Most folks don’t care how car air-conditioning systems work, just as long as they do work. However, what if you can’t get any air to come out of the vents?
There are several possible reasons why no air is coming out of the vents in your car. Some of the most common causes include a clogged air intake, a blown fuse in the ventilation system, broken belts, clogged ducts, or electrical issues with the relay.
Want to fix your car’s vents and get some fresh air? Well, I’ve got you covered. The rest of this article will detail the common car airflow problems described above and give you some solutions so that you can get a fresh breeze without rolling your window down.
Reasons Why a Car’s Air Vents Stop Working
Why are there so many potential causes behind the lack of air flowing out of your car vents? The simple answer is that many parts inside a vehicle work together to produce cool, dry air.
When there is a problem with any one of these parts, your AC system will stop working.
The air-conditioning system in vehicles functions by manipulating the refrigerant from a liquid to a gaseous state. When the refrigerant changes from liquid to gas, it soaks up heat and humidity inside the vehicle and converts it into cool, dry air.
Therefore, pressure and temperature are critical controls in a properly functioning system.
It takes a team to get the AC up and running, and if one car part has a minor break or clog, the whole thing could stop working.
For example, there’s a compressor to take in and compress pressure, a condenser to reduce refrigerant temperature, and a dryer to remove water from the refrigerant.
There are some other components to a car’s AC system as well. Check out this article from Universal Technical Institute to learn more about how these systems and corresponding parts work.
Once you understand the basic functionality of a car’s AC system, you can start to understand what’s wrong with it when it malfunctions. The biggest problem most people face is low airflow from the dash vents.
A clogged air intake most commonly causes this problem. There are two places where the flow of air comes into your vehicle. The first is located near the lower half of the windshield, and the other is usually on your dash. Both of these areas allow air to circulate through the inside of your vehicle. However, no air will come out if they are clogged by debris.
If the vents are clogged, that’s likely the reason why you don’t have air circulation in your vehicle. However, other common causes include those listed above, like a blown fuse in the ventilation system.
Other issues that are usually more complex include a possible failure in the relay system or a failed compressor.
The last thing you want to deal with is low airflow from your car’s AC when you’re cruising on a hot day. Read on to see more details about these common airflow problems.
The Most Common Car Air Flow AC Problems
Unfortunately, there are many common reasons why air isn’t flowing through a car’s AC system. For this reason, it’s usually best to seek help from a knowledgeable technician.
In the meantime, here are some of the things your mechanic will look for first when you take it in for service on the AC system:
- A blown fuse
- A bad relay
- An old or broken blower motor
- Clogged vents
- Damaged belts and hoses
One possible cause is a blown fuse or a bad relay. Sometimes, a ventilation system can blow a fuse. If this happens, there isn’t any power getting to the blower motor, which will prevent air from coming out of the vents.
Similarly, a bad relay could also be causing airflow issues. The relay in your car’s AC system works as the circuit for the system’s electrical current. It regulates the larger electrical current responsible for ventilation. When this is malfunctioning, it needs to be replaced.
Another vital component of your car’s AC system is the blower motor. This part pushes the air through the vents, similar to a fan. If something damages this part, it could cause no air to flow out of the vents. Also, sometimes the blower motor will malfunction due to age or regular wear and tear.
Sometimes the cause is simple. For example, if debris, trash, or other accumulations block or clog your vehicle’s air intake area underneath your windshield, it could prevent air from coming through the vents. Check to ensure your ducts aren’t blocked by anything or need to be cleaned.
Another possible culprit behind your failing car vents and AC system is damaged belts or hoses. Usually, when this is the culprit of the issue, you will hear a clanking, grinding, or squealing sound from your car when you turn the air on.
It takes an army of hoses and belts to operate your vehicle’s AC system. Therefore, any breakage, slippage, or blockage could prevent proper airflow.
As you can see, there are many possible causes behind no air coming out of a car’s vents. Read on to discover some solutions.
How To Fix Car Air Vents That Aren’t Working?
There are many possible reasons why your car isn’t putting out as much air as it should or none at all. Most of the causes are related to clogs or broken components of your car’s AC system.
The first thing to check for is a clog.
Look inside your car’s air intake area below the windshield and try to determine if there is dust, pollen, or debris buildup inside. If you suspect that something is blocking up the system, you can try to clear out the clogs with a duster, a toothpick, or any other tools you have lying around.
Your AC system filter might also be the culprit of a clog. Accessing this filter isn’t always easy, and directions differ depending on your car model, so you may need to consult a professional or look up how to access your car’s filter online. Once you get to it, change it out or clean it if there is grime or dust on it.
If there’s no debris blocking your air intake or filter, you can start looking at other common issues like a bad relay or failed fuse. For more guidance on checking fuses and relays, you might want to take a look at this article from Sun Devil Auto.
If your car is still not pushing out air, you’ll probably need to visit a professional technician to find the problem.
Car Air Conditioning Explained
A car’s AC system can be complex. For this reason, most people seek help from professional technicians when there’s a problem. However, if you want more details about the mechanics behind these systems, here are the basics.
Your car’s air conditioning system works by manipulating refrigerant to a liquid and gaseous state. This change happens as the refrigerant soaks up heat and humidity in your car to produce the cool and dry air that is pushed out of your car’s vents.
As mentioned above, several parts in the system could break or age poorly, resulting in limited airflow from your car vents. One such part is the compressor. This component of your car’s AC unit is where all the power in the system comes from.
It separates the low-pressure gas and compresses it into high temperatures and high-pressure gas. The compressor is located in the front of the engine and uses a serpentine belt to function.
Next up on essential parts explained is the condenser. This component reduces the temperature of the refrigerant while maintaining a high pressure to force air to transfer heat. The condenser is also located behind the grill in the vehicle’s front.
Another essential part is the dryer. This system removes water from the refrigerant with a drying agent. It’s located near the condenser next to another critical piece of the metering device. The metering device lowers the pressure of the refrigerant.
These parts and more work together to power your car’s AC system. If any of them break down over time or malfunction, it’s crucial to replace them, or else you may have problems, like no air coming out of your vents.
If you’re not getting air out of your car vents, you’re likely hot, uncomfortable, and looking for a quick and easy fix.
The first place to start is checking to ensure there isn’t anything blocking your car’s vents. If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned your dash, clear away any debris clogging the vents.
Once you’ve done this, if the problem persists, it could be a signal that one or more of your car’s AC system parts is broken or malfunctioning. Consult with a professional to fix the issue.