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3 Most Common Car AC Failures According to an Expert


The author of this article states: After spending a decade writing car repair service in the Midwest, I observed that car air conditioning (AC) issues were common, especially in the summer. Here are the three most common AC failures:

1. Low Freon

Car AC systems are closed, so freon should not be low unless there’s a leak. A technician needs to use freon recovery equipment to check system pressure and identify leaks. If freon is low, it indicates a leak, and the system must be recharged with freon and ultraviolet dye to locate the leak. Common leak spots include seals, metal lines, the AC condenser, and the AC compressor. Repair costs include diagnostics, parts, and labor.

2. AC Compressor Failure

The compressor, located in the engine bay, compresses freon and is vital for the AC system. Replacing a failed compressor can be expensive as it usually requires replacing the evaporator and receiver/dryer as well to uphold the warranty. Options may include using aftermarket or remanufactured compressors to reduce costs.

3. Faulty Relay

Electrical components control car AC systems, and the most common failure is a faulty AC compressor control relay, especially in used Hondas. The relay is a square plug inside the vehicle’s fuse box, usually in the engine bay. Identifying and replacing the faulty relay is one of the cheapest fixes for car AC issues.

Most car AC problems require professional diagnosis and repair due to the need for special equipment, freon handling, and technical expertise. While some issues can be fixed without special tools, many involve comprehensive diagnostics and repair processes.
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