Here Is How To Fix AC In A Car

by Mario Garcia
Here Is How To Fix AC In A Car

No one can deny that having a functional car AC is important. It makes you and your passengers feel more comfortable in the car. 

Imagine driving a long distance during the hot summer period without a functioning AC. You certainly won’t be very comfortable as when the AC was functioning. 

You don’t have to wait for summertime to fix your car’s air conditioner. Find out what the problem is and fix it. It could be a leakage somewhere, or perhaps; the compressor isn’t engaging as it should. Low refrigerant could also be the reason.    

You can contact a professional to fix your car. But then, you must be ready to splash the cash. It usually costs between $170 to over $4000 to fix car AC, depending on where the fault lies. 

But the good news is you can fix your car AC without the help of any professional. We have highlighted the various steps to help you achieve this. So, read from start to finish. 

Steps On How To Fix Air Condition System In Your Car

You can fix or at least uncover the problem your car AC is having via the following steps.

Step#1: Turn on the air conditioner: 

Ensure the air conditioner is high when you start your vehicle. Then, feel the air coming out of the AC. The airflow may not be functioning if it is not as cold as it used to be. 

If you’re receiving warm instead of cool air, do the following. 

Check if the cooling fans on your radiator are operating as they should. If they’re not, chances are you have an issue with the electrical system. 

Another option would be to replace the cabin air filter in your car. Doing so will increasing airflow. 

A cabin air filter also removes unpleasant odor in your car.

Step#2: Check if the compressor is working

Ensure the air conditioner’s compressor is functioning properly. Go to the engine bay to find the air conditioner. Then check if the center of the pulley is turning along with the pulley itself.

Please take note of the following.

Check if the clutch engages. The middle of the pulley will rotate along with the pulley itself if the clutch engages.

Let us assume the clutch fails to engage. If that’s the case, chances are the air conditioner compressor is broken. What you need to do is to replace it.

Step#3: Consider the wires leading to the compressor: 

If not all compressors, many of them possess a wire that leads to the electric clutch. In the middle of the wire, locate the connector before unplugging it. Then, get a length of wire and operate it from the compressor’s wire to the terminal of your battery.

The electric clutch does not have an issue if you hear a loud clack. But, if you do not hear such, then it has a problem. 

Do the following in this case.

Firstly, get the compressor replaced. You would need specialized tools to do this. Or better still, you can take the car to the mechanic to help mount your new compressor. 

Step#4: Find out if there’s a leak somewhere: 

Leakages can cause car AC not to function properly. So, if you’re looking for a possible fault in your air conditioner, pay attention to leakages. 

Using the leak detection kits, you can identify any leaks in your AC. A dye in this kit would run through the lines and seep out of any cracks or leaks. 

How do you use the leak detection kits to identify leakages in an air conditioner? Use the following steps. 

Firstly, go to the low-side service port to connect the leak detection kit. After that, spray the leak detection kit into the air conditioning system.

The second step is to find leakages, take the car to a repairer to fix them. It’s best to let a professional fix leak in car AC as it’s highly technical. Don’t do this yourself.

Finally, if you cannot find any leak, chances are the refrigerant is low.

Step#5: Find and clean the low-side service port for the AC:

There are two service ports in your air conditioning system. These include the high side port and the low side port. 

Here’s how to locate both service ports.

Firstly, follow the lines from the compressor to locate the low-side service port.

Secondly, have in mind that you can locate the port by referring to your car’s service manual.

Once you locate the low-side service port, use a rag to clean it. Do not try to use any debris or grime, as these can clog the service port. 

It would help if you used a clean rag to wipe the service port before removing it and wiping the cap and line. Another way to clean the service port is by spraying the brake cleaner. It is faster if you use the brake cleaner.

Things That Can Cause An Ac Not Function Properly

Several factors can contribute to your car’s AC not working. You need to understand them to make an informed decision on maintenance, including repairing the air conditioner. Let’s run through each factor quickly. 

Broken cooling fan:

Cars use cooling fans to move the refrigerated air to their cabin. So, when the fans stop working as they should, you may not feel air coming out from the vents.

What causes this problem? It could be a result of a bad fuse or crack caused by the debris.  

Well, it could get cracked by debris from the road, or it may have blown a fuse. Thankfully, you can quickly fix this problem, and you do not need to visit any mechanic.

Refrigerant leakage:

The refrigerant leak is undoubtedly a common factor that causes air conditioners not to function well. There may be a leak if pressure is low, a breakdown of rubber seals and hoses, etc.

A Handy Tip: You can locate a leak in your car’s AC system using a UV A/C leak detection kit.

Furthermore, ensure you fix any leaks before using your AC. Do not wait for the fault to get worse. 

An issue with the compressor:

Compressor plays a vital role in air movement within the car. Therefore, if the compressor doesn’t work properly, don’t expect the refrigerant to move around. 

If you don’t use the compressor for an extended period, it may likely develop a fault. It often happens during the winter period. Many people never utilize or underutilize their car AC because of the cold weather. 

Most people never bother to fix their faulty AC during the winter months because of the weather. But when summer comes, you’ll find them rushing to fix it. And by that time, the fault with the AC would have gotten worse. 

Another way your compressor may develop a fault is when the clutch on the compressor gets stuck. In this case, you will have to visit the mechanic to fix the problem.

Electrical issue:

Several factors give rise to electrical problems in car AC. It could be a bad fuse, failed switches, a problem with the control module, etc. Your AC can stop functioning or even lose connection if the fuses short out.

Though electrical problems in the air conditioning system are a breeze to fix, you need to address them as soon as possible. Not doing so can result in the acid buildup. 

Your car may experience severe damage due to acid buildup. It can damage the entire air conditioning system, forcing you to splash the cash on another AC unit. But then, you can prevent this from occurring by fixing the problem much earlier.

Faulty condenser:

What’s a condenser’s role? It takes the humid air in the air compressor, depressurizes, cools, and liquefies the air. In other words, the air can get cool if the condenser is functioning well. If you discover that your AC doesn’t release cool air, chances are your condenser is faulty.  


Car airconditioner makes you feel relaxed in your car, whether it’s winter or summer. The winter month is usually cold. So, you’ll likely feel the importance of the car AC during the hot summer months. 

It’s important to have a functional AC at all times. Please do not neglect your faulty AC because it’s winter, as doing so could even worsen the problem. Furthermore, you can fix a myriad of car AC problems yourself. They are quite simple and straightforward. You can also follow the tips and steps in this post to fix your car AC. 

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