You car’s air conditioning keeps your car comfortable in the summer. When your AC isn’t working, even a short drive can be miserable. Freon is the refrigerant that does the cooling in your car. If the freon for car begins to leak out due to mechanical failure, the AC will not be as effective. It hurts your gas mileage, because the engine has to work harder. Here’s how to tell if your car needs freon.
If your AC blows warm air, it’s usually due to low freon. The AC in your car operates by circulating freon through a pressurized system. Over time, this system can develop leaks, allowing freon to escape. As the amount of refrigerant drops, the car cannot make cool air. You may even notice a slimy, greasy substance on the compressor of your car or on the floor of your garage. That is freon.
Performance & Hissing Sounds
When you engage the AC, you should hear a clicking sound. If you don’t hear that click, it could be that there isn’t enough freon for the clutch to engage. Another sign that there is a problem with the AC in your car is that you smell mildew or a weird odor. Your AC system is a closed system, so you shouldn’t have any odd aromas coming through the vents. If you are getting weird smells, it might mean there is water in the system that doesn’t belong there. Shop for a car seat cover to keep your car seats clean.
Ice Formation on A/C Components
Ice forms on the AC components when the refrigerant is low, which reduces the pressure in the system. This causes lower temperatures, freezing the AC components. It’s almost counterintuitive to believe that the freon is low because the AC is freezing. The moisture is replacing the freon, but it’s freezing on the compressor. You may get some cool air through the system, but your car’s performance will suffer because the AC is working so much harder.
Diagnose the Problem Before Adding Freon
While these are just a few signs of low freon, each of the above issues might have different causes. Warm air can be caused by a bad condenser or compressor. If the AC isn’t engaging when you turn it on, it could also be a bad fuse or bad engine coolant temperature switch. If you have a leak, you can’t simply add freon without finding the reason for the leak. You may need to check the electrical system or other components of the system.
Get Everything For Your Car
Having the right equipment to keep your car at peak performance can save you a tow. Keep a battery jump starter and jumper cables in your tool box. You can usually recharge your AC system without a mechanic, but you may still want to have your car checked out to find out why your system needed freon. Get all your car parts from one place to take care of your vehicle.