One of the most important aspects of keeping your vehicle comfortable is having a properly working air conditioner and heater. When the air conditioner goes out, it’s possible that refrigerant will leak. This is both harmful to the vehicle and the environment. As far as your vehicle goes, refrigerant can damage the compressor and evaporator. This is why it’s so important to get your air conditioner serviced as soon as you realize there is a problem.
Every ride in your vehicle should be comfortable, and at Kwik Kar Richardson we can make sure the heating and cooling system is running well so you are in comfort while driving.
What Are Signs of a Broken Heater or Air Conditioner?
When it comes to the vehicle air conditioner, the following are some of the signs that there may be a problem:
- No Air Conditioning – The first and clearest warning sign is if the air conditioner simply does not work. You may get no air out of the vents or you may get hot or warm air. This can be caused by many things, whether being out of refrigerant or having damaged vents or fans.
- Strange Noises – The next most common symptom of an issue is a strange noise. This might mean you turn on the air conditioner, but you hear some sort of rattling or banging. This can also be related to many things, such as a part being broken or debris clogging the air conditioner unit.
- Unappealing Scents – The next thing that you may notice is a bad smell coming from the air conditioner vents. This can be a sign that mold is growing in the air conditioner, something that needs to be rectified immediately. This sort of problem can lead to health issues.
- Water Stains – You may have noticed that when the air conditioner has run for a while, water will start to drain from the bottom of the car. This is completely normal. If you do not see water draining but instead notice there are water stains inside the vehicle, this can be the sign of a problem.
- Air Conditioner Leaks – Another warning sign you may notice is coolant leaking. This is often hard to spot, but it can be made easier with the use of dye. That can then be traced to the part that is leaking. That said, this is best done by a professional technician.
On the other hand, if your heater core has a problem, you may see these other signs:
- Overheating – If your car is overheating, you want to ensure that you check the health of the cooling system, which includes the heater core. However, there are other things that can cause this. In any case, it can be dangerous and should be checked out.
- No Heat – As with the air conditioner that won’t cool, you may have a heater that will not heat. This could be just a motor or other part that has failed, but combined with other symptoms, it speaks to a problem with the heater core. This means that the hot air is going outside before it ever reaches you.
- Excessive Coolant Needs – If you find yourself having to refill the coolant much more than usual, this can be the sign of a broken heater core. If you cannot find a leak, it may mean the coolant is actually escaping into the vehicle. You can check the floors for any moisture to determine if this is the case.
- Sweet Scents – When the heater core breaks, there is most often a sweet smell that comes along with it. This is the smell of the coolant itself and it usually means radiator fluid is somehow leaking.
- Excessive Fogging – The most common sign of a heater issue is found when the inside of the vehicle fogs up and leaves condensation on every window. This shows that there is a leak which is putting coolant vapor into the cabin, which typically occurs when driving after the engine has heated up.
Can I Continue Driving with a Broken Air Conditioner or Heater?
You can keep driving your vehicle even if the air conditioner or heater is not working. However, having operational heating and cooling can make for a more comfortable ride. In cars where heating and cooling are a combined system, one being broken can lead to a lack of temperature regulation with both.
How Is an Air Conditioner Repaired?
First, one of the technicians at Kwik Kar Richardson will talk to you about what symptoms are present. After this, they will do a full visual inspection of the air conditioner, including the compressor drive belt, serpentine belt, and other accessible items. At that point, the compressor will be checked for operation.
If there seems to be no damage or leaks, the technician will then remove the refrigerant that is in the system, test it, and then recharge that system with the proper refrigerant for your vehicle.
On the other hand, if there is damage or problems with some part of the air conditioner, that will be repaired or replaced.and