Heels & Horsepower Magazine


Stay Cool This Summer With These Air Con Troubleshooting Tips

There’s no denying that South African summers are getting more and more intense every year, which is great news for those who love to swim or braai, but when it comes to comfort in the car, we need our car’s air conditioning system to keep ourselves cool.

If you’re wondering how you can tell what’s going on with your car’s air conditioning system, here are the most common issues you can expect to face and what each one means.

Weak Airflow

There’s nothing more frustrating than expecting a blast of fresh air when you push the air con button, only to be presented with a weak, wishy-washy draft. The most common reason for this could be that a hose has come loose and is therefore not blowing air properly. Other common causes are a build-up of mould blocking airflow or a broken ventilation fan or seal.

A Bad Odour 

Does your air conditioning system emit a foul odour that has you wondering who silently emitted body gas? While there might be a culprit in the car, it is also likely that the air-con system could be responsible for the vile odour. The most common cause is that the filter inside the system has gotten dirty or old and is in dire need of replacement.

Another common reason could be mould developing due to water being unable to drain from the system’s evaporator.

Hot Air

Opened your vents on a hot day, only to be hit by a blast of  with sticky, clammy air? The most common offenders are usually leaking vacuums, seals, rings or hoses. Clogged hoses and tubes can also cause this problem, as can damage to the car’s condenser, evaporator, fan or blower motor. 

Fixing The Problem – And Preventing It From Happening Again

Unfortunately, the placement of a car’s air conditioning system makes it challenging to detect problems from the outside, which is why many people only realise something’s amiss when the air con stops operating as it should. Your best bet is to consult a professional and have your vehicle undergo servicing so that a team can use the appropriate equipment to assess it and detect possible problems.

Once your vehicle is returned to you with its air conditioning system in tip-top shape, you will need to ensure it remains that way until its next scheduled servicing date. Here are a few things you can do to ensure it remains functional until then.

  • Keep your car interior clean and vacuum it regularly. This will prevent any build-up from taking place in your vents due to dust, leaves and debris being left to circulate in the car.
  • Don’t let your air conditioning system stagnate by making sure you use it regularly. Run it for ten minutes at least once a week during colder months when you don’t use it as often so that your hoses and compressors remain supple and less likely to crack.
  • Your air conditioning system doesn’t just keep your car cool – it reduces humidity too. Run it in winter to keep your cabin free from fog. It will also reduce your odds of generating mildew or mould build-up. 

A little bit of attention here and there goes a long way towards ensuring that you enjoy cool air from your air con system during the long hot summer days.  

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