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Identifying Your AC Problem

In Florida the daily commute can be unbearable if your car’s AC suddenly stops working. If you own a car manufactured prior to 1995, this can be an even bigger problem thanks to the EPA’s regulation of ozone destroying refrigerants, making it more difficult to address issues related to recharging your car’s AC. It is also important to note that unless you are certain your car’s AC system was converted to the current R-134-a refrigerant, to not attempt to recharge your AC system using popular AC in a can type products in cars manufactured prior to 1995. Only certified technicians can replace or even purchase the R12 refrigerant used prior to 1995. But the first step is diagnose the problem with your AC. Below are some basic steps to help you identify the problem.

  1. Assess the air flow – With your car running, turn the AC on high and check to see if the fans are running. If the fans are not running, you may need to change your cabin air filter to increase the they air flow.
  2. Check the compressor – The compressor is the heart of your AC system and is part of a pulley system that engages when the AC is functioning normally. Locate the compressor in the engine and examine the center of the pulley to see if it is turning. If it appears to be rotating normally, you may need refrigerant. If it is not turning, you may need to replace the compressor.
  3. Look for a leak in the system – A leak detection kit is connected to your system. Spraying a dye in your system that will appear in any cracks or small holes will allow you to detect any leaks. A leaky system should be repaired by a certified mechanic. If you cannot identify any leaks, you may be low on refrigerant.
  4. Examine the wiring – The majority of AC compressors are directly wired to the clutch. Attach a length of wire to the compressor’s wire and run it to the positive terminal of your battery. If you hear a loud click, it means the clutch is working, if not, it needs repair or replacement. For these repairs, you should bring your car to a certified technician.

Diagnosing and recharging your car’s AC requires special tools and expertise, and if your car is a hybrid or electric car, they have different components than a regular system. Often, the AC in a can products can mask the real problem and you will end up paying far more in repairs than necessary. If you are the do-it-yourself type, certified technicians are in high demand in the automotive industry. With hands on training, experienced instructors and flexible schedules, J-Tech Institute is helping students get the training they need to become successful certified technicians. Call us today and schedule a tour of our campus. You can join the ranks of professional technicians keeping the world moving! Contact J-tech now to learn more!

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