Common Kia Optima A/C Problems
In 2000, Kia Motors manufactured a midsized 4-door sedan called the Kia Optima. It was the automobile manufacturer’s first mid-sized sedan and was the result of a consistent pursuit of technological innovation. After the initial launch, Kia Motors proceeded to manufactured models of Optima FE for three years. Do you own an Optima FE? Be sure to familiarize yourself with the following Kia Optima Fe A/C problems so you know what to do when you encounter one.
Bad A/C Recharge
If the problem is a bad A/C recharge, the refrigerant may slowly leak out of your auto A/C system over several days, weeks, or years. The issue becomes more obvious when your A/C no longer produces the low temperatures you are accustomed to. Driving with a discharged A/C will not cause further damage. However, you risk subjecting other seals in the system to dry-rot. These seals require lubrication from the refrigerant. In this case, it may be expensive to repair your A/C. To avoid this type of problem, you should send your car to an auto shop for regular A/C servicing. Don’t wait until you have passed the 100,000-mile mark to do so.
Bad A/C Compressor
The compressor needs to be in good working condition to ensure smooth A/C operation. If it becomes faulty, warm air will most likely be blown out of the vents. How do you know when you have a bad A/C compressor? Take note of the engine idle speed. It should drop when the A/C button is pressed. If the compressor is not functioning properly, the opposite will happen. In this situation, you may be experiencing internal compressor failure or have a faulty compressor clutch.
In some cases, a grinding or squealing noise may be heard from the compressor. This indicates a mechanical failure. Although cars with bad A/C compressors are safe to drive, the engine may stall if there is a lack of electrical power. Timely maintenance is key to ensuring you do not experience these issues. Auto A/C compressors tend to fail after the vehicle has been driven for more than 60,000 miles. You should keep in mind that the time can be lengthened depending on operating conditions, demand, and use.
Bad A/C Condenser
When an A/C condenser fails, the engine idle speed cannot undulate as per normal. In addition, the air in the vehicle will become warmer than ambient temperature. Although faulty condensers do not harm your car, they can cause significant discomfort if you drive in warm climates. You should always fix a leaking condenser as it may allow dust into the system. A/C condenser failures occur due to physical damage. However, debris in the A/C system can cause blockage too. For example, the condenser will not function properly if its small, exterior metal fins become matted with a foreign substance. In this situation, a specialty comb is needed to remove that substance.
Bad Evaporator Core
The air conditioning system of a car utilizes a multitude of components to cool its interior down. Each component plays a role in expanding and compressing refrigerant. As the cold refrigerant needs to travel through a medium to make the car cold, an A/C evaporator core is used to facilitate this task. The evaporator is housed underneath the dashboard and is designed to replace the hot air in the vehicle with cool air. You can think of it as a heat exchanger. Yes, you can continue driving with a bad evaporator core. However, you may be putting the safety of your passengers at risk. The lack of air conditioning may be dangerous for children and seniors who need to travel in extremely hot climates.