Now that the summer is upon us, we know just what we’re in for. That feeling of hopping into a meltingly hot car, burning your hand on the seatbelt and switching the air conditioning on, waiting to be hit with that much-needed cooling breeze… but what if that doesn’t happen, or if you are instead greeted with a ghastly smell? Realising that your air conditioning is faulty in the midst of summer is unfortunate, but let us introduce you to the possible causes for this, allowing you to relax in the knowledge that you know what it is and how to get it fixed.

Will your air conditioning not turn on?

Driving in a hot vehicle can be a highly unpleasant experience. On some occasions, driving with the windows down could arguably be worse, feeling the warm, muggy air waft across the side of your arm. So, what could be the culprit for this fault?

There could be a handful of reasons as to why your air conditioning has stopped working. During a blisteringly hot period of summer sunshine, it may simply be that the fan has burnt out. It may also be that the air conditioning has been frequently used on a high pressure and that it has now tired out. It could have nothing to do with the fan itself, and be a fault with the dial or switch, or possibly even a wiring fault.

At home, it would be worth assessing the coolant level. If this is running too low, the AC compressor will struggle to engage so a simple top-up may solve the issue. If it doesn’t, however, it is recommended that you book in to see a specialist mechanic sooner rather than later as having your car overheat could result in additional problems further down the line.

Is your air conditioning blowing out warm air?

As a problem that is almost, or quite possibly worse than the issue of no air blowing out of your air conditioning at all, there are a number of culprits that could be traced to the root of solely warm air passing through the fan.

Similarly to above, over use could potentially cause the cooling fan to become damaged, but a blocked or broken condenser could also result in the same issue. This problem could be harder to diagnose at home, but a trained mechanic could solve the fault, rooting down to the stem of the problem quite simply, from electrical faults to internal blockages.

Is your air conditioning letting out a pungent smell?

Especially awkward if you are travelling with a passenger in your car, switching your air conditioning on to be greeted with a pungent smell is not ideal. Surprisingly, there are a range of different scents that all link to different faults. These include:

A damp smell. This scent of mildew could signify the presence of mould within your vents or fan, especially common in older cars of cars left in cold, dark places for extended periods of time.

Pungent smells. An overall bad odour from your air conditioning vents could lead you to the problem of a dirt and debris build up, along with stagnant water, preventing the air to circulate as it should.

A smell of gas. This one may seem alarming, and rightly so. This could signal a gas leak internally within your vehicle. The scent will not hang around, so if you catch it once you first switch the air conditioning on, book your vehicle in for a check-up.

Here at RKH Service and Repair, we are on hand to aid you with any motoring need. From two-wheeled vehicles through to four, from MOTs to air conditioning cleans, were the team for you. To get in touch with any queries or worries about your vehicle, or to book your vehicle in with us, give us a call on 01233 877797 or email us at