Your car’s air conditioning serves a valuable purpose, not only keeping you cool and comfortable but also helping protect interior elements from warping or other heat concerns. A faulty car air conditioner can be extremely frustrating, and one of the most common such situations is an AC that stops blowing cold air, and is instead blowing hot air.
At Tip Top Transmissions, we’re happy to offer a huge range of auto mechanic services to Salt Lake City clients, ranging from our namesake area of transmissions through to numerous others — and air conditioning repair is one theme we’ll be happy to assist you with. When we assess your air conditioner that’s begun to blow hot air, one of our first tasks will be to identify the cause of the issue. Here are some of the potential culprits we look for.
Certain causes of a bad car air conditioner closely mimic those of your in-home air conditioner, and a good example here is low refrigerant. You see, the cooling effect in your car’s air conditioner comes from the Freon (or another type of refrigerant) that is passed through coils and cooled before being sent into the cabin.
Over time, though, this refrigerant can leak out — and when it does, you’ll start to experience warm air coming from the vents. You’ll need a certified mechanic to recharge the system with more Freon, and they will also look for any leaks that may be present so they can be repaired.
Electrical System Issues
In other cases, your car’s refrigerant levels will be just fine — but the electrical system that powers not only the air conditioner but also other components in your vehicle may be having issues. In particular, the blower motor that sends air through the vents may have failed or become weakened due to a blown fuse, bad relay, or some other type of electrical fault.
Again, this is something that only a certified mechanic will be able to assess and remedy. If you try to work this out without specified training, you’re risking both your own safety and the quality of the repair.
Another component of a car’s AC that’s similar to that of a home air conditioner is the condenser. This component helps to remove heat from the refrigerant, and if it becomes damaged in any way, it can cause your AC to start blowing warm air. Common causes of condenser damage include physical damage (from an accident or other event) as well as corrosion due to leaks or other moisture issues.
In some cases, condenser issues might be temporary and due to sticks, small rocks or other items that have gotten in the grille and blocked airflow. In others, though, it can be a sign of a much more serious problem that will require the attention of a qualified mechanic.
Air Filter Problems
Your car also has an air filter, which helps to keep pollen, dust and other airborne particles from getting into the cabin. This filter is in place for the air conditioner and any other air-related components in your vehicle, and if it becomes clogged, restricted airflow can be a result.
A filter that needs to be replaced is a relatively easy and inexpensive fix, but if you don’t take care of it in a timely manner, you run the risk of more significant issues developing — such as compressor damage. This is why it’s so important to bring your vehicle in for regular auto tune-ups, as professionals like ours will check for things like air filter quality on a regular basis.
Cooling Fan Breakdowns
As we noted above, your vehicle relies on a cooling fan to help remove heat from the refrigerant before it enters the cabin. If this fan breaks down or otherwise isn’t working properly, it can cause your AC to start blowing warm air.
There are a number of potential causes of cooling fan failure, but in many cases, it’s simply a matter of the fan having become clogged with debris over time. In other instances, though, an electrical issue may be to blame — and as we know, electrical system problems can be difficult (and dangerous) to diagnose and repair without the proper training and tools.
Dirty or Damaged Evaporator Core
The evaporator core is another key component of your car’s air conditioning system — and if it becomes dirty or damaged, you may start to notice warm air coming from the vents.
The evaporator core is responsible for removing heat and moisture from the cabin air, and it can become clogged with dirt and debris over time. This can restrict airflow and make it difficult for the AC to do its job properly. In some cases, the evaporator core may also develop leaks, which can cause damage to other components in the system.
If you’re having AC issues and suspect that the evaporator core might be to blame, it’s best to have a certified mechanic take a look. This is not something that most people will be able to diagnose or repair on their own.
These are just a few of the potential culprits if you notice that your car AC is blowing hot air instead of cold. In some cases, a simple fix like replacing a fuse or cleaning a filter might do the trick. However, in other instances, you might be looking at a more serious issue that needs the attention of one of our professionals.
For more on this, or to learn about any of our auto mechanic or transmission services in SLC or nearby areas, speak to the team at Tip Top Transmissions today.