A Guide to Air Conditioner Repair After Becoming a Mechanic

Air conditioning is a feature that many drivers take for granted in their cars. However, in reality, it is essential for the comfort and safety of the driver. In the summertime, driving without air conditioning can even be dangerous since the high temperatures inside the car can put the driver at risk of dehydration and fatigue. 


As a professional auto mechanic, many clients will come to you when they’re having trouble with their air conditioning system. The average A/C system will need to be serviced after a year or so. In that case, it’ll be up to you to test a car’s A/C system during regular check-ups and identify any functional issues. Here’s a quick overview of what you should know about A/C repairs as a mechanic in training!

When Does an A/C Need Repairing?

The A/C system works to keep a car cool during the summer months while also helping to remove moisture from the interior while in defrost mode. Over time, however, the rubber seals in the system can wear down, and moisture can enter the vehicle. When that moisture mixes with the refrigerant, you’ll find a leak that will eventually break down the A/C system. 


Alternatively, when the car is running on low levels of refrigerant, it can result in a poor lubrication flow for the A/C system. On your way to becoming a mechanic, you’ll likely discover some telltale signs that the A/C needs fixing. It could be that the interior temperature won’t change, the coolant light is on, strange noises coming from the system, the defroster doesn’t work, or there is limited airflow in the car. In each case, you’ll know it’s time to take a look at the A/C system.

After auto repair training, check the airflow and lubrication flow in a car’s A/C system
After auto repair training, check the airflow and lubrication flow in a car’s A/C system

Finding the Cause of a Broken Air Conditioner

If you suspect there’s something wrong with a car’s A/C, you’ll need to figure out the root of the problem so you can get the system up and running and prevent similar problems in the future. Like most parts of a car, the A/C can stop working for a number of reasons. The most common cause is a refrigerant leak in the car, which happens when the rubber seals and hoses break down. 


Beyond that, the cooling fans in the system could be broken from a blown fuse or a crack caused by a collision or jolt to the car. You may also find that there’s a problem with the compressor or condenser in the A/C system. This often happens when the system goes unused for long periods of time. As a mechanic, locating the cause of the problem can help you decide whether there are specific repairs you can perform or whether the whole system needs to be replaced.

Car A/C systems often suffer from a refrigerant leak
Car A/C systems often suffer from a refrigerant leak

Safety Precautions to Take After Mechanic School

When servicing a car’s A/C system, it’s important to have the proper tools and proceed cautiously when performing repairs. A car’s A/C system contains high-pressure refrigerant and is made up of extremely hot parts that can exceed 65 degrees celsius. After auto repair training, you should remember to use gloves and safety glasses when working with these parts. At the same time, pay attention to any moving parts under the hood when the engine is running. 


If a vehicle does need an A/C repair, it will usually involve adding refrigerant to the system to increase the pressure. In that case, remember to only use the recommended refrigerant for the system. By following these tips, you’ll be ready to offer a safe, reliable and professional service to your clients. 


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