The warm weather can be tough on your vehicle's air conditioning system. Now that the weather is mild and sunny, the last thing you want is to head out for a long drive only to realize your vehicle's air conditioning is not working. Your A/C is blowing warm air? Let your senses help you determine the best time to bring your car for a checkup.
Sense of Touch: You feel warm weak air coming from the vent.
Turn on your A/C and hold your hand up to the nearest vent. How does the air feel? Is it blowing warm air? One of the most obvious signs that you need an A/C repair is if your air conditioner is blowing warm or room temperature air. You'll know it's time for a checkup if the air is cold but barely seeping out and takes longer than expected to get cold.
Sense of Smell: Your A/C smells like sweaty feet.
Take a whiff when your A/C is running. How does it smell? Musty, stinky, or worse, it smells like sweaty feet. When your car A/C smells like a dirty gym sock, this is often a tell-tale sign of bacteria growing in the vents and A/C evaporator. While it's tempting to try to cover up the stench with an air freshener, ask yourself, do you want to be breathing in the dirt and bacteria build-up from your car's air conditioning system? Regardless of the smell (or the reasons behind it), you probably want it to be gone. Your best option is to get your car in for a checkup.
Sense of Hearing: You hear squealing, buzzing, or clicking noises after turning on your A/C.
Do you hear buzzing sounds when turning on the AC system? This isn't normal. When your AC makes weird noises like buzzing, this usually indicates the system has been overcharged with refrigerant. The squealing might suggest problems with the serpentine belt, and the clicking noise could mean loose mounting bolts. These problems may lead to poor performance. If left unattended, you may end up replacing the compressor. So, when you hear these sounds, get a checkup!
Sense of Sight: You notice a leaking compressor hose.
If you see traces of refrigerant dripping or leaking from the hose or along the fittings, bring it in for an A/C checkup or full vehicle inspection. A hose that has begun to leak, even if it is a minor leak, can quickly empty the system of refrigerant, which will leave the AC system unable to produce cold air. The moment you notice any signs of leakage, replace the hose as soon as possible to prevent any A/C system damage.