How to Tell If Your Car Air Conditioning Has a Leak

Car A/C Leak

It’s easy to take your car’s A/C for granted—until it suddenly starts having problems. Sometimes a problem isn’t noticed right away, but you experience a gradual loss of cool air coming from your vents. Or possibly it just stops working all at once.

You might be experiencing a leak.

Your car A/C relies on certain major parts, such as the condenser, evaporator, and compressor. It also depends on a colorless and odorless refrigerant circulating throughout the system. This component allows your A/C to remove heat from your car’s passenger interior and replace it with a pleasant blow of cool air.

When any part of your car’s A/C fails due to damage or natural wear, you’re at risk of losing refrigerant. Because refrigerant exists as a gas in some parts of its cycle, it can escape through the tiniest hole or crack.

While an oil leak might be easy to spot, a leak in your car A/C might be more subtle and difficult to detect. So you’ll want to take care of that as soon as possible so that a minor problem doesn’t become a more significant, more expensive problem.

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How To Detect a Car A/C Leak

Here are a few tell-tale signs that you may be leaking refrigerant or another part of your car A/C needs servicing.

Dashboard Notice

Not every car has a dedicated dashboard alert for A/C problems. Still, as cars continue to get more sophisticated, a dashboard alert could be your first, best sign that you need to bring your vehicle in for servicing.

Even if your vehicle doesn’t have a clear alert for A/C problems, an A/C leak or related issue could trigger the Check Engine light or other notification. Check your owner’s manual for more information on dashboard alerts and service codes.

Car Is Blowing Warm Air

Is your car or truck blowing hot air even though you have the A/C controls at their lowest settings?

While blowing hot air does not necessarily mean a leak, it is a sure indicator that something is wrong.

Because visual detection of leaks is so difficult, your best bet is to take your vehicle in for an A/C performance check to determine the origins of your A/C issues.

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A/C Is Making a Clicking Sound

If you hear a clicking sound while your A/C is running—especially while standing outside your car—your compressor could be short cycling. This can be for a few different reasons, but one reason is low refrigerant levels due to a possible leak.

Whatever the reason, a clicking sound from your car’s A/C is another good indicator that you need to take your vehicle in for servicing.

Is This Going To Be Expensive?

It depends. The leak could be from a cracked hose or a malfunctioning sensor. Or it could be from one of the more major components, such as the compressor. The cost of replacements and repairs could run you anywhere between $100 and $800 depending on where the problem lies.

The best thing you can do is get a potential problem addressed as soon as possible before one broken piece leads to several broken pieces.

At Your Service

If you suspect your car A/C has a leak, or some other problem, don’t hesitate to call LaScuola MotorWorks at 410-655-0686 and schedule an appointment to have a full A/C performance check.

There’s no reason you have to drive in discomfort. Please fill out a form or give us a call to schedule an appointment!

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