133 Pitkin Street, East Hartford, CT 06108
150 Boston Post Road, Orange, CT 06477
697 Parker Street, Manchester, CT 06042
The days of a local mechanic adding “freon” to your car A/C system are long gone. Today’s A/C systems are complicated and it takes state-of-the-art equipment to identify leaks or other issues with the system. At AAMCO, we have the right equipment, operated by state certified technicians, to diagnose and repair today’s complicated A/C systems. From a small leak to a complicated repair, it takes an expert to know the difference.
You get in your car on the first hot day of the year, turn on the A/C and find that your air conditioning stopped working in your car. Even at full blast, the air coming from your vents isn’t as cold as it used to be or isn’t cold at all. This could be a sign that your system is in need of service.
The lack of cool air could mean that your system’s compressor has failed, or it could also mean that you’re your system’s refrigerant levels are low, or it could be both!
Low refrigerant in your car air conditioning is a sign of a leak which can also starve the compressor of oil. Refrain from just recharging the system, because the lack of oil and continued leakage will cause serious damage to the compressor.
Weak airflow through your AC vents could mean you cabin air filter is in need of some serious maintenance or replacement, or you may have debris stuck in your air conditioning vents. Not only does this obstruct airflow but also restricts defrosting of your windshield when you most need it.
Another common problem is the blower motor or the blower motor resistor not allowing the blower to operate correctly. In many newer vehicles this is controlled by the computer and is reliant on temperature sensors throughout the cabin that could be covered by newspapers or other items stopping the sensor from working.
Sometimes the problem is not with the air conditioning unit, but with the thermostat and controls itself. The thermostat in a vehicle is the control unit in the dash or the computer itself that monitors the temperature and operated the climate control system accordingly. If you find that your A/C is operating inconsistently or shutting on and off randomly, this may be the issue.
Squealing, grating or grinding sounds from your air conditioner compressor might be a sign that you need a replacement unit. Failure to repair this could be costly and it could bring your vehicle to a stop. Many vehicles today use a single belt to drive the Air Conditioner compressor, water pump and power steering pump, and when the compressor fails so does the belt driving everything else. Check the belt system each time you have your vehicle serviced.
A squealing noise may mean that the belt is slipping.
A grinding sound may mean that your compressor has a problem with a bearing or other internal part.
Pungent or foul smells coming from your air conditioning vents normally mean that your air conditioner’s drain tube, which disposes of the air conditioner condensation, is either blocked or broken. This is can be serious as mold growth and rust can occur as a result. When the air conditioning is operating correctly, you will see clear, clean water dripping from under the center of the vehicle. This is normal. If the floor boards are wet inside the vehicle, the drain is probably clogged or disconnected.
Your Air Conditioning system should last the lifetime of the vehicle if maintained correctly. Repair refrigerant leaks, maintain the drive belts and change the cabin filters to make sure that your system lasts a very long time. If you do hear compressor noises, your bearings may be failing. Replacing the compressor before it fails completely will avoid complete system failure and minimize cost of repair.
Cabin filters are typically located under the hood of your car near the firewall, or under the dash behind the glove box. Some vehicles have two filters, one on each side, and some SUVs have one in the rear A/C unit as well.
No, as long as you have no leaks the refrigerant should last the life of the vehicle.
Remember, the Air Conditioning runs all year long, even when your heater is on, to remove condensation from your windshield during cold and high-humidity weather. Some Hybrid vehicles also use the Air Conditioning system to cool the Hybrid Battery and Electronics, so it could cause over-heating of this system if the Air Conditioning isn’t working.