Air conditioners single handedly make driving your car in the heat of summer a bearable task. Therefore, an air conditioner that has stopped working the way it should can easily throw you into a panic. If your car's AC hasn't been working the way it should recently, read on. This article will teach you about three common problems and what they mean.
Excess Moisture In The Air Conditioner
Inconsistent cooling is generally the result of moisture that has penetrated the interior of your car's air conditioning system. Especially vulnerable is the so-called orifice tube. Moisture that gets into this narrow tube tends to freeze after the AC has been running for a few minutes. This causes a blockage that prevents the cold air from making it to the interior of your car.
A mechanic can correct this problem by first using a vacuum pump to evacuate your air conditioning system. In effect, this will remove any and all unwanted moisture. Once the immediate cause of the problem has been eliminated in this manner, your mechanic will perform a series of tests to determine whether the moisture got into the system through a leak. If so, the replacement of compromised parts may be necessary.
Bad or offensive odors--think dirty sweat socks--are usually the result of microorganisms that have taken up residence inside your AC's network of tubing. Mold, mildew, and bacteria are all too happy to make their home inside of a dark and often damp air conditioner. This problem can be more than just an annoyance; depending on the species of microbe, it can also be potentially damaging to your health.
Foul smells are usually eliminated by spraying germicidal chemicals in one of three places:
- directly onto the evaporator
- into the blower ducts
- into the air intake ducts
- drainage tubes leading away from the evaporator
If the problem is recurring, or seems particularly severe, a mechanic may also suggest that you replace your evaporator with one that contains a special coating used to prevent the growth of microorganisms.
Low Refrigerant Levels
Because they utilize a network of tubing, automotive air conditioners are especially susceptible to leaks. Should your refrigerant levels dip too low as the result of such a leak, your AC will cease to perform the way it should. Thus, it pays to check your refrigerant level on a periodic basis. If you seem to be frequently having to add more refrigerant, your system has likely developed a leak. Repair or replacement of the leaky part is the only way to correct the issue for good. Contact a business, such as Modern Auto Air, for more information.