The weather in Tulsa, Oklahoma is starting to get warm again. That means it's time to have your air conditioner checked out to ensure it's in working order when summer heat leaves the interior of your vehicle boiling. That begins with a simple first step. Turn your car's AC on and gauge how well it's working. You may find that air isn't blowing cold enough, airflow is weak, or there may even be an odd odor coming from your vents. All of these suggest a problem and can help you diagnose specifically what's wrong with your air conditioning system. Here's an overview of common air conditioning problems that occur in your vehicle.
A lack of cold air blowing through your vents could have a number of culprits, but the simplest and most common explanation is a lack of refrigerant. Many times, this is caused by a Freon leak due to a failed O-ring, seal or hose. Discovering these leaks early is important. Typically, early detection allows for the failing component to be repaired, and your air conditioner will be back to normal. If the leak has been present for a while, however, moisture can enter the AC system, which can cause additional damage and warrant more repairs. If you're investigating a potential leak yourself, start by checking that all fittings are secure and that there are no leaks where hoses are crimped onto the fittings. If everything checks out, move on to check the front seal, and O-rings. If there's still no evidence of the leak, there may be a pinhole leak in the compressor itself. To ensure the true cause of your air conditioner problem is found and repaired, bring your vehicle to us.
Condenser Fan Failure
It's not a good idea to simply add refrigerant to your air conditioning system when it's not cooling. The cause may actually be that your condenser fan the proper amount of air, which causes the pressure within the system to spike. Not only does this prevent your vents from blowing cold air, but it can also threaten your condenser and evaporator coil. Again, early detection is key to prevent this additional damage. If you were to add refrigerant to a system with a malfunctioning condenser fan, you'd end up over charging it, which raises the pressure even more and could cause the total failure of a number of components.
Worn Out Cabin Air Filter
As air flows through the evaporator, it passes through the cabin air filter, where dirt and debris is filtered out of it. This leaves you with cleaner air to breathe in your vehicle's interior. This is similar to the filters you have in the ducts of your home. When the filter gets clogged, which happens naturally over time, air flow drops and your air conditioner won't be able to properly cool your car. A more serious problem is that this lack of air flow may prevent liquid refrigerant from turning to vapor. In this case, it's caught in the accumulator, which eventually overflows and the liquid is then sucked into the compresser. The result is immediate damage to your compresser. This is another example of why adding refrigerant shouldn't be your first fix for air conditioning problems. A proper diagnosis is needed before any repairs are attempted.
If you notice problems with your air conditioner, or just want to have it checked out before you rely on it all summer, come by Benzin Motor Works. Our technicians specialize in BMWs, Mercedes, and Hummer H1s, and have the knowledge and experience to efficiently diagnose and repair any issue.