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Q: Air conditioner doesn't blow cold air

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It is summertime and over 100 degrees where we live. The A/C has stopped blowing cold air and just feels like vent air! We recharged the coolant, but it was over charged, so we let some out and then added some back in. That didn’t help. The auto repair shop said the expansion valve was malfunctioning and needed replacing. After the replacement, it was just barely better, but not cold enough. He told us there’s nothing wrong with it. But the car does not cool off! I asked him how can we get the air to come out cold from the start. The air just does not get cold in the daytime - at night it does, but not in the heat of day. How can this be fixed?

I would recommend having your 2003 Chevrolet Tracker’s condenser checked for hot spots. A hot spot will cause the refrigerant to remain hot, while it passes through that particular part of the condenser. Hot spots are usually caused by restrictions within the condenser.

If a hot spot is found, the condenser will require replacement in order to resolve the issue. In order to find a hot spot, an infrared thermometer will be used. This thermometer uses a laser pointer and whatever the laser is touching will read the temperature of.

This is a very useful tool in finding hot spots in radiators and condensers. If any hot spots exist, this will require opening the system back up and therefore will not only need a replacement condenser but a recharge of refrigerant as well. This service should only be performed by professionals with the correct tools due to the extreme dangers of refrigerant being released into the atmosphere or inadvertently inhaled.

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