To troubleshoot an automobile air conditioner, check for symptoms such as refrigerant leaks, intermittent cooling and air conditioning noise or odor. The specific steps to repair an air conditioner depend on the particular problem.
Refrigerant leaks usually result from wear and tear, especially in older vehicles. Ways to check for leaks include spraying the hose connections with soapy water and watching for bubbles, using an electronic leak detector, or checking for wet spots and oil stains. Examine hoses, seals and O-rings for leaks; replace any leaky components.
An obstructed office tube may cause intermittent cooling. Fix this issue by removing unwanted moisture and air in the system using a vacuum pump. Other problems that may cause intermittent cooling include a faulty compressor clutch, faulty low pressure cut-out switch or faulty compressor clutch relay. Replace faulty components to fix the problem.
A damaged compressor may cause strange noises when the air conditioner is running. It is also possible that hoses are rattling against other parts. Fix this issue by identifying the specific source of the noise, such as loose support brackets, and making the necessary adjustments.
Lastly, mold or other microbes growing on the evaporator may cause a strange odor. Fix this issue by spraying the evaporator with chemicals to get rid of the mold.