Even on fairly temperate days, you may have noticed that your car's air conditioner is not able to cool the interior as it did in the past. If this is the case, one common reason is that the coolant needs to be refilled to recharge the compressor. Along with not being able to cool your car efficiently, the following are a couple of other signs that your car's A/C system needs recharging.
1. Sound of the AC Clutch Is Not Heard
One sign that your car's A/C system does not have enough coolant is the lack of the sound of the clutch engaging when you turn on the air conditioner. While you may not necessarily pay attention to this sound on a day-to-day basis, you may notice that you no longer hear a clicking or sharp thumping noise when you flip the A/C switch to the on position on your dashboard.
When the coolant level is low, the pressure inside of the compressor decreases significantly. This pressure is needed to engage the clutch and tell the compressor to turn on and cool your vehicle. When this pressure is not present, the clutch will not engage, and the unit will not kick on.
2. Fog Intermittently Comes out of Your Interior Vents
Normally, you cannot see the air coming out of your car's interior vents because the temperature is kept at a constant level. However, if the coolant level is low, you may start to see intermittent puffs of white fog coming from the vents.
Because the system is no longer filled to the recommended level, the remaining coolant will be absent in some areas of the lines while being concentrated in others. Whenever the concentrated areas pass through the system, the air will become overly cold.
Once this overly cold air enters into your relatively warmer car interior, condensation will form immediately and you will see the result as a puff of fog. Then, there will be a pause in seeing this fog as the empty areas pass through the system and the cycle will repeat itself.
If you notice the above signs and your car is not getting or staying cool enough, your air conditioner probably needs to be recharged. However, the reason that it is losing fluid could be that you have a leak. To make sure that any possible leaks are found and that your car is recharged correctly, have an auto air conditioning service take a look at the system.Share