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Your Air Conditioning is on the Fritz. What Gives?

It always happens during the hottest days of summer here in Pocatello, ID – your car's air conditioning starts blowing hot air, or stops entirely. What should you do? Do you need to bring your car in for repair? Is there something you can do to bring back the cool air?

We at J & J Auto Body know that when it gets hot, you need your air conditioner to work! So, if your car’s cool air is no longer working, here are some helpful tips we’ve put together so that if (and when) your AC begins malfunctioning, you'll know exactly what to do!

1.) Check all of your vents.

Feeling for air in your ventsBe certain that your air pressure is coming out of the vents that you've chosen via the controls. Move the vent selector to ascertain if the air is coming through the proper vents. If using the selected vent does not modify the flow of air, you likely have a blend door issue, which will require replacing the doors inside the dash that determine the direction of the air flow.

Blend doors alter position when the temperature selection is changed, thereby either blocking the flow or enabling the flow of hot or cold air. Sometimes an AC system with a mode door problem could be working properly, but the air flow is being directed somewhere else, such as back out to the engine, instead of into the car.

2.) Inspect your cabin air filter. Needing cool air in your car?

If the air originating from your vents starts to smell funky or if you think you have had a slow decrease in your pressure for some time, check the air filter. You will be able to see if it has a buildup of dirt or debris from driving around Pocatello on it. The problem might be caused by the fact that your cabin air filter is seriously blocked, thereby interfering with your air pressure. In this case, replacing it will be a relatively simple and a normally affordable fix to solve the problem. Your car manual may have instructions on replacing your cabin filter. If you ever don't feel comfortable doing any work on your AC, call your local mechanic and get it done right.

3.) Check your blower motor.

How the AC unites work in a carToo many folks do not take the time to inspect their blower motors, but it takes very little time to do it. The most drama-free way to do this is to try turning on your heat. If you have weak air flow when the heat is on as well, your blower motor may have gone out. A blower motor could likely have resistor issues if your air only works on the high setting, but will not operate on a lower setting. Unfortunately, rodents and other small creatures sometimes take up residency in your car's HVAC hoses and can often get caught in the blower motor when the car is started. A thumping noise (or a stinky smell) emanating from your vents heat could be a sign of this dilemma.

We at J & J Auto Body hope that these tips and information will help you stay cool as you make your way through the ID summer heat!

Sources: US Today, Newsweek and How 

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