The need for properly working car air conditioning is important if you have small children or pets; excessive interior car heat can affect them faster and more seriously than adults. Additionally, just imagine how miserable that morning commute or long distance trip could be without a functioning A/C system!
As an integral, essential, complicated unit in your car, air conditioning problems can be expensive to diagnose and repair at the mechanic's operation. Yet there are some diagnoses and repairs you can evaluate yourself if you have the correct car diagnostic tool on hand. Here are some common problems and the automotive A/C service tools you can use to help you understand what is going on with your unit.
Is The Air Conditioning Working?
Check to see if the cooling fans are running when the air conditioning is on and check for obstructions like leaves or bugs are in the way of air moving through the condenser. A manifold gauge set can help you check the pressure in the system; you can consult the operating manual for the high and low extremes necessary for the unit, and need to check engine codes.
Is There A Leak?
Leaks somewhere in the system are the most common source of cooling problems. There are a number of places that leaks can be occurring including valves and hoses. Using an air conditioning leak detection kit is the easiest way to find pinholes or loose valves that you might not be able to detect with the naked eye. There are several different types of automotive A/C service tools sold in this realm, including spray-on fluorescent cans, sophisticated ultra-violet detection tools, and comprehensive electronic leak detection kits.
Check the Compressor
Often your easiest place to start in checking out automotive air conditioning problems is the compressor. On high mileage autos it may well be the part that starts to wear out and give you problems. obd2 codes is useful for checking whether or not voltage is getting to the compressor. Voltmeters are made in a wide variety of styles and are used for detecting the electrical potential difference between two points in an electrical circuit.
If you've detected no leaks or other causes that might require professional repairs, sometimes a "topping off" of air conditioning coolant will help you out of a no cooling jam, at least temporarily. Air conditioning rechargers come in pressured cans, some with accessories like gauges and hoses, to help you top off your unit. Cars manufactured prior to 1994 require a different type of coolant that today's vehicles, so be sure to purchase the right type before setting off on this course of action in your home shop.
Get the A/C Fixed!
If you believe you have a top to bottom type fix ahead of you, it's best to purchase one of the comprehensive automobile air conditioning repair kits, which include diagnostic and repair tools, as well as replacement valves and fittings. Substantial savings can be had by tackling car air conditioning problems in your home garage with automotive A/C service tools; Of course, you can also go to auto repair shops, are continued comfort in your ride.