Van Nuys Auto Repair & Service Center

Part II: What to Do When Your Car’s AC is Blowing Hot Air…Among Other Things

[Jack’s air conditioning blog, part II]

Here is Part two of a two-part series on automobile air conditioning systems. Part I focused on what to look out for if you have an air conditioning problem. Part II covers solutions to these challenges. 

In Part I of this blog, our client, Caryn heard a loud noise after turning on her car’s air conditioning and became so alarmed that she asked for a tow to our shop as she was afraid to drive herself. 

I asked Caryn if this was the first time that she noticed a problem with the AC. 

“Well, it hasn’t been consistent over the past year—it would blow cold air and then some warm air. It was hit or miss. I didn’t think it was urgent enough to bring in the car.”

I explained to her that those malfunctions are why I ask customers to come in for regularly scheduled maintenance checks. It is a cost saver when we can diagnose a problem early on. 

“Call me whenever you have a questions,” I told her.

We performed our courtesy visual inspection that alerted us to further problems with her car’s AC. With Caryn’s go-ahead, we did more testing. Sure enough, it showed considerable wear and tear of the car’s AC condenser which hadn’t been inspected in over a year. We’d have to replace it.  

The cost of a new compressor varies depending on the type and model of the car. For example, an AC condenser from a Mercedes will cost more to repair or replace than a Kia.

Six Tips for Catching the Problem Before It Gets Out of Control

What can you do to stop an air conditioning problem before it gets out of control? Here are six tips from our ASE-certified mechanics. 

#1: It’s good practice to have your car’s AC checked annually. Positioned at the car’s front end, the AC is constantly running even when you don’t have it turned on, which means that wear, tear, and corrosion are all possibilities.

#2: The cabin filter must be periodically changed, just as you would swap out the filter in your home’s AC. It can become plugged up with dust and other debris and cause unpleasant odors.

#3: Have your mechanic check the engine belt, hoses, and gas pipelines that can affect the efficiency of your AC.

#4: Periodically have your ACs refrigerant changed. We’ll let you know when it’s due for maintenance. Also come in if you see, hear, smell or feel something that seems amiss. Before doing this, your technician will typically clean your AC unit as is recommended by the manufacturer.

#5: Start your vehicle’s AC even when it’s cold outside and not just on a sweltering day. Diagnosing the problem earlier in the game, uncovers any issues when they are first starting and keeps the air conditioning system lubricated throughout the year.

#6: Check your radiator every three months. This is especially important if you notice that your engine’ radiator is overheating. Since it sits behind the AC condenser it could impact its productivity.

If you’re a current or past customer, you know the time and energy we put into diagnosing your car’s problems. If you’ve never used us before check out what people have to say about AutoAid on our website,Google, Yelp!, and Facebook. We also invite you to visit our contact page if you want a specific questioned answered or call us at (818) 305-6698. Make an appointment today!

As a AAA-Approved Auto Repair and Customer Service Award winner for more than three decades, we pride ourselves on being the vehicle experts. Our goal is to keep you on the road so you can complete your journey. Safety is our primary concern.

AutoAid, located in the heart of Van Nuys (14852 Vanowen St., Van Nuys, CA 91405

is LGBT-friendly.



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