Are Squealing Noises From Your Car A/C System A Cause For Concern?
A car A/C system that is in good working condition should make little, if any noise. If you suddenly begin hearing a squealing sound, you can be rest assured it isn’t a good thing, and below are some reasons why it happens, and what you can do about it.
The Serpentine Belt Has Worn Out
Serpentine belts are extensive and winding, used for keeping many important components in the car operating, such as the air pump, alternator, pump for power steering, air conditioning and water pump. When these belts are properly maintained, they should last from fifty thousand to one hundred thousand miles. However, although they are sturdy, eventually they will wear out and require replacement.
To determine whether or not a worn serpentine belt is the cause of the noise, you will want to fill up a spray container using water and then spray the belt down. Afterwards, run the A/C and see if the squealing stops. If it does, the problem is likely solved, but you should take it to a mechanic for additional inspection. There are other sounds that your air conditioning can make which indicate other potential problems.
A buzzing sound almost always means that something is amiss with your compressor. In most cases it will be overcharged, which means that you’ve put excessive Freon into the vehicle. This is a serious issue, and if you suspect it you should take your vehicle to a technician immediately. The buzzing sound is made as refrigerant enters the intake port of the compressor, which may produce substantial damage to the car. The A/C compressor will likely need to be replaced, which can be costly.
Clicking Or Knocking Sound
This sound usually indicates that you’ve got a problem with your mounting bolts. These bolts are responsible for holding the air conditioning components in position. If they loosen, or the air compressor has worn out internally, then you’ll hear clicking or knocking. The problem can be resolved by tightening the mounting bolt by adding a special compound which is threaded locking.
Harmless A/C Sounds
Some of the sounds which are made by your air conditioning unit are harmless, one example being hissing. This sound is usually noticed on really hot summer days, when you’ve got your A/C turned up at the highest settings. When you park and deactivate it, you will notice a hissing sound.
This sound is not only harmless, but actually good for your vehicle. The reason for this is because the air conditioning units used in automobiles utilize dual sides which are separated by either a tube or valve. Each side has Freon, at a pressure which is either low or high. When the vehicle is shut down, the Freon which is present on the side with high pressure will move over to the side with low pressure, which is what produces the sound of hissing.