When the cold months of winter are in the rearview mirror and you're looking ahead to the warmth of spring and summer, it's important to check that your car's AC system is in good shape. In the summer heat, AC in your car isn't a luxury, it's a necessity, and you have to ensure that it'll work as you expect it to when the time comes.
AC systems can be affected by a number of problems, but there are signs you can look out for to know what's wrong.
No AC or Poor Cooling Capacity
If you turn on your AC and it doesn't run or you're greeted by a blast of air that is nowhere near as cool as it's supposed to be, you obviously have a problem with your AC. The usual suspect in such a situation is a low level of refrigerant. This usually means that the system is leaking somewhere. Other suspects might be damaged fans and clogged AC vents.
Strange Noises from the AC
It's easy to notice if your AC is producing a strange noise. Any banging, rattling or anything else that doesn't sound normal should be a warning sign. Strange noises coming from the AC can be from debris or leaves that have found their way into the system. This could also mean that something important in the system is worn out.
An Unpleasant Smell
There are several causes of bad smells from the car AC. A very common suspect is mold growing inside the AC unit. The cool air can lead to condensation which can allow mold to grow inside the AC system. Mold can cause breathing and other health problems.
It's also possible for a small animal to find its way into the AC system and die inside. It's fairly easy to tell if this is the case, but the experience will not be pleasant.
Water Stains in the Car
When the car AC has been running for some time, water will drain out from the bottom of the car. This is perfectly normal. However, if the drain at the bottom of the car is clogged or damaged, the water will back up and show up in other parts of the car, such as near the floor mats at the front and underneath the dash.
Visiting an Auto AC repair shop for car AC inspection is the ideal way of dealing with these problems since the AC system is hard to access and requires expertise to handle.