4 Common Car Air-Con Problems

October 28, 2015 - 3 min read

The last thing you want on a hot day is to hop in your car to find your air conditioning is on the fritz. Prepare yourself for the warmer months by following our top tips for detecting an issue in your car’s air-con system

When was the last time you had your car air-con checked?

Having air-conditioning in Australia is the ultimate lifesaver during the hot summer months. If these units are not properly maintained, they are more likely to malfunction or break down. To ensure you keep cool while driving on the road, we’ve compiled the 4 most common problems to look out for with your car air-con.

1. Refrigerant Leaks

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Sealants are not impervious to wear and tear. In fact, the older your vehicle is, the more likely your car will leak refrigerant due to gaps in its seals and hoses. If these leaks are not regularly checked, you may see poor cooling performance in your air-conditioning. You can check for these leaks by either looking for oil stains and wet spots or by adding a fluorescent dye to the system. Things you or your mechanic can do to fix this problem include:

  • Replacing O-rings, seals & hoses
  • Replacing the compressor, in serious cases
  • Refilling the refrigerant

2. Intermittent Cooling

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Sometimes the air-con may blow cold air for a while before switching back to warm air. This may be caused by the system freezing up due to excess moisture or debris. If the unit is not frequently used during winter, the condenser can become blocked with dirt and grime, which may develop into bacteria and germs. This will not only prevent airflow, but also create a pungent smell that could lead to “sick car syndrome”. Methods you or your mechanic can use to clear out air-con system may include:

  • Using a flushing agent to clear out and prevent debris
  • Replacing the condenser
  • Hiring a specialist to eliminate bacteria growth

3. Bad Noises

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Sometimes it’s hard to determine the difference between good and bad air-con noises in your car. Sounds such as squealing, buzzing, knocking or clicking could mean a number of problems with critical components of your vehicle. There may also be problems such as cross-contaminated refrigerant or hoses rattling against other components that could be the cause of the noise. Depending on the severity of the problem, there are a number of things your mechanic will do to fix it, including:

  • Replacing or lubricating the serpentine belt
  • Checking the routing of hoses
  • Tightening loose components
  • Replacing the compressor

4. Electrical Malfunctions


Faulty wiring, switches or a compressor clutch may also be the cause of the car air-conditioning malfunction. Problems may also be present in the other system components. These mechanical complications may cause little or no airflow. Due to the difficulty of fixing or replacing these problems, you may need to get it professionally serviced.

Does your car air-con need a little TLC? Contact these Rockhampton auto electrical specialists. We’ve recommended a couple that you can check out.

Laurie’s Auto Electrics

Working hard on the truck, Laurie's Auto Electrics - Rockhampton
Working hard on the truck, Laurie’s Auto Electrics – Rockhampton

This family owned company provides auto electrical sales and services to the Rockhampton region. These services include:

  • Automotive air-con installation & maintenance
  • Car air-con system sales & distribution
  • Air-con checks

They also offer EFI repairs as well as cruise control installation and maintenance. Check out Laurie’s Auto Electrics’ Localsearch Profile Page for a full list of services.

Capricorn Auto Air

Servicing your car air-con, Capricorn Auto Air - Rockhampton
Servicing your car air-con, Capricorn Auto Air – Rockhampton

Capricorn Auto Electric Repairs is a local family business, providing automotive air-con and auto electrical services. They offer services such as:

  • Manufacture & repair of air-con hoses & lines
  • Installation of vintage air kits & accessories
  • All electrical installations & repairs

They also offer complimentary drop off and pick up services. For more information, visit their Localsearch Profile Page.