(Updated on April 16, 2020)
We all rely on the air conditioner in our cars to keep us cool on those hot summer days. There is no worse feeling than having no cool air coming out of your air vents when it is so hot in the car.
If you turn on your air conditioner and only get warm air coming out of the air vents, then something must obviously be wrong with your air conditioning system. This doesn’t mean the entire system is malfunctioning, though.
There could be just one component of the entire system that is faulty. All it takes is one bad component for the air conditioning system to fail completely. The hardest part is figuring out which component caused this malfunction.
Common Causes of a Car A/C Not Cooling
There are a lot of possible causes for your air conditioner to stop producing cool air for your car. Rather than guessing what it could be, you should understand what the most common causes are.
Here are five of the most common causes that you should consider paying attention to if your car air conditioner is not cold.
1) Contaminated System
If you drive your vehicle in locations with a lot of debris and moisture, then it is possible that your air conditioning system could become contaminated. In other words, it could block the airflow which normally enters your air conditioning system to produce cool air.
If air cannot get into the system, then you won’t be able to condition any air at all. And if your A/C condenser is clogged with debris, the refrigerant liquid will get overheated because it won’t be able to reach the condenser and get cooled off.
2) Bad A/C Compressor
The A/C compressor is responsible for compressing the refrigerant so that it is highly pressurized. This is what happens before the refrigerant gets pumped into the A/C condenser where it gets cooled down.
If your A/C compressor is not working, then it will not be able to compress the refrigerant. This will ultimately cause the air cooling process to fail completely.
3) Refrigerant Leak
Refrigerant is like the blood of the air conditioning system. When the hot refrigerant liquid gets condensed by the A/C condenser, it produces a cool gas which becomes the cool air that blows out of the air vents.
If you don’t have enough refrigerant flowing through your air conditioning system, then you are not going to have any cool air. Refrigerant leakage is a common reason for a low level of refrigerant in your reservoir.
The location of the leak may be difficult to find. Check the hose connections of the system thoroughly to find any cracks or leaks in them.
4) Bad A/C Condenser
Like previously mentioned, the A/C condenser is responsible for cooling down the overheated pressurized refrigerant that comes from the A/C compressor. But if you have a bad or malfunctioning A/C condenser, then the refrigerant will remain overheated.
Then all you will get is a bunch of hot hair coming out of your air vents.
5) Electrical Problems
Don’t forget that your air conditioning system is powered by electricity. There are numerous wires connecting your air conditioner to your car battery and dashboard controls. If any of these wires are worn or damaged, then it could interfere with the electrical supply that your air conditioner needs to function properly and produce cool air.
It might be difficult to diagnose this problem on your own because you might assume that your entire electrical system is compromised. But if all your other electrical components are functioning, then you will need to conduct a visual inspection of the wiring to see where the problem is.
If you are not confident in this task, then it may be a better idea to hire a professional mechanic to do it for you instead.