car air conditioning

Fixing Your Car’s Air Conditioning

Driving on a hot day without air conditioning can be a rather unpleasant experience, especially if it is raining and you do not want to drive with your windows open. Diagnosing the precise reasoning for a faulty air conditioner in your car can be tricky and equally challenging to repair. There are several common problems that occur in automotive air conditioners. Below are examples of common AC problems as well as recommended solutions to each respective problem.  

Weak Airflow 

There are many potential factors that can affect the airflow of your car’s air conditioner. It is possible that a hose that supplies air to the blower unit of your AC has become loose or disconnected. If mildew and/ or mold has accumulated in your AC system it can be challenging for air to reach your air vents. Another possible cause for weak airflow could be due to a malfunctioning ventilation fan. If you notice diminished airflow coming from your AC unit early on, it is best to have it seen by a mechanic. Timely repairs can save money and avoid potential further damage to your AC system.  

Bad Odor From AC Vents

No one wants to have stinky air blown in his or her face while driving. If your car emanates a pungent odor from its vents there are a few issues that may be causing the smell. If your air cabin filter is dirty or old, it can lead to an unpleasant smell. A moldy evaporator case can occur as a result of accumulated water from a blocked drain. Cleaning your cabin air filter is a simple DIY fix and can be easily done with a vacuum or cloth.

Air Is Cool But Not Cold

When the air conditioning in your car is set to max cold, it should provide cold airflow. If, when set to max cold, moderately cool air flows you should to make sure the cooling fans on the radiator are running properly when the air conditioning is on. You can also check for any blockages that may prohibit the air from passing over the condenser (i.e. dirt, mold, bugs, leaves…etc.). If you notice any restrictions and/ or debris it should be cleaned immediately. You should also check the cabin air filter to make sure it is not clogged. Cleaning out a dirty, or replacing a damaged, cabin air filter can be done easily by a vehicle owner. 


The most common problem associated with a faulty air conditioning system can be attributed to a leak. If you want to attempt to locate a leak in your AC system you can use a UV AC leak detection kit. The kit will have detailed instructions as to how you should introduce the UV dye into the system as well as how to operate the UV light to locate the leak. You should be sure to check around all of the fittings to assure they are properly fastened. It is also important to make sure there are no leaks in the hose manifolds on the compressor. The seals on the front and pressure switches on the back of a compressor can also be the source of a leak. The hoses of an automotive AC are usually crimped into the fittings and that is also a common location for a potential leak. Make sure there are no pinholes in the condenser. While you can locate a leak on your own, it is likely you will need the assistance of a mechanic to complete the repair. If you would prefer to avoid doing this process yourself, you should bring your car to a mechanic locate the source of a leak. 

Further Information

As an automotive parts and supply shop with decades of experience we have access to extensive inventory. Northstar Automotive is staffed with incredibly knowledgeable professionals, dedicated to provide topnotch service to all its customers. Let us help you make sure you are equipped with everything you need to ensure all of your vehicles are in excellent shape. 

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