While the heating and air conditioning systems in your car are connected, they are two separate systems and operate separately. Still, like every other vehicle part or system, car owners must take care of the heating and A/C system. Regular maintenance is extremely important to keep both systems in good working order and extend the life of your car. Importantly, scheduled maintenance negates the risk of gremlins affecting your vehicle’s heating and A/C system.
As vehicle heating and cooling system experts, we understand and appreciate the value of taking care of these systems. Therefore, we use our extensive multi-point testing procedures and processes to ensure that each part or subsystem in the A/C or heating system is working effectively and efficiently. Whether your car’s A/C suddenly stopped working, or you’re experiencing a problem that’s slowly getting worse, we’ll get to the bottom of the problem and fix it.
Common A/C System Issue
- Low Refrigerant – This is one of the most common problems faced by vehicle A/C systems. A low refrigerant level is a sign that the car’s air conditioner is noisy and does not cool. Depending on the refrigerant level, the A/C may blow cool or even warm air, but not cold. It is not a pleasant experience to face such a situation during hot summer days. You need a coolant top-up. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, this is either R-12 or R-134a.
- Clogged or Leaking Condenser – When the A/C does not have enough refrigerant moving through the system as per the OEM design, you will not get cool air coming from the vents. Condenser leaks can reduce the effectiveness of the A/C. Additionally, crud build-up in front of the condenser will restrict the flow of refrigerant. As a result, the car air conditioner may make a noise and not work.
- Damaged Compressor – The A/C condenser is the device in which heat exchange occurs, causing the A/C system to dump heat. For the condenser to work efficiently, it is placed at the front of the vehicle, which makes it vulnerable to damage from hitting objects such as rocks. If a knock has ruptured the condenser and it is leaking refrigerant, it needs to be replaced immediately to prevent further damage to the system.
Common reasons why the heating system does not work
- Low Coolant – Your car uses heat drawn from the engine coolant to heat the cabin. Coolant is drained from the engine block by passing through the heater core. At the heater core, heat is transferred from the coolant to the air that is blown into the cabin. Low coolant levels reduce the efficiency of heat removal from the engine. This reduces the amount of heat available on the heater core.
- Air in the Coolant System – Having air in the coolant system reduces its efficiency. Water can draw a lot more air out of the engine block than air can. As such, when the air becomes trapped within the coolant lines, the cooling system cannot evacuate enough to heat the cabin. It is also dangerous for the engine due to the danger of overheating.
- Bad heater core – The heater core is a mini radiator made of aluminum or brass tubing that allows coolant to circulate through the engine. The heat in the heater core is blown by fans, helping to spread the heat throughout the cabin to keep this area warm. Unfortunately, the heater core is prone to a myriad of problems such as clogged tubing, fan-blown air not reaching the heater core, or the cooler not operating efficiently within the heater core. Maintaining this important part of the heating system regularly is paramount.
Failed (or Malfunctioning) Thermostat – When a thermostat malfunction or failure is encountered, the heater may operate intermittently or not operate at all.