Car Air Conditioning And Heating Repair

Image of vehicle air conditioning controls

AC or heater repair services are required because, just like any car component, these systems degrade over time. If not regularly serviced, hose pipes will clog/leak causing decreased heating and cooling performance capabilities. Regular maintenance keeps the AC system running at optimum performance. Have these systems serviced before they fail during the freezing/blazing months of Chicago.

Why Is My AC Blowing Hot Air?

Something within the air conditioning system is malfunctioning. A lack of coolant is the most common cause of an AC device blowing warm air, although the vehicle might also have a problem with its condenser. A defective compressor, faulty cooling fans, or a problem with your electrical system are other possibilities. 

Without a proper mechanic inspection, it can prove difficult to determine what is causing the hot air. Below are the most common reasons vehicle air conditioners would blow hot air. 

Problems With The Vehicle’s AC Cooling Fans

There is also a pair of cooling fans in the condenser that help reduce the refrigerant’s temperature when it flows through the lines. The AC system will not work as intended if the fans are damaged or malfunctioning. 

There are many explanations for why fans can stop working, such as blowing a fuse or an electrical device problem. Due to being in the front of the vehicle, they can even get damaged from road debris.

Condenser Is Malfunctioning

The condenser is responsible for removing the refrigerant’s heat and then expelling it outwards. If it’s malfunctioning for some reason, then your AC car will blow hot. It is likely that road debris has caused a blockage or entered one of the inside lines since the condenser rests behind the front grille.

Ac Is Leaking Refrigerant

The AC system recycles the same refrigerant unless there is a leak in the system. With the lack of refrigerant, the system will be unable to create cold air. The leaks will need to be repaired before a new refrigerant can be installed. 

Issues In The AC’s Electrical System

Many AC components require electricity to function, and your AC system is likely to blow warm if it does not receive any. It can be challenging to track where the problem is since many of the wires can’t be seen without having the system dismantled.

How Often Should I Have My Car’s Air Conditioning Inspected?

Picture of mechanic recharging a car's air conditioner

It would be prudent to have your car inspected by a licensed car AC repair technician at least once a year. If you’re still planning a summer road trip, this would be extremely important. 

It will not only help avoid an expensive car AC repair, but you will also benefit from a more comfortable drive and improved gas mileage.

How Much Does Auto AC Repair Cost?

The auto repair costs that people might face will vary depending on anything from their car’s make and model to the auto repair shop they select. But on average, for auto AC system repairs, you can expect to pay these prices: 

  • Minor AC compressor repairs $170- $730
  • Major AC compressor repairs $1,000- $4,000 
  • AC refill $100- $140 
  • Around $500 for AC hose repair/replacement 
  • AC compressor clutch repair/replacement $200- $750

A simple recharge of your auto AC system, as you can see, will not set you back too much money and will work wonders for your entire system. But doing your AC compressor repairs will set you back quite a bit of cash. Knowing these costs for auto AC repair will make the process of fixing the AC system of your car less stressful.

What Are The Signs That My Car AC Is Going Out?

As the A/C condenser starts to malfunction, it will produce signs that something is going wrong. Hot air and strange noises are the most common signs that the condenser needs to be serviced. 

Being proactive prevents the destruction of the entire AC system.  The problem is that other malfunctioning parts will present themselves with many of these signs.

Top 4 Signs Of A Damaged Auto AC System

  1. Hot Air
  2. Leaks Beneath The Vehicle
  3. Strange Noises
  4. Foul Odors From Vents

What Causes Car AC Compressor Failure?

Photo of a broken heater in a vehicle

A seized compressor is the most common symptom of a compressor failure. When the magnetic clutch activates, it will not shift, and you can hear squeals of protest from the drive belt. Or the belt could already have been broken or thrown from its pulleys. 

The second most common cause of compressor failure is lack of lubrication. This can happen when there is a refrigerant leak somewhere in the system that allows the escape of refrigerant and oil. Hoses, pipe connections (O-rings and flange gaskets), the evaporator, condenser, or the compressor shaft seal are common leak points. 

A restriction within the A/C system may also starve the compressor for oil. Oil circulates with the coolant, so a restriction can cause the compressor to run dry and seize if the orifice tube or expansion valve is blocked.

What Happens During A Vehicle A/C Recharge?

Air conditioning recharge services begin with an inspection of the air conditioning compressor belt, serpentine belt, and all accessible components for cracks and leaks. 

An auto repair shop will then test the air conditioning compressor’s operation. If no leakage or harm is present, the refrigerant is removed from the device, vacuum checked, and the air conditioning system is recharged using the necessary refrigerant according to your vehicle manufacturer’s requirements.

Car Heating Service & Repair

The only thing that rivals the A/C of your car in value is your car’s heater when it comes to driving comfortably during Chicago winters. Your car shouldn’t feel like a freezer when winter comes and the temperature drops. Having the vehicle’s heater inspected once a year can prevent expensive damages and keep your car warm. 

Similar to AC repair, auto heater repair requires inspection of heater components and replacement of specific parts. Auto heater repairs can range from blower motor replacement to heater hose repair. Costs will vary depending on what is affecting the system, but it’s hard to give cost estimates until a vehicle is brought in for inspection. 

What Components Make Up A Vehicle’s Heater?

Image of manometer used to test vehicle ac coolant

Your heater plays two roles for your vehicle. It helps to keep the car’s engine cool, in addition to heating your vehicle.

In other words, the heater of your car is related to some very significant functions that are more important than keeping you and your passengers comfortable during your commute. When it comes to knowing how the heater in your car functions, there are a few main components: 

  • HVAC Control Panel
  • Heater Control Valve
  • Heater Core
  • Blower Motor
  • Heater Hoses

Where To Go For Vehicle AC And Heater Services?

Winter and Summer seasons in Chicago can make drivers uncomfortable without a working AC or heating system in their vehicle. Drivers should have their systems serviced before they are left in the cold or heat. Many auto repair shops in Chicago, IL offer inspection services to ensure everything is working properly. 

If you are aware of a defect in your vehicle’s AC or heater, contact a car repair technician to take a look. Letting the problem sit could result in further damage or require replacement of the entire unit. 

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