Cool And Comfy: A Guide To Troubleshooting And Repairing Your Car's AC

A properly functioning car air conditioning (AC) system is essential for maintaining a comfortable and enjoyable driving experience, particularly during the hot summer months. However, over time, your car's AC system may develop issues that need fixing. Here are some things to check.

Refrigerant Level

The most common cause of a malfunctioning car AC system is low refrigerant levels. The refrigerant is the substance responsible for absorbing heat from the cabin and releasing it outside. If the refrigerant level is low, the AC system will not be able to cool the air effectively. 

Check the refrigerant level using an AC pressure gauge, and if it's low, recharge the system with the appropriate type and amount of refrigerant specified by your vehicle's manufacturer.


The compressor provides pressure that circulates the system's refrigerant. If the compressor isn't functioning correctly, the entire AC system will be compromised.

Common issues with compressors include seized bearings, damaged belts, or electrical problems. Inspect the compressor for visible damage or leaks, and if necessary, replace it or its components to restore proper function.


The condenser releases the heat that the refrigerant absorbs, so the heat dissipates into the outside atmosphere. 

Your car's AC condenser is typically located at the front of the vehicle, near the radiator, and can be prone to damage from road debris or corrosion. If the condenser sustains damage, the AC system will not be able to dissipate heat effectively.

Visually inspect the condenser, looking for signs of damage or blockage. Clean or replace the part if you see clogs or damage.

Expansion Valve

The expansion valve controls the flow of refrigerant into the evaporator, where the cooling process takes place. If the expansion valve is clogged or malfunctioning, the refrigerant flow may be restricted, resulting in reduced cooling efficiency. Try replacing the expansion valve if you have poor cooling but no obvious cause.


The evaporator is the component responsible for absorbing heat from the cabin and transferring it to the refrigerant. A blocked-up evaporator restricts airflow throughout the AC system. If you see that your car's evaporator has debris that is blocking airflow, clean the debris off with a soft brush or compressed air.

Cabin Filter

A clogged cabin filter is another potential cause of restricted airflow. Replace the cabin filter regularly, as specified by your vehicle's maintenance schedule, to ensure optimal airflow and cooling performance.

For more information about auto air conditioning repair, contact a local auto shop.