How to Fix AC in Car: Diagnosing & Correcting Issues

juan-lara 2022-10-15

Especially in California’s summer heat, climbing into a hot car is made exponentially worse when you realize your AC is broken. Rolling down the windows does little to combat the heat, and you find yourself wondering how to fix AC in car – and fast. In this blog post, we will walk you through how to troubleshoot and fix common AC issues in your car. We will cover everything from compressor problems to leaks and clogged filters. So if your AC is giving you grief, read on for some helpful tips!


Common Causes of AC Problems

There are a few different reasons why your car’s AC might not be working properly. The most common causes are leaks or compressor issues, but it could also be a clogged filter, cooling fan problem, or radiator trouble. If your air is blowing cool but not cold, the problem is likely one of these four things.

How to Fix AC in Car

Compressor Issues

The compressor is the heart of your car’s AC system, so it stands to reason that if it isn’t working, neither is your AC. There are a few different ways to tell if your compressor is the issue. First, check to see if the clutch on the compressor is engaging. If it isn’t, that means the compressor isn’t getting power and is likely the issue. If the clutch is engaging but the compressor still isn’t working, it could be seized or broken. In either of these cases, you will need to replace your compressor.


Leaks are another common cause of AC problems. If your system is leaking, it won’t be able to maintain the proper pressure, which means it won’t be able to cool your car effectively. The most common place for leaks is at the seals. Over time, these seals can dry out and crack, allowing refrigerant to escape. If you suspect a leak, the best course of action is to take your car to a mechanic so they can test for leaks and repair them.

Clogged Filter

If your AC is blowing cool but not cold, the problem could be a clogged filter. Your car’s AC system has a filter that helps to remove impurities from the air. Over time, this filter can get clogged with dirt and dust, which reduces its efficacy. To clean or replace your filter, consult your car’s manual.

how to fix AC in car

Cooling Fan Problem

Another potential issue is a problem with the cooling fan. The cooling fan helps to circulate air through the radiator. If the fan isn’t working properly, the air won’t be cooled sufficiently before it enters the cabin of your car. To test if the cooling fan is working, turn on your car’s AC and then feel the radiator. If it isn’t cool to the touch, the fan isn’t working and needs to be replaced.

Radiator Trouble

The radiator helps to dissipate heat from the refrigerant. If it isn’t working properly, the refrigerant won’t be cooled properly, and your AC will blow warm air. To test if the radiator is working, feel the hoses going into and out of it. If they aren’t cool to the touch, the radiator isn’t doing its job.

Recharging Your AC

If your car’s AC is blowing cool but not cold, it could simply be that you need to recharge it. Over time, the refrigerant in your AC system can leak out, causing the system to lose its efficacy. To recharge your AC, you will need to add more refrigerant. You can do this yourself with a kit from an auto parts store, or you can take it to a mechanic and have them do it for you.

Tips for Maintaining Your Car’s AC

To prevent your car’s AC from breaking down, it is important to maintain it properly. Here are a few tips:

  1. Check the seals regularly for cracks or dryness and replace them as needed.
  2. Inspect the filter monthly and clean or replace it as necessary.
  3. Keep an eye on the cooling fan and radiator and replace them if they stop working properly.
  4. Have your AC system regularly serviced by a mechanic.

By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your car’s AC stays in good working order for years to come.

There you have it! These are some common causes of AC problems and how to fix them. If your AC is giving you trouble, try troubleshooting the issue with these tips. And if all else fails, take it to a mechanic and have them take a look. With any luck, they’ll be able to quickly identify and fix the problem so you can enjoy cool, comfortable air all summer long.

Did this blog post help you? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to check out our other blog posts for more how-tos, car tips, and advice.