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Summer is here! And with summer comes the heat, heat that will get into your vehicle wherever it is parked and turn it into an oven. Just when you think that the heat can’t get any worse, you jump into your car, turn the AC on, and your body is met with luke-warm air that will never cool the car down.

You know the AC is bad, but how do you check which component of the air conditioning system has gone wrong? As it turns out, there are a couple of easy things that you can do to check.

The first thing to check out is the air temperature itself. When you set the air to max air conditioning, but only mild air blows out, you should check a couple of things. First, check to see that the cooling fans on the condenser or radiator are running and active with the AC on. Then make sure that nothing is blocking the air flow to the condenser. Finally, check the cabin air filter as that may have become clogged.

Next, return to the compressor, or start with the compressor—the order of things to check here doesn’t matter. Is the clutch engaging with the compressor when the AC is on? If not, check the electricity running to the compressor, making sure that there is sufficient voltage—you can buy a cheap voltmeter to find this out. If there isn’t enough electric power running to the compressor, you should check the quality of the cycling switch and the fuse to make sure it is working correctly.

Finally, check for leaks. Leaks in the AC system are the most common problem causing the AC to go bad. Go to an auto parts store and buy a leak detection kit, which adds a UV dye to the system; if the liquid isn’t going to a certain point, it is leaking out of one of the hoses, clamps, or rings attached to the system.

As you can see there are numerous ways to find the problem when you AC goes bad. Fixing those can be done by a specialist or by yourself with help from online articles or videos. If you do not trust yourself enough to fix the problem, take it into a specialist to get it taken care of. Expert help is always available and always a great idea to turn to in order to get the job done efficiently.