Top 6 Reasons Car AC Not Blowing Cold Air & How to Diagnose the Problem

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car ac not blowing cold air

Imagine being out on the road in your car & out of the blue, your car ac not blowing cold air. Getting stuck on a hot day when ac not blowing cold air car is one of the biggest nightmares of a driver.

It is common for people to complain my car ac is not blowing cold air, especially on a hot day. However, there can be several reasons why your vehicle’s air conditioning gave up out of the blue. 

So, if you are also struggling with the question of why is my car ac not blowing cold air, we are here to provide the answer.

Today, we will talk about the 6 common reasons for a car ac not blowing cold air and how you can tackle those issues well.

Interesting Facts of Car Air Conditioning

Air conditioning in cars was invented during the nineteenth century. Earlier only high-end vehicles used to have air conditioning systems.

However, with the time change, now every type of automobile comes with an AC. Doesn’t matter if you own an economy ride or a luxury one; every car comes with a cooling system.

Air conditioning has become an integral part of automobiles. But nowadays it is common for people to come across the issues like cars ac not blowing cold air.

But before we address the issue of car ac compressor running but not cooling, you need to understand the mechanism of car air conditioning and how it works.

What Makes A Car AC System?

Just like any visible part of your car, its hiding parts are just as crucial to maintaining in every manner. One can never tell when a machine stops working, but we can make sure such occurrence’s probability to lowest by maintaining them.

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So before you go out looking for a solution for car ac not blowing cold air, let us get you familiar with the different parts that comprise your car’s AC.

Parts of a car air conditioning system

The air conditioning system of a car consists of five major parts. They all work together in perfect harmony to provide you with cool air that makes your journey better every single time.

Most AC systems comprise of:

  1. Compressor
  2. Condenser
  3. Accumulator
  4. Expansion Valve
  5. Evaporator

1. Compressor

The compressor is a key part of any air conditioning system. It pumps in a refrigerant that cools the air. Compressor monitor & control temperature output in your car.

Compressor wear signs: 

  • Oil or Freon leakage  
  • Irregular or inoperative operation  
  • Noise  

2. Condenser

It is found in front of the radiator. It is the master refrigerant cooler and radiates hit refrigerant gases that enter via the compressor, turning it into a liquid that moves on to the ac dryer.

Condenser wear signs: 

  • Leaks
  • Bad air conditioning performance
  • Fins or tubes are clogged, corroded, or damaged

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3. Accumulator

The accumulator separates the gas from the liquid. It removes moisture and even filters out the contaminations from the system. 

Accumulator wear signs: 

  • Poor air conditioning
  • Moisture on glass
  • The inability of the defroster to remove moisture from glass & windows

4. Expansion Valve

The alemite expansion valve monitors & controls the amount of refrigerant entering the evaporator. It stores excess refrigerant so that it does not enter the compressor. In addition, it filters dirt and removes moisture from the system.

Expansion Valve wear signs:

  • Poor A/C performance
  • When it has become dirty

5. Evaporator

The evaporator is located right behind your dashboard. It cools the air with refrigerant and the cold air starts to flow.

Evaporatorwear signs: Bad air conditioning

6 Reasons Why is My Car AC Not Blowing Cold Air?

Now that you are familiar with the parts and mechanism of your car’s air conditioning system, let’s talk what are the reasons behind the car ac not blowing cold air.

A car’s AC does not stop working out of the blue. There must be something unusual going under your hood that over time got the best of your machinery and eventually broke your air conditioning.

Below we have listed some most common AC issues that might be the reason for your car ac not blowing cold air when idle.

1. Leaking Refrigerant

ac not blowing cold air car

One of the most common reasons for a vehicle ac not blowing cold air is a leaking refrigerant.

A refrigerant leak can occur at any point in the AC system, so it is hard to pinpoint the exact location of the leak.

So, if your car ac not blowing cold air all the time, you may want to take a look at your AC unit hose connection.

2. Blocked Condenser

my car ac is not blowing cold air

The condenser works on re-cooling the compressed refrigerant. It is done using the airflow that comes in the front of your car.

However, if the path is blocked due to any debris or accumulation, then the condenser will be unable to properly cool the refrigerant.

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This will cause your car to run on overheated refrigerant, which will further cause the air conditioning unit to expel hot air.

3. Broken Condenser

how to fix car ac that's not blowing cold air

Another reason why your car ac is not blowing cold air and overheating is due to the broken condenser.

A broken condenser can be a result of a puncture from debris going through the grill of your car and damaging the part.

4. Bad Compressor

ac not blowing cold in the car

The compressor is the soul of your air conditioning system. Without it, the refrigerant cannot circulate through the system.

However, you can experience your car ac not blowing cold air and making a hissing noise due to the compressor gone bad.

It mostly happens if the compressor is not used for a long period. The lack of use tends to shock the system when it is put into use.

5. Faulty Cooling Fans

Faulty Cooling Fans

Faulty cooling fans are another reason why your car ac does not blow cold air. This is because if fans do not work properly, the condenser may not receive proper cooling.

And over time, this can cause the automobile to emit only hot air. You can find if the fans are faulty by visual inspection and see if they are broken. The excess debris formation can be a reason for this.

6. Electrical Issues

car ac not cooling

The electrical issues are one of the most troublesome issues to diagnose when it comes to car ac stops blowing cold air after a while.

Any damaged wires in the system can also cause the system & parts not to work well in sync.

You can look for any damage by yourself, and if you come across one, mend it with electrical tape or have it replaced.

How To Prevent The Issue Of Car AC Not Blowing Cold Air?

With the clarity of the issues that leads to the car ac not blowing cold air, there are some preventive measures that you can take.

Remember, it is not always easy to handle or tackle these all by yourself. Sometimes you might need a professional hand, so do not hesitate to look for one.

So, let us take a look at what preventive measures and cures you can apply when you find your ac not blowing cold air.

1. Refer Owner’s Manual

The first thing that you need to do is make yourself familiar with your car and its functions. One of the principal reasons why people cannot maintain their vehicles is that they do nothing about them in the first place.

So check your owner’s manual and learn about the air conditioning system of your car.

If you ever run into issues like car ac not blowing cold air from vents, refer to the manual for some guidelines.

2. Regular Maintenance

As we have said before, the only way to keep your car for a longer period is to maintain it properly.

Have your vehicle go through proper maintenance every three months from a professional. This will ensure that all the parts of your car are working well.

And even if there is an issue, it can be resolved before it becomes anything damage causing. 

3. Professional Help

If you end up with your car ac not blowing cold air & you have no ideas as to what should be done, then the best thing to do is to seek out professional help.

Take your vehicle to certified technicians and have them inspect your vehicle. They will fix your air conditioning in no time.

4. On Your Own

If you can diagnose your car’s issue for the ac not working properly & find the minor issues like loose wires, then you can do it all by yourself.

All you need to do is prioritize your safety and follow the steps mentioned in the manual to fix the issue.

5. Running AC

Another way that can prevent your car ac not blowing cold air is by running it for 10 minutes every week.

One of the common reasons AC wore out is due to lack of usage. So, make it a habit and run the air conditioning of your car for at least 10 minutes every week.

It helps in circulating refrigerant oil and lubricating the compressor and o-rings, and seals.

Top Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my car AC blowing cool air but not cold?

If your car ac not blowing cold air, then it means the system is broken. One of the most prominent causes of broken air conditioning is fluid leaks or blocked/broken compressors.

However, if the system is blowing cool air but not cold, then there is a possibility for a clogged filter, radiator issue, cooling fan problem, or your ac needs a recharge.

How much does it cost to repair a car air conditioner?

The average cost in the United States to repair a car’s air conditioning is $1,829. However, the value can differ based on the location, make, and model of your vehicle.

Can a broken fuse cause AC not to work?

YES. Electrical issues are seen as one of the major reasons for a car ac not blowing cold air.

Is it worth fixing AC in the car?

Well, that depends on the owner. If you live in a cold place that has cold weather almost throughout the year, having an ac that does not blow cool air is not a big deal.

However, if you live in warm places where the sun is at its peak temperature, having the ac of your car fixed is worth it.

Can you fix the AC in a car?

If your car is facing loose wires, then you sure can fix the issue all by yourself. But if there is a leak or the compressor fails to work, you need professional help to do the repairs.

How to recharge car ac?

Easy steps to recharge the ac of your car:

  1. Check if the compressor is running.  
  2. Examine the pressure.
  3. Connect the intake manifold from the kit.
  4. Reboot the machine and check the statistics.
  5. Screw the coolant cartridge into the intake manifold.
  6. Go back to the car and check the temperature.


Having a car that provides you the best-desired comfort is a must and owning one that can provide you cool air anytime you want is all anyone can ask for.

However, car ac not blowing cold air is an issue that is becoming these days. There are many issues rooted in the cause, and we hope our list of reasons and preventions gave you a better picture of how to handle such problems in the future.


Ritambra is an absolute car fanatic who loves to drive and write about cars. Explore new car launches, automobile technologies, best car deals and more with entertaining, informative and delightful reading that will surely quench your thirst for automobiles.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. buckeyeheat

    Absolutely! If you’re experiencing AC not cooling while the system is powered on, you could have a clogged or blocked coil. Unfortunately, a wide variety of debris can find its way into this equipment, including grass, dirt, and other contaminants. This can result in a serious clog, which can lead to a system malfunction.

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