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Automotive air conditioner basic troubleshooting tips.

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Automotive air conditioner basic troubleshooting tips.

Jason Miller
Amazines.com
August 7, 2005

If your automotive air conditioner isn’t working quite right, here are a few ideas to begin. First of all start with the control panel on your dashboard. Most automobiles have an A/C button that actually turns the compressor on and allows cold air to be circulated. You might have accidentally hit the recirculation button instead of the A/C button. (Don’t laugh, I had a friend that spent a week in a hot car and all he needed to do was press the right button.) The second thing to check is the actual function of the controls. Do they move at all? Are they loose and giggle around? The big question is “do they feel different from the last time your air conditioner worked?” This could tell if the controls are messed up and need replacing. Your air conditioner system may be fine but the controls could be frozen or broken. If your controls seem to be functioning, lets move to the blower fan. Turn on your car and start you’re air conditioner as you normally would. Then turn your blower to it’s highest setting. Can you here your fan blowing? If you can hear it, does it sound weak or whining. This could signal that your blower motor is malfunctioning or needs to be replaced. If it doesn’t work at all, check the fuse for the blower motor. The fuse for your blower motor should be located in the fuse box under the dash. Most automobiles have the fuses clearly labeled. First take out the blower fan fuse with the removal tool provided in the fuse box. A blown fuse should be easy to identify. However if you are unsure, replace it with a similar rated fuse and try your blower again. If that fuse blows you may have a bad blower motor or a short in the circuit. In this case, you will need an authorized mechanic to fix it. If the blower fan is working properly and you can only get cold air out of the defroster vents, you may have vacuum-system supply line problem. To check for this, look for a small black plastic tube going from the engine area through the dash. It is usually right by the refrigerant lines. Check this tube and see if it has holes or is not connected. If all of these little tips are not helping and you’re A/C doesn’t blow cold air no matter how many switches you turn on or off, you will probably need an certified mechanic. Good luck and stay cool!

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