Sitting in the car with a malfunctioning air-conditioning system is arguably one of the most
torturing ‘incidents’ to us Malaysians.
With the hot and humid weather, one will admit that the air-conditioning system is essential as it keeps us cool while helping to circulate air for a clean and healthy cabin.
Therefore, it is not a surprise to know that your car’s air-conditioning system is quite a
complex combination of components. While maintenance is best left to the experts, learning a little about it may help troubleshoot in the event it is no longer blowing cold air or functioning as optimally as before. But we must first understand how it works.
The air-conditioning system activates a refrigerant through manipulation of pressure and
temperature, alternating the medium between a liquid and gaseous state. It might seem
counterintuitive for those with a basic understanding of chemistry as the refrigerant can be
both superheated and low-pressure, but this is why it’s the perfect medium for cooling the
What Are the Common Problems of the Car’s air-conditioning?
Your air-conditioning system isn’t free from issues. The number one would obviously be the
air not being cold, but this could also be attributed to the malfunctioning of several components. This is why it’s a good idea to understand some of the common issues with
the system and how to accurately identify the source.
1. The Air Isn’t Cold at All
Usually, this means a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant leaks aren’t easy to locate due to the
nature of the medium being designed to evaporate when exposed to the atmosphere. A car air-conditioning specialist will probably use a refrigerant leak detector or a fluorescent leak tracer dye to identify the source of the leak. Once identified, fix it or replace the faulty
component and off you go.
2. The Air Is Cool but Not Cold
This is again likely related to the refrigerant, or rather the lack of it. A slow leak will see the
system’s pressure drop and prevent the clutch from activating the compressor’s cycle. The
compressor’s clutch is also prone to failure and will need to be refurbished. If it fails, the
compressor can’t be triggered to pressurize the system. On the other hand, if the refrigerant levels are sufficient, it could mean a clogged condenser.
3. No Air Blowing from the Vents
There’s no clear-cut fix for this as there are several possibilities, such as the blower is
broken, blocked intakes and more. Air enters the cabin via two sources – the vents below the windshield or intakes in the cabin for air that’s recirculated within the cabin itself. If either of the intakes are clogged by matters such as leaves or debris, there will be very little to no air blowing through the vents.
4. The Air Smells Moldy
If the air from the vents brings a moldy or foul scent, there’s likely bacteria growth in the
system. This mostly affects older vehicles or those that always have the air-conditioning
system on full blast as the extra moisture promotes bacterial growth. Try replacing the
system’s cabin filter; and if that doesn’t get rid of the stench, an air-conditioning specialist
will add an antibacterial chemical into the evaporator area that eliminates all the bacteria.
5. The System Makes Weird Noises When Switched On
The air-conditioning system should be relatively quiet when in use. Depending on the noise, it could be a small issue like a squeaky compressor accessory belt or a major one such as the compressor’s clutch failing. In this case, it’s best left to the experts to identify the source of the errant sound and the solution.
6. Water on the Front Footwell
The drain line along the evaporator or cooling coil behind the dashboard is meant to collect
moisture from condensation and channel it out of the vehicle. Over time, the drain line can
be clogged and cause the condensation to drip onto the carpeted floor within your car. If left unchecked, it will translate to odd, wet carpet smell and lead to rust on the floorboards.
What to do to maintain good car air-conditioning?
Practise Regular Maintenance
Just like every other key system in your vehicle, the air-conditioning system requires periodic maintenance too. For starters, always run the system for a few minutes at least once a week.
Next up, remember to have the system inspected by an air-conditioning specialist at least once a year. They’ll give it a proper once-over and identify any components that require
servicing or replacing.
Good news is you can now bring your car to CARSOME Service Center for periodic maintenance and services. It offers three service packages starting from RM98 for essential
services including air-conditioning service, battery replacement and more.
In addition to regular servicing, you can also rely on the skilled mechanics to repair major and minor issues in your car.
If you’re unsure of what needs to be serviced, CARSOME provides a complimentary 20-point inspection check to help identify the issues that require immediate attention. Book an
appointment for your periodic maintenance and services on CARSOME’s website now.
If you are looking to purchase a car, CARSOME is also organizing an Autofair at its CARSOME PJ Automall from 17 March to 19 March, which provides customers with exclusive discounts up to RM8,000 and daily vouchers.
Customers who are interested in buying a car can also bring along their documents for loan approval at the Autofair.