Car AC Trouble Signs You Should Never Ignore

Having a properly functioning car air conditioning system is essential for maintaining a comfortable in-car environment when hot weather arrives. An auto AC system extracts heat from a car's interior environment to keep you cool and comfortable. It works the same way as the air conditioners used in buildings. 

Since an AC unit is one of those vehicle components that require occasional attention to keep running smoothly, you may be tempted to put it on the back burner of your vehicle's preventative maintenance. 

The good news is that you don't have to wait until it's time for the next scheduled maintenance service to get your car's air conditioner checked. Here are a few auto AC problems that warrant an immediate visit to the auto repair shop.

Declining Cooling Performance

When your car's air conditioning system is working well, it only takes a few minutes to start cooling your car interiors. If it takes longer than usual for your car to get cold, it is likely there is an issue with your AC. 

An auto AC system can lose its cooling power due to many factors. These include:

  • Refrigerant leaks
  • Compressor failure
  • Faulty valves
  • Broken radiator fans

The only sure way to determine why your AC is not cooling is to let a professional have a look at it.

Weird Noises

Your car's air conditioning unit comprises many moving parts that can become damaged or worn out with time. It also holds the refrigerant (your AC's essential working fluid) under immense pressure.

If you hear strange noises originating from your AC unit when it is running, you should get it checked immediately. For example, a hissing or whistling sound points to the possibility that refrigerant might be escaping from the unit. On the other hand, consistent rattling may be a subtle sign of a bad compressor.

Don't ignore any unusual AC noises in the hope that they will go away without intervention. Such noises tend to get worse with time and may lead to expensive repairs.

Musty Odor 

If you notice a musty smell when you turn on your vehicle's AC system, it is most likely that mold, mildew, and other unwanted microorganisms are growing inside the system. The unpleasant smell is usually due to condensation buildup inside the AC system. The trapped water and moisture create the damp conditions that harmful microorganisms require to grow.

To get rid of that musty odor, you will need to accurately identify its source and fix it. Don't rely on car air fresheners alone as exposure to mold and mildew can harm your health.

Never hesitate to visit an auto AC repair mechanic if your car's AC system is giving you problems.