Repairing Your Car A/C.

6 minutes, 22 seconds Read

Your car was designed with an air-conditioning system made to last the lifetime of the vehicle without needing a recharge. That being said, over the life of a vehicle it may develop a coolant leak. There is no set amount of time that freon will last in a vehicle. As long as the air is blowing cold, you don’t need to worry about charging the vehicle’s A/C system at all. However if your air doesn’t feel as cold as it once did then you might want to take action to avoid your A/C compressor from dying before it has outlived its useful life and prevent your vehicle from suffering irreparable damage.

While your car was made to last without a recharge of the a/c system, many owners find their cars require freon after they have driven it for several years. There are many reasons that the the air-conditioning loses coolant. This can happen because the seals on your doors break down, or the drain tube gets clogged. Most of the time your a/c will be able to get you through a lot of miles without needing to be recharged. How long it lasts is based on how well you take care of it and how often you use it.

The air conditioning in your car is filled with freon, or a coolant, just like your home HVAC system. Refrigerant is eventually lost from the evaporator coil, lines and the condenser. There is no set amount of time that refrigerant will last in an A/C system because every vehicle is different. In vehicles that are under warranty, you should not have to recharge the system unless there is a leak.

Keeping your car cool all times when you are driving, even in the summer heat, can help to keep you and your passengers happy. However, just having a new air conditioning system installed won’t guarantee that you won’t have to replace it in the future. Therefore, it is important to know how to keep your A/C system going and keep it running well for a long time.

  1. The most common problem with your A/C system is leakage.
  2. Overheating Condenser
  3. Burnt fuse
  4. Broken A.C Belt.
  5. Weak or Faulty Compressor

The above lists are the most common A/C Problems your car can have, it also good to get your technician to trouble shoot the above listed problems. You’re A/C system is one of the most expensive part of your car to repair for one basic reason. Once there is a problem outside the above five that I have listed you might have to change the whole A/C components.


Normally your Freon should last about 3 year if you drive in an area that is not too hot, but if you live in areas that are very hot you should cut that by half. One of the signs of leakage of your Freon from your system is your car blowing warm air few months or weeks after a recharge. If the leak is in the cabin for example your evaporator, you will begin to perceive the odor of the Freon in the car mostly when the A.C is turned on. Quick fix fill your system with Freon with dye the color will reveal the location of the leak.

Overheating Condenser


When this happens you will also feel warm air blowing in your car, in some models the compressor will cut off until the condenser cools off. The cause of this is mostly failed cooling fan, or sometimes when the fan is not blowing optimally. Check your cooling fan ensure its working also ensure the speed of the fast is blowing optimally.

Burnt Fuse

When you’re A/C fuse Cuts power is no longer sent to your cabin fan or you compressor, which in turn disallows the clutch of the compressor to engage. In most vehicles the A.C indicator light will not be lit, this should prompt you to check your compressor if the clutch is attached and its spinning. Also check you fuse box from a faulty relay or fuse.

Broken A.C Belt

This is not so common but and its very easy to detect, once the belt is broken if the A/C is on the cool air will stop. Open the hood of your car and right there you will notice that a belt is missing or if your vehicle is a one belt engine you will see your dash light up like a Christmas tree.

Weak or Knocked Compressor


Here you have the nightmare of any A/C technician especially if the compressor is knocked, the fist issue is that particles from the Compressor though the Freon can make its way into every area of your A/C system. At this point don’t let anyone fool you by flushing in the system 90% of times it doesn’t work. This will get you to keep replacing compressors which are very expensive for most vehicles.

Once your compressor knocks ensure you change your Condenser, Evaporator and flush your A.C line from any impurities before you install new parts. Another thing you need to note is that if you don’t change the evaporator and condenser you stand a very good chance of blowing them up with your new compressor. This happens because the condenser and evaporator are already weak from constant use and they will not be able to with stand the pressure of a new compressor.


If your air-conditioning is cooling poorly or slowly, our experts suggest you get a recharge of your air-conditioner’s freon. Freon leaks out over time and when it does, you will be losing coolant. Additionally, if your vehicle’s A/C is not blowing as cool as it used to, there is a chance that the discharge line and the condenser coils are contaminated with dirt and debris.

Once you have repaired the leak, you will want to start the vehicle and allow it to run for ten to fifteen minutes. This will force most of the water out of cooling system and keep the loss of freon within a minimum. Drive the vehicle around town for at least a half an hour every day for about a week, or as long as it takes to stop dripping. Remember that in rare cases, your vehicle may need to be evacuated due to extreme losses of coolant.

It is difficult to ballpark a time estimate for evacuation, so if you think that this may apply you should have your vehicle evacuated at the earliest convenience.

After learning the basic information above, you should feel more confident in repairing and maintaining your own car’s air-conditioning system. While there are online tutorials and specific how-to guides, the better option is to simply have your HVAC system inspected by a professional. Fixing a vehicle’s A/C can be quite dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Driving with inadequate or malfunctioning air conditioning is not safe or fun, so it’s preferable to be proactive and identify problems early. When it comes to home repairs, DIY can save both time and money. But when it comes to safety issues—such as electrical and mechanical equipment that you don’t personally understand very well—a trip to the mechanic could end up saving you more money in the long run than a trip to Home Depot would have cost.

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