The AC in your car should actually last as long as the car itself. However, car ACs can break down over time, especially if they are used frequently or not properly taken care of.
If you notice any of these signs, it's time to take your car to an AC repair specialist.
The AC No Longer Blows Cold Air
This is probably the most obvious sign that your car's AC needs to be fixed. If the air coming out of the vents is no longer cold, then something is definitely wrong. The problem could be as simple as a lack of Freon or something more serious like a compressor issue.
Freon makes the air cold, so if the levels are low, the air won't cool down as much. You can usually tell if this is the problem if the air is only slightly warmer than it used to be. If it's not blowing any cold air at all, then the problem is likely with the compressor.
The compressor circulates the Freon, so no cold air will come out from the vents if it's damaged. This is a more serious problem that will require professional repair. The technician might have to replace the entire compressor, which can be a time-consuming and expensive process.
Pungent Smells Coming from the Vents
You probably want the inside of your car to be as fresh as possible, so if you start to notice strange smells coming from the AC vents, something is definitely wrong.
Often, this is a sign that mold or mildew has started to grow inside the AC unit. This can happen if moisture isn't being properly drained from the unit. Moisture is a massive trigger for mold growth, so it's important to take care of this problem as soon as possible.
If you don't, the mold will only grow, and the smell will get worse and worse. Not to mention, mold can cause health problems, so you definitely don't want to be breathing it in.
A car AC repair technician will be able to clean out the unit and get rid of the mold. They might also need to replace parts like the air filter to ensure the problem doesn't happen again.
Burning smells are another reason to be worried. If you notice a burning smell coming from the vents, it's likely that an electrical component is overheating. For example, the fan motor wiring might be frayed, creating a short circuit. The excessive heat created by a short circuit causes the insulation to overheat, hence the burning smell.
This is a serious problem that needs to be fixed immediately. If you ignore it, the burning could spread, and you could end up with a car fire. To fix this problem, a car AC repair technician will need to inspect the unit and find the source of the burning smell. For more information on auto AC repair, contact a professional near you.