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Car AC Not Blowing Cold Air

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If the car AC is not blowing cold air anymore over time it is an indication of a slow refrigerant leak or a clogged condenser.

The reason why car AC is not blowing cold air

1. Slow refrigerant leak.
2. Clogged condenser

Slow refrigerant leak

A liquid substance is known as "refrigerant" is the lifeblood of an A/C system. Loosely, it's a refrigerant that carries the heat from the passenger compartment to the outside of the vehicle, thus making the passenger compartment cooler. However, refrigerant often slowly leaks out of a hose or seal. In time, this results in a steady reduction of the cold air produced by the A/C system.

Clogged condenser

The other possibility in this scenario is that the condenser is clogged. The condenser is the part of the A/C system responsible for removing the heat that the refrigerant absorbs from the passenger compartment. It's essentially a mini-radiator that's mounted in front of the regular radiator.

The condenser cools high pressure and high-temperature refrigerant vapor (refrigerant gas) sent from the compressor and liquifies it. The condenser forces the refrigerant to lose the heat produced by the air flowing over the evaporator to the outside. This is accomplished by air from the cooling fan and by the airflow generated from the moving of the vehicle.

The air-cooled condenser with aluminum corrugated fins which are placed in front of the radiator is most popular. Condensers located in front of the radiator restrict airflow passing through the radiator and raise its temperature, thus lowering the radiator’s heat-radiating efficiency. To counter this, various steps are taken such as the installation of a radiator shroud to improve engine cooling and condenser’s heat radiating performance.

There are two types of condensers; condensers without an electric cooling fan and those with an electric cooling fan. Condensers with an electric cooling fan provide higher cooling capacity, hence it is used in vehicles having less space in the engine compartment and FF model vehicles with a transverse engine.

In time, the condenser can gradually become clogged with dirt/debris/bugs. This will result in a steady reduction of the cold air produced. The main cause of this problem is likely a refrigerant leak. A clogged condenser (if at all) would really only be a contributing factor here.

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How to fix a car not blowing cold air?

First, check the condenser for dirt/debris/bug buildup and clean if necessary with a soft brush and water. This may improve the problem. If not, you'll need to take this vehicle to a garage and ask the mechanic to "charge" the A/C system (i.e. add refrigerant). Also, ask him to locate and repair the leak.

The car now uses R134a refrigerant, however, if your car is an old one it may be possible that it uses R12 refrigerant. The refrigerant R-12 (also known as "Freon") is extremely expensive. Why? Because, its production was banned beginning January 1, 1996, and therefore all that remains is the Freon produced before this date (i.e. it's a dwindling supply). Therefore, expect to pay a premium to have your A/C been charged?

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