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5 reasons your car’s AC isn’t cold enough

car AC

Riding around with a faulty AC makes for an uncomfortable ride during hot weather.

Unfortunately, car AC breakdowns can be some of the most costly repairs at the repair shop, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to fix or replace depending on your car. Without a great vehicle service contract (also known as an extended car warranty), it’ll be an out of pocket expense that is too much to bear at once.

The solution to an AC problem can be a simple one if you catch the problem early. Here are 5 common reasons why your car’s AC isn’t working properly.

1. Leaking refrigerant

Your car’s air conditioning system is filled with refrigerant (often referred to as Freon). Refrigerant is a highly specialized gas that circulates through the AC system while soaking up heat from the car interior.

Broken or cracked gaskets, seals, hoses and other components can all be caused from normal wear and tear, and these can all lead to refrigerant leaks. Other causes for damaged components that result in refrigerant leaks could be:

  • Road salt
  • Road debris
  • Moisture

When refrigerant is leaking, you will not have cool air. Overtime, this leak can corrode the car’s air conditioning system and cause very expensive damage.

An extended car warranty plan can help cover expensive repairs. Read our recent blog on the 6 most expensive car repairs that make people want to sell their cars.

2. Blocked or clogged condenser

The AC condenser is a radiator that’s positioned between the car’s grille and the engine’s radiator. The condenser is responsible for converting the refrigerant from a gas to a liquid. If the AC is cool but not cold, the reason could be a blocked condenser. 

Since the condenser is found at the front of the car, it should be fairly easy for you to see something that’s blocking it.

Check to see if there are leaves, bugs or dirt on it. Sometimes just removing those blockages can resolve the issues going on with your AC.

3. Broken condensing fans

The condensing fans keep the condenser cool so that it can perform its job properly. If the condensing fans are broken, the condenser may get too hot and it won’t be able to convert the refrigerant into cooled liquid. 

Along with blowing air that’s not cold enough, here are some other symptoms that the condensing fans may be broken:

  • Car overheating while idling
  • A burning smell when the AC is on

Broken condensing fans can happen due to blown fuses, electrical shorts or debris from the road.

4. Broken compressor

The compressor is an essential component of your car’s AC system because it keeps your AC moving at all times.

It’s considered to be the power unit, or the heart, of the system as it works to pressurize the refrigerant prior to it reaching the condenser. The compressor is a complex component made up of various parts. 

One sign that you may have a broken compressor is a series of strange noises (like hissing or buzzing) coming from under the hood. 

Pro tip: The compressor can go bad due to long periods of time without use. It’s recommended that you turn your AC on full blast every three weeks for 15 minutes regardless of the outside temperature.

5. Climate control electrical issues

Your AC is operated electronically and any electrical issues with the system can be caused by several factors. Damaged wires, failed switches and blown fuses are only a few of the causes.

If you notice that your buttons aren’t working properly or they’re turning on and off, this is a sign of electrical problems.

Despite popular belief, most electrical issues with your AC can be relatively easy to fix. The only thing is that they need to be caught early! If electrical problems are ignored and not caught in time, they can lead to acid build up. When this happens, you may need to replace the entire air conditioning unit.

Avoid the expensive AC repair bill with vehicle breakdown coverage

When your AC isn’t running great, you’ll want to take it in for a check up. Whether the repair is big or small, having coverage like an extended car warranty for used cars will help you afford the bill. Vehicle Repair Protection can cover many other repairs on other major car systems too, like your car’s transmission, suspension, and engine. Making a claim is easy. You choose the repair shop, and your subscription covers the bill. has created vehicle breakdown coverage that is simple, trustworthy and affordable. Transforming the extended car warranty marketplace through technology and transparency, offers a full suite of worry-free, no-haggle car care plans through low-cost, 100% online, monthly subscriptions that drivers can sign up for in less than five minutes. Get an instant quote today!