Your air conditioning system uses refrigerant to create cold air. The most common reasons why your vehicle’s air conditioning system would lose its cold air will have to do with the refrigerant. The first main issue is generally not enough refrigerant. Refrigerant is a gas in the system and very small holes in a hose, seal or coupler can allow enough to leak out to prevent the creation of cold air.
Another potential problem comes from contamination. Over time the inside of the rubber hoses can deteriorate internally and little bits of rubber can clog up various filters and other essential parts of the air conditioning system, preventing proper circulation of the refrigerant. And finally, a component could become worn or broken. So the first step when the vehicle’s air conditioning can’t cool down the family car is to have a thorough air conditioning inspection performed, which includes looking for leaks and worn parts. Federal law requires an inspection before adding refrigerant. Some states do not allow topping off a leaking system. So as you can see, you need a qualified repair technician to properly inspect your air conditioning system, so take your vehicle to your local NAPA AutoCare Center for a complete inspection, proper diagnosis, and repair.
Only once any critical repairs are made can the proper amount and refrigerant be added. At the same time, special oil is added to the system. This oil cools and lubricates various components as it circulates along with the refrigerant. If you have a refrigerant leak, you also have an oil leak – and both must be replenished for proper function and protection of your A/C system.
Sometimes overlooked by many drivers is the fact that a worn serpentine belt (which drives the A/C compressor) leads to belt slippage, which puts additional strain on the compressor. Replacing your serpentine belt and belt tensioner on schedule at your local NAPA AutoCare Center will extend the life of your A/C compressor and other important belt-driven accessories. So when it comes to air conditioning, leave it to the professionals at your NAPA AutoCare Center.