It's no fun to drive around all day when it's hot out in a car that doesn't have a working air conditioner. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can be dangerous it extremely hot environments. If you figure out why your AC isn't functioning properly, you can help yourself decide whether an easy 5-minute fix will suffice or if a repair shop that offers auto AC services is the best bet. In addition, you can inform your mechanic of the signs you witnessed so that the labor time will be less, saving you time and money.
1. Turn on your car and then turn on the air conditioning
Unless your engine is on, the AC won't function right. Try to turn it to the fresh air setting initially in order to have air flowing from the vents near the dash. Also start with the highest speed that the fan is capable of. Finally, if Max AC is available on your auto, turn that on as well.
2. Listen for strange noise originating from your AC
A strange sound could suggest that your compressor isn't working properly and needs instant repairs or replacement.
3. Feel for the air that comes from the vents
You'll want to know whether your air is room temperature, cold (ideal), or warmer (not good) than the other air. Also, if it begins cold but then becomes hotter or blows at different temperatures sporadically, make note of this - this is a problem.
4. Feel the air pressure
Adjust your settings from high to low, and see if the air is changing its pressure like it should if it is functioning properly. If not, there's an issue somewhere.
5. Smell the air
Smell the air? Yes, smell it. The air coming from the vents shouldn't have an odor, but if you detect strong or unusual scents you could have a dangerous leak. It is also possible that the filter for the air in the cabin needs to be changed out.
6. Look at the fuses
In your owner's manual (there are downloadable PDF's of almost every car manual in the world available online if you've lost your original, physical copy), you will find how to access your fuse panel. It could be in the glove box, under the hood, or elsewhere. Using your manual, assess whether or not you have a blown AC fuse. This could be a serious problem.
Hot days in the car with no air conditioning are not desirable. Therefore, use these six quick tips to diagnose whether or not you should get to the mechanic soon to repair your AC. Many of these checks only take five minutes but can save you hours of headache.