Buick Auto Air Conditioner Troubleshootingby Ross Glyn
When the temperature reaches triple digits and you reach for the air conditioning in your Buick and all you receive is a stream of hot air, you know that it is time to act. Air conditioning repair in autos can be time-consuming and expensive. However, before taking your Buick to a mechanic, there are a number of basic troubleshooting steps you can run through on your own.
Check that the air conditioning controls are activated as well as the blower fan. Make sure the controls are not stuck or loose. Listen for the blend gate to open when you push the air conditioning to it's coldest setting.
Remove the fuses connected to the air conditioning system and check for any that are damaged or blown. Make sure to replace fuses with others of the same rating. If the fuse keeps blowing, there could be a problem with the circuit. If the fuse to the blower fan keeps blowing, it may mean that the blower motor is bad.
Look under the hood and check that the drive belt to the compressor is connected correctly and secure. Start the engine, turn the air conditioning to the coldest setting and check under the hood to see that the magnetic clutch on the compressor kicks in. Make sure that the belt is secure and not slipping or squealing. Replace the belt if it is damaged.
Check the refrigerant hoses for any holes or kinks. Inspect for any connections and components that are oily. This could indicate a refrigerant leak. Replace the hoses as necessary. Check the hoses near the compressor connection. One should be slightly cooler than the other. If they are both warm to the touch, the valve control could be bad. Take care when touching the hoses as they could inflict burns.
Check to see if there is any serious damage to the compressor. Make sure that the drive hub is not off-center or has paint damage as this may indicate serious overheating. The hub is the circular element that protrudes just forward of the belt pulley. Test the compressor by turning the hub by hand. Make sure that it only offers minor resistance. It there is too much resistance, it could mean that it is time to install a new compressor.
- Look on the inside of the fuse box for directions to locate the fuse connected to the air conditioning.
- If the vehicle is older than five or six years and the compressor completely fails, you may need to replace the entire refrigerant cycling system.
Ross Glyn began writing for film and television in 1986. He wrote and directed the film “After The Rain” as well as the play “Soweto's Burning.” He is a member of the Writers Guild Of America, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Ross holds a performer's degree from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.