Is Your Car's AC Struggling? 4 Signs of a Clogged AC System
Your car’s air conditioner includes several components, such as the evaporator, compressor, condenser, and expansion valve. If the air conditioning unit works as it should, these components perform in concert with precision and perfect timing.
However, if any part fails, this can prevent your car from delivering the refreshing cool air you’ve become accustomed to. And leaks and blockages are two of the most common problems requiring auto AC repair.
Fortunately, blockages and leaks are relatively common and easy to diagnose. Specific components will display erratic functions or peculiar behavior. Let’s explore the top signs that you have a blockage or clogged system needing AC repairs.
1. Strange Noise from the Compressor
Compressor noises—like grumbling, rattling, and howling sounds— are often linked to internal component wear. The problem is often connected to air or a contaminant entering the system.
The noise may also point to the breakdown of the refrigerant. Whenever freon degrades, it can generate friction that results in bits of metal flakes. Once this occurs, the metal flakes can travel through the hard line, making their way into the condenser to cause a blockage.
Over time, these flakes and other debris can accumulate. The accumulated metal debris can travel even further to block the orifice or expansion tube.
2. The AC System Automatically Shuts Off
Do you hear a repeated clunking sound? If so, it may be your compressor cycling off and on. This problem may be associated with an auto safety shutoff feature that detects pressure in the system that is lower than normal.
Your vehicle’s automatic shutoff will deactivate the magnetic clutch to the compressor if it drops to dangerously low system pressure. And low system pressure can be caused by sludge, contaminants, or air blockages in different components, including:
- Orifice tube
- Expansion valve
3. Frozen Compressor
Another common situation involving a blockage or clog is when the compressor freezes. Fortunately, this is relatively easy to diagnose.
First, have a friend or family member adjust your AC controls to the maximum. While they are doing so, listen and visually look to determine if your magnetic clutch engages. The clutch must engage to activate the compressor.
You can listen and also watch from your engine compartment. If it doesn’t engage, it may indicate your compressor is frozen.
A frozen compressor means either you have a dirty lubricant or a lack of freon that has caused the compressor to jam. You may be able to manually turn the outside of the clutch to see if it rotates.
4. Inconsistent Cooling Capabilities
When you activate your car’s aircon, you know what it should do—consistently blow cool air. However, if your AC provides intermittent cooling that includes gusts of cold air, cool air, and warm air from the vents, it may mean the AC system has frozen.
Anytime air and moisture combine, ice can develop. And when this happens in your AC system, it can block the orifice tube.
The typical AC system includes less than 2% air by volume. If additional air enters the system, it will displace your freon. Based on the temperature outside, it can cause your cooling capability to be inconsistent and very erratic.
Don’t Let Your AC Fail You: Take Action Against Car AC Clogs Now!
While most air conditioning systems are reliable, nothing is perfect. And if you need car AC repair, the Repair One in The Woodlands, TX team is here to help.
Our experienced technicians can perform every auto AC repairs your vehicle will ever need. The better approach? Prevent AC repair issues with regular inspection and maintenance.
Contact Repair One today by calling (936) 271-1110 or dropping by our shop at 6495 College Park Dr., The Woodlands, TX 77384.