What to Do When Your Car’s Air Conditioner Stops Working

So, you’re driving along in the heat of the summer season and so comfortable with the air conditioner working splendidly. But, wait a minute, now you are starting to sweat. Why? Because suddenly your A/C is blowing out warm air! And, of course, it is one of the hottest days of the year! An air conditioning system that is improperly operating can not only be uncomfortable but also dangerous, especially for children, elderly, and people with compromised health. Ensuring that your A/C is in good working condition should be a priority. Before the season gets in full gear, be sure to get the system checked. 

When your car’s air conditioner goes out and is blowing warm, stale air instead of cool, refreshing air, there are several reasons why. In this article, we detail five common reasons for your A/C ceasing to work properly. Our recommendation, however, is to call us at Reliable Imports to schedule a service as soon as possible. Our team of professional, knowledgeable A/C service technicians can get you back to optimum comfort quickly. Read on to learn more about why your A/C may be malfunctioning.

Refrigerant Leak

A leak in the refrigerant, Freon, is one of the most common causes of a car’s A/C failing. The refrigerant doesn’t need to be topped off in a vehicle because the A/C system is sealed. So, you won’t see a puddle of fluid under the vehicle like with other leaks. This is because the refrigerant evaporates instantly into a gas when it isn’t under the pressure of the closed loop A/C system. The way to tell if you have a leak is by checking the refrigerant level. If the level is low, then you have a leak and it needs to be addressed quickly


A leak can start from several different places. For example, rubber seals and hoses can break down over time allowing the Freon to escape. A leak can be dangerous to the automobile by allowing moisture to enter the cooling system and mix with the refrigerant. When moisture and Freon mix together, the result is an acid that can corrode the A/C system and cause permanent, irreparable damage. You should definitely call a professional A/C technician who has diagnostic methods to trace and fix all leaks.

Electrical Issues

When your A/C stops working, it could be due to a problem in the car’s electrical system. A failure with the electrical can cause a loss of power to certain components such as the air conditioner. The electrical system can experience a failure due to a defect in the system, the age, or a power surge. This system is designed to cut power in order to prevent more damage or unsafe conditions.


The cause could be something simple like a blown fuse, but it can also be something much more complicated. All the wires that enter and exit the A/C should be checked to see if any are frayed, broken, melted, or burnt. This diagnosis is not the easiest to make without the proper test instruments and experience. If you are unable to detect any electrical problem, you should take the vehicle into a shop that has expertise in repairing air conditioning systems.

Compressor Problem

The A/C system uses a compressor to keep the air circulating. If the compressor isn’t working properly, then the refrigerant isn’t moving around as it should and you get warm air. The main cause of a compressor failing is inactivity, so this usually happens after a winter season where you haven’t needed the A/C. Another reason the compressor malfunctions is the compressor clutch. The compressor clutch connects and disconnects the compressor from the engine’s mechanical power. If the compressor clutch doesn’t engage, it can be due to a variety of issues such as:


- Clutch fuse is blown

- Clutch relay is faulty

- Refrigerant is leaking

- Improper clutch plate air gap

An experienced car A/C technician can determine the exact issue with the compressor.

Condenser is Bad

The condenser is important because it takes the humid air from the compressor and depressurizes, cools, and liquefies the air. In effect, simply stated, it helps to cool the air inside the car’s cabin. When the air isn’t as cool as it should be, it could be that the condenser is failing. A condenser can fail due to an accumulation of dirt and road debris clogging the ventilation system or a compressed copper pipe.

Cooling Fans Are Broken

There are two cooling fans mounted on the front of the condenser that work with the compressor to get rid of the heat and move the cooled air into the vehicle. If the fan isn’t blowing at the right speed, the partially cooled refrigerant doesn’t get to where it needs to be. And, you won’t feel any air coming out of the vents. A cooling fan that isn’t working properly can be due to a blown fuse, an electrical short, or cracked from debris in the road. Cooling fans aren’t very sturdy, so they are easily damaged from road rubbish. A technician can easily diagnose and repair cooling fans.

Call Us Today!

Our ASE certified and experienced import auto mechanics are ready to work on your air conditioner issues. These problems aren’t always easy to diagnose, so seeing an expert is the best course of action. Don’t delay! Call us today at (919) 324-3019.


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