Why Is Your Car AC Not Working? Carlsen Subaru In Redwood City, CA Looks At 6 Possible Reasons

Reasons Why Vehicle AC May Not be Working - Service Questions Answered by the pros at Carlsen Subaru

May 17, 2019

Have you ever come out to your car during the summer after its been cooking in the sun all day only to find that the air conditioning is blowing hot air? Perhaps it starts out cold then goes to blowing warm air. If the AC in your car isn't working exactly as it should, it's probably time to bring the vehicle to a local authorized service center like ours at Carlsen Subaru in Redwood City, CA. Our factory-trained technicians know all there is to know about automotive AC systems, and they're your best option for getting that cool refreshing air back in your car. Below, we look at six of the more common reasons we see for a car AC system not working. If you have any questions, please give us a call, schedule a service appointment online, or simply stop by our Subaru car and SUV repair shop at 480 Veterans Blvd, Redwood City, CA 94063.

Driver's hand adjusting car AC controls.

6. Your Car AC Might Have A Bad Expansion Valve

Air conditioning systems are complicated marvels of modern engineering. Among the many components is a thing called an expansion valve. This is responsible for doling out the proper amount of refrigerant. The most common symptom of a bad AC expansion valve is air that starts out cold but then goes warm before sometimes returning to cold again.

Closeup of automotive air conditioning dryer

5. A Bad AC Dryer May Be To Blame

Another part of your car's AC system is a thing that technicians call a dryer. While this part serves as something of an auxiliary tank for excess refrigerant, it also helps to remove moisture from the system. Typically, when the AC dryer goes bad, you'll start to notice a moldy smell when the AC is on. If the dryer fails, it can also cause your AC to blow hot air.

4. Did The AC Condenser Get Damaged?

It may not seem like it, but air conditioning works because the refrigerant removes heat from the air. It then needs to release the heat, and that's where the condenser comes in. This part looks a lot like the radiator and is even typically positioned by the engine's radiator. It's called a condenser because the refrigerant will lose its heat as it condenses inside. Since it's right up front by the radiator, things like rocks, a bad pothole, or a hidden curb can damage it and allow all the refrigerant to leak out. That will certainly result in your car's AC not working at all.

Closeup of automotive air conditioning compressor on white background

3. The AC Compressor Switch May Be Bad

The refrigerant inside your car's AC system is circulated by a special compressor. You may know this part as the thing that kicks on and off when the AC is running. That on and off is operated by a special switch called the AC compressor switch, which helps maintain the circulation of refrigerant so the right amount of pressure remains consistent. If this switch goes bad, the compressor may never turn on, or it could stay on too long and damage other parts of the AC system.

2. AC Compressor Has Died

The AC compressor has a big job of consistently being cycled on and off. That takes a toll on even the best made Subaru parts. If your car's AC compressor goes out, you're probably looking at one of two ways of getting the problem solved. Sometimes, simply replacing the clutch in the AC compressor will solve the problem. However, it's just as common for the entire AC compressor to need replacement. Either way, we'll probably have to recharge your AC system to get it working again.

1. Problems With AC Refrigerant

The refrigerant is the life-blood of any air conditioning system. It's specially engineered to cycle between liquid and gaseous states to remove heat from the air and create that cool breeze from car vents that we all need. You may recognize this refrigerant by one of its brand names that rhymes with neon. Whatever you call it, this refrigerant must be at an exact level for the AC to work right. While overfilling is a common problem for those who turn to that cheap AC-in-a-can recharge kit, our authorized service center most commonly sees refrigerant problems caused by leaks. We can find these leaks quickly and easily by adding a special dye to the system.

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Carlsen Subaru

480 Veterans Blvd
Directions Redwood City, CA 94063

  • Sales: 650-365-6390
  • Service : 650-365-6390
  • Parts: 650-365-6390
  1. Carlsen Subaru

    480 Veterans Blvd
    Redwood City, CA 94063

    • Sales: (888) 520-5916

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