When to Get AC Repair for Your Vehicle

Michael J. O'Connor
November 8, 2023

When warm weather starts to become an issue, it is essential that you get the protection you need. Your car should always feel as comfortable as possible so you can focus on the road and not on staying cool. This means that your air conditioning should be in good working order so you can be prepared when the temperatures start to rise. If you think that your air conditioner isn’t as effective as it once was, it may be time to get AC repair so you can rest easy whenever you are behind the wheel. 

Your car’s AC is a relatively sensitive mechanism and it needs maintenance and service just like any other component. However, it can sometimes be difficult to know when you need AC repair. With a good understanding of the signs that your AC isn’t working properly, you can stay cool and protect your vehicle’s engine and other components that can be damaged by a bad AC. Knowing when to get AC repair is the best way to save money on larger repairs and be as comfortable as possible, no matter what the weather is like. 

Before and After the Warmer Months 

If at all possible, it is best to get AC repair before you actually need it. This means getting the preventive maintenance needed to keep the AC in great condition and prevent problems when you need cool air in the cabin the most. Get your air conditioner looked at before the warmest months of the year hit to make sure it is in good condition and that everything is charged up. If, for example, you need to add refrigerant, it is best to know this ahead of time so you can have your AC in the best possible condition for the hot weather. 

You should also get your AC looked at after the summer is over. Chances are, you will be using your air conditioner all the time throughout the hot months and this means that things can wear out. If you are going to need AC repair, this is the time when it will be the most likely. Getting those repairs done will help you be ready for the next summer and won’t have to worry about a failed AC when the thermometer is peaking. 

When You Notice Strange Odors 

When it comes to car repair and maintenance, your nose can tell you a lot of things about what is going on. Any time you smell a strange odor when you turn on your vehicle’s AC, this is a sign that it needs to be repaired or examined. Depending on the smell, it could be an issue with the compressor or something as simple as the vents needing to be cleaned out. However, it is always best to find out the cause of the odor and get it taken care of before it becomes a bigger, more expensive issue. 

Most of the time, when you notice a strange odor coming from the air conditioner, it is a result of mold or mildew building up in the system. This happens when the vehicle has been sitting for an extended period of time and moisture has been allowed to settle in the car. Usually, you can fix this issue by replacing the cabin air filter that is located behind the glove box. If that doesn’t get rid of the smell, take the car in to an AC repair professional and have them clean out the whole system so you can breathe easy. 

Any Time it Stops Blowing Cool Air 

One of the most frustrating AC repair issues is when your air conditioner doesn’t blow cold air or isn’t as cold as it once was. When the weather is extremely hot, you need your car’s AC to be as effective as possible and a weak cold air output can make your drive very uncomfortable. Any loss of cool air is a sign that you need AC repair and could be relatively serious. Getting it fixed as soon as possible will keep you comfortable and prevent issues with the engine later down the line. 

If your AC is not blowing as much cool air as it should be, it could be an issue with the radiator itself. If this is the case, that means your vehicle’s cooling system has a bigger, more complex issue. Because of this, it is important to have an AC repair specialist diagnose the exact cause. They will determine if the problem is related to the cooling system as a whole or if you simply need to recharge the AC with refrigerant. 

As Soon As Unusual Noises Start 

Any car owner knows that strange noises are a cause for concern no matter where they are coming from. If you notice sounds that you haven’t heard before when you turn on your air conditioner, this is a sure sign that you need AC repair. These sounds can come from the engine compartment or the vents themselves. Either way, they need to be investigated so you can get them fixed and get your AC back in good working order. 

If you are noticing a squealing noise when you turn the AC on, this usually means that your engine’s serpentine belt is wearing out or has come loose. The serpentine belt generally runs the AC and power steering as well as the cooling system, so you must have an AC repair specialist look at it. Other noises like rattling or hissing can be coming from the AC compressor. This can sometimes mean that the compressor needs to be replaced but it can also mean that it simply needs to be adjusted or serviced. 

When You Notice Leaks

Any kind of leak coming from your vehicle can potentially be a serious problem. If you see a puddle on the ground when you pull out from a parking space, this could mean that your AC lines have sprung a leak. This is relatively common and may happen in older cars, especially if the weather has been hot, which can crack the lines or seals. An AC repair specialist will be able to check and see what the problem is. 

One of the sure signs that you need AC repair is a leak that is happening inside the cabin of the vehicle. If you get in your car and see that the floor mats are wet, this means that your AC evaporator is leaking. This component converts the warm air into cool air and if it isn’t functioning properly, it can leak. Getting this looked at as soon as possible will keep mold and mildew from growing in the cabin and get your AC back in good condition. 

Get the Best AC Repair for Your Vehicle

If your air conditioner is not giving you the cool air you need on hot days, getting high-quality AC repair is crucial. Knowing when you should take your vehicle into the shop can help prevent large, expensive issues and keep you cool when you need it most. With a good understanding of some common signs of AC problems, you can make sure your vehicle is comfortable all summer long. 

If you need AC repair or any other maintenance for your vehicle, ServiceUp is here for you. With one easy-to-use dashboard to help you manage your maintenance, collision, and mechanical repair needs, it has never been easier to get your vehicle fixed by qualified, experienced technicians. Whether you need simple oil changes or major body work, ServiceUp will take care of everything and get you back on the road. Get an estimate today to find out how ServiceUp can help!

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