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How to Diagnose Car Air Conditioner Problems

Junk car air conditionerOn the one hand, the warm weather of summertime can be a good thing. More hours of daylight to enjoy the outdoors after work; warm sunny days in the park; plenty of sunshine on the weekends…the list goes on. But, summer’s not always fun. Intense heat is never enjoyable. And, we’ve all had the experience of getting into an insanely hot car right in the middle of one of the dog days of summer.


When that happens, you’ll want to turn your air conditioner on full blast and cool things down as quickly as possible. Having a functioning car air conditioner in some parts of the country isn’t a luxury: it’s practically a necessity. Try hopping into a vehicle with no air conditioner on a 110 degree day in Phoenix, and you’ll see what we mean.


If your air conditioner isn’t working, it’s important to diagnose what may be going on so that you can get it fixed right away. Of course, if you’re simply going to sell your junk car, it may or may not be worth fixing the air conditioner. Regardless, though, knowing what’s going on with your broken A/C is an important first step in determining whether or not it’s an affordable thing to repair.


Let’s take a closer look at what can go wrong with a vehicle’s air conditioner.


Vehicle Air Conditioner Problems


A lot of things can cause an air conditioning system in a car to fail. However, there are four common reasons that most air conditioners stop working. Determining which one of these issues is causing your A/C problem is essential if you want to get it fixed.


Generally speaking, one of the following four issues is typically at fault when it comes to a broken air conditioning system:


  • Faulty air conditioner compressor (or compressor that fails to properly engage)
  • Inadequate circulation of refrigerant in the air conditioner
  • The interior “blend door” on the air conditioner being stuck on “heat”
  • A low or inadequate amount of refrigerant


Diagnosing Your Air Conditioner Problem


Now, let’s look at how you might go about trying to diagnose what’s going on with your car’s air conditioner.


First off, it’s worth trying to figure out if your compressor might be at fault. Open up your hood, start your vehicle, and turn on your air conditioner. Next, take out your vehicle manual and use it to find the air conditioner compressor under your hood. It generally looks like a miniature motor, and you should be able to see a spinning wheel engaged on the motor. This is the compressor’s clutch. If it’s not spinning, you have a compressor issue.


Sometimes, you’ll find that the compressor is spinning just fine. However, warm air is blowing out of the system rather than cold air. When this happens, it may be a matter of low refrigerant. Get a mechanic to check for either inadequate refrigerant or low refrigerant pressure. Having your air conditioner “recharged” is generally an affordable repair.

Lastly, you may find that your entire air conditioning system needs replacing. If this happens, you’ll be in store for an expensive repair. Your best bet may be to simply sell your junk car for quick cash, and use that money to purchase a newer vehicle. Junk A Car pays cash for junk cars each and every day, and we can get you cash for your car in less than 24 hours. Contact us today to find out how much your vehicle is worth!