Carter Volkswagen Auto Care FAQs: Why Isn't the Air Conditioner Working in my Car?
Is the A/C system in your car blowing hot air into the cabin when you want it nice and cold? Or does the system not work entirely, failing to blow any air into the cabin at all? Below, we've compiled some of the most common reasons for an air conditioning system to fail. Check them out and see which one is consistent with the symptoms you're experiencing on your car.
Even if you're not exactly sure what's wrong with your car's A/C, we can get it back to blowing cool and keeping you comfortable at the Carter Volkswagen service department! Use this page to learn more about your car's A/C system, and be sure to use our expert technicians to get the problem fixed.
Leaking Refrigerant | AC Blowing Hot Air
Refrigerant gasses in the car's A/C system circulate throughout the system, and enable it to blow cold air through the climate vents. If your A/C is blowing warm air, there's a good chance your car is low on refrigerant.
Simply adding refrigerant to the system isn't enough! You'll want to have the whole system pressure tested by the experts, so they can locate and patch any leaks before recharging the system with the right amount of refrigerant. Once that's done, your car will blow nice, cold air into the cabin almost instantly when you turn on the A/C!
Blocked Condenser | AC Blowing Slightly Cool Air
If the air that comes out of your climate vents is somewhat cool, but not cold enough to keep you comfortable, it could be a problem with the condenser. Chances are the system has enough refrigerant, since the air is coming out on the cool side. But if the condenser, located at the front of the vehicle behind the grille, has been blocked by debris like litter or leaves, it might not be getting enough air flow.
Warm refrigerant flows to the condenser where cool outside air flows over the many condenser fins, reducing the temperature of the refrigerant inside. If the condenser got blocked by a plastic bag sucked up into your vehicle's grille, for example, it might cause your A/C to underperform!
Worn Compressor | AC System Makes Strange Noises
If the air coming out of your climate vents is warm when you turn on the A/C, plus there's a loud whining, grinding noise when the A/C is on, your A/C compressor may have become damaged. In most modern cars, it's a belt-driven accessory. If the pulley attached to the belt or the compressor bearings fail, the compressor will stop working, but it'll keep trying! And it'll make a loud, obnoxious noise while doing so.
If your compressor is failed, the entire unit will most likely need to be replaced.
Failed Blower Motor | AC System Blows No Air At All
In order to push cool air from the A/C system (and warm air from the heater) through the climate vents, most cars feature a single blower fan. If the motor on that fan burns out, or the electrical connection to it gets interrupted, the blower fan will fail. When it fails, you won't be able to get any air from the vents -- hot or cold.
This problem could be caused by an electrical short that caused a blown fuse, or an issue with power from the engine not getting to the blower fan motor. It can also be caused by a failed blower fan resistor, which allows you to select from different fan speeds depending on your needs. Or, the motor itself can simply wear out over time. Take your Volkswagen to a VW professional at Carter VW to have the blower motor serviced or replaced as necessary!