With all the things that can go wrong with a hybrid car, air conditioner maintenance and repair doesn't make it to the top of most people's lists. Yet a poorly functioning AC can make you miserable--especially in the heat of summer. If you would like to learn more about heading off air conditioner problems before they result in a complete burnout, here are two clear signs that its time for some repair.
Unusual And Unpleasant Smells
Though you may not realize it, the air conditioning system in your hybrid is especially vulnerable to mold and mildew infestations. That's because, in the process of cooling off your air, the condenser causes water vapor to condense into droplets. Ideally, the layout of your air conditioning system's pipes and hoses is meant to promote drainage and prevent such water from remaining in place.
Nonetheless, blockages and buildups do occur. And any time there is standing water, especially in the cool dark supply lines of your air conditioning system, the unwanted growth of microorganisms becomes a problem. Fortunately, it is fairly easy to spot such growth, thanks to the fact that the air coming out of your vents will take on strange, dank, musty odors. To prevent respiratory sickness and allergies, be sure to mention this issue to your mechanic as soon as possible.
Odd And Unsettling Noises
By now you may have begun to notice a pattern: whenever your senses begin to detect a hitherto nonexistent symptom--whether it be sight, sound, or smell--chances are it is tied to some sort of issue needing repair. Strange noises coming from your air conditioner are a great example. Such sounds may include anything from rattles to whines to whirs. In the best case scenario, such sounds will be caused by easily removable debris that has found its way into the vents.
Other times, however, these sounds could mean more serious problems. For instance, your cooling fan may have become damaged. A bent blade will cause rapid ticking sounds. Likewise, the sounds could be the result of problems with the compressor. A grinding sound is generally the result of bearings that have become seized up or excessively worn. High pitched whining, on the other hand, tends to indicate a bad valve or leaking seal. Unless you have a professional mechanic evaluate the issue at once, you may end up having to pay much more to get your air conditioner back on line.