It is a common question that many people have, and a great number of mechanics have heard it. “Why does my air conditioning system blow smoke?”
There are a variety of reasons for this question to be asked, from the car being old enough for its owner to think it should work perfectly, to not understanding how the process works in order to know what would cause smoke as opposed to steam or no visible emissions at all. In this article, we will explore your AC’s ability to emit smoke and use that knowledge preventatively. Knowledge is power!
4 Reasons why car AC blowing smoke
Here are four possible reasons why your car ac is blowing smoke and how serious the situation is:
1. Refrigerant leaks
A small refrigerant leak will not likely cause immediate concern, but it’s always best to have these issues addressed as soon as possible. When you notice any trace of coolant from under the hood of your car, schedule an appointment with one of our technicians at your nearest as soon as possible to have the refrigerant system checked. A small leak can turn into a big problem if not detected and properly cared for.
2. Oil in the air conditioning system
If you see smoke from your car ac that smells like burnt motor oil, then there’s probably some oil mist in the air conditioning system (most likely due to an AC compressor seal failure). Often, this means that it is leaking oil into the Freon lines; although this will not cause any immediate damage to the vehicle, it will take out the ozone layer faster than normal! If this has happened, get it repaired ASAP because pressure may build up (like when changing gears), causing equipment malfunctions and possible injury.
3. An overheated compressor
A short trip with the air conditioning running might not seem like a big deal, but it can cause problems if not addressed quickly. If your compressor overheats, you could have a major repair on your hands – so schedule a service appointment at your nearest as soon as possible. Overheating the AC system’s internal components will shorten their lifespan and may even cause them to fail entirely! Be sure to take care of this issue immediately – it is more likely than you think.
4. A defective condenser coil
If you notice moisture or white dust on or around the outside of the condenser coil, then there’s good chance that it has sprung a leak. This is usually caused by exposure to road salt, which corrodes the metal and causes it to rust or break apart. To avoid further damage, get the condenser coil replaced as soon as possible before more of your vehicle’s components are affected.