot. Even if the temperature outside of the vehicle is just 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the cabin temperature inside of the vehicle may exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit -- sometimes even higher. Without a functional AC system, you'll be forced to ensure some unpleasantly hot temperatures when driving this summer.

#1) Blown Compressor

A blown compressor is a common problem with automotive AC systems. Your vehicle's AC system contains many of the same parts as a typical full-house AC system. Among other things, it contains a pair of coils, a compressor and refrigerant. The compressor in your vehicle's AC system will compress the refrigerant.

#2) Loose Wiring

Your vehicle's AC system may not run if it loose wiring. Automotive AC systems are powered by electricity. The compressor and fans all require electricity to run. All of these parts feature wires and connectors. Loose wiring means the problematic part or parts won't receive electricity from your vehicle's battery, in which case the AC system may not run.

#3) Refrigerant Leak

One of the most common problems with automotive AC systems is a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant is a substance -- it changes between a gas and fluid state -- that absorbs heat. Upon turning on your vehicle's AC system, refrigerant will absorb heat from the cabin, and it will release this heat at the front of your car via the condenser coil. A refrigerant leak, though, means your vehicle's AC system won't be able to transfer heat from the cabin to the front of your vehicle.

#4) Bent Fins

Bent coil fins can have a negative impact on the cooling performance of your vehicle's AC system. There are two types of coils in automotive systems. Each of these coils consists of a set of fins that absorb or release heat. If the fins aren't bent, the evaporator coil won't be able to effectively absorb heat from the cabin. And the condenser coil won't be able to effectively release this heat at the front of your vehicle.

#5) Blown Fuse

Sometimes all it takes to fix an automotive AC system is replacing a blown fuse. Most automotive AC systems have at least one fuse. The fuse is designed to protect against overcurrent. If your vehicle's AC system is exposed to overcurrent, the fuse will break. This will protect your vehicle's AC system from damage, but you'll need to replace the fuse to continue running the AC.