You rely on auto air conditioning to stay cool and comfortable, whether on a drive around the block or a trip across the country. But when a car AC isn't working as it should, it may indicate that the unit needs to be recharged by adding pressurized refrigerant, or Freon. With summer in its last third but still hanging on for a while, it helps to understand when you should take your vehicle to an auto repair professional for a recharge. Here are three common signs that your AC is running low.
How to Tell if Your Car AC Needs a Boost
1. Lack of Cool Air
Auto air conditioning works by circulating air that’s been cooled by Freon. When refrigerant levels are low, the system can’t adequately cool the air. As a result, when you get behind the wheel, you may notice room-temperature air blowing out of the vents—and this isn’t exactly comfortable on a hot day.
2. Freon Leaks
Over time, the pressurized compartment of a car AC can develop leaks, which in turn leads to refrigerant dripping out of the unit. In many cases, this will leave liquid around the compressor, underneath the vehicle, or inside the car, often on the floor under the dashboard. It may also leave a greasy residue on the air conditioner or its fittings.
3. An Air Conditioning Clutch That Won't Engage
When you turn on a vehicle's AC, you often hear the clutch of the system engaging. This is triggered by the pressure switch, which automatically performs a reading of the pressure level inside the system. If it’s too low, the switch can't gather a measurement and so won’t engage the clutch. Listen for the sound of a noticeable click when you turn on the AC. If you don't hear it, it could mean the unit needs recharging.
Cookeville Tire & Auto has been repairing auto air conditioning systems for over 25 years. Serving the Putnam County, TN, region, they offer comprehensive auto repair services and parts. From tire installations to transmission work, they’re your trusted source for all your auto care needs with a two-year warranty on parts and labor. Call (931) 526-9022 or visit them online to schedule service today.