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How To Check If Your Car’s Air Conditioning Is Working Properly

At this time of year when the weather is becoming intolerable, and millions of UK residents are having to wake up half an hour earlier than normal to scrape the ice off the windows of their automobiles, ensuring no other issues present themselves is essential for maintaining normality and keeping to work schedules. One thing most people fail to check is their air conditioning, and that is exactly why I’ve taken the time to write this short article this morning. I’m no mechanic, but after driving a less than perfect vehicle for the last 5 years, I know a thing or two about making adequate checks and diagnosing issues as quickly as possible.

You might think that a broken air con system wouldn’t be a big problem in the winter, but this really isn’t the case in most instances. Although you’ll no doubt have the heating running when you first enter your car, this can often cause the windows to steam up, which is where air con becomes your best friend. Anyway, I’m rambling. Here are some ways you can check yours is performing properly…

Image reproduced with permission

Testing The A/C Fan

Firstly, the best thing you can do is turn the air con up until it’s on full power and place your hand against the grille. You should be able to feel the air coming from in between the slats, but if you don’t, not to worry, all you need to do is replace the A/C blower.

Checking The Radiator Cooling Fan

To do this, simply press the A/C button and listen out to determine whether or not the radiator cooling fan engages. If it does, the chances are that your air con is working fine. If not, it might be a good idea to contact a specialist firm that provides a suitable aircon regas service, as you may have some leaks or congestion within the system.

Analysing The Compressor

This job is usually best left to the professionals, as it can be rather difficult to locate the compressor, let alone take it apart and analyse it. Still, if you’re feeling up to the job, there’s no reason why you can’t have a go yourself.

Once you’ve located the compressor, simply turn the A/C on and check that the clutch is engaging properly (you should notice it spinning). If it doesn’t seem to move, it’s probably a good idea to put your foot on the clutch pedal and check that it works, as a lack of power can sometimes be responsible.

Reviewing The Pressure Switch

It’s absolutely vital that your pressure switch is perfectly inline with the A/C coolant pipe because this can often cause issues. Presuming you’ve checked this and found it to be fine, then removing the cap and connector could be the best way forward. Once this is done it should be easy to check the switch with standard electrical testing equipment. Look to see the readings are as they should be, and if they aren’t; it’s time to make a booking at your local garage.

So there you have it my ever-cautious friends. So long as you perform all the checks I’ve just mentioned, you should be able to diagnose a faulty air con system yourself in no time, which will obviously save you a lot of money is labor costs.

Have a good one!

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