Q: Air Conditioning is not doing very much at all

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In the 71,000 miles that I have driven my 2006 Kia Sorento, I have had the AC die on me 3 times. The first time I needed a new compressor and the warranty covered it, next time I just needed it recharged, third time was another compressor that I had to pay for. Now it’s busted again right in the dead of summer. Should I just keep replacing parts or is something broken with the whole AC system? I really need the AC to work!


While not having A/C can be uncomfortable, the problem is repairable.

If the system is out of refrigerant, there is a leak present. With any luck, the last technician that replaced your compressor added A/C dye to the system to help aid in finding future leaks. The dye will show up with a black light and UV enhancing glasses to make the leak easier to locate.

If the A/C compressor has failed there can be few kinds of failure: a mechanical failure with the compressor, failure of the A/C clutch, or an electrical fault. If the compressor has a mechanical failure, there are other items that should be replaced along with the compressor. These can include the expansion valve, receiver drier, the hose between the compressor and condenser, and the hose from the expansion valve to the compressor. The refrigerant system should also be flushed to remove as many foreign objects as possible from the system. There are two types of possible electrical faults: a fault between the A/C control in the dash and the compressor, or a failure of one of the sensors that protects the A/C refrigerant system. If the system has an electrical fault, the diagnosis requires a Digital Volt-Ohm Meter and a diagnostic guide to find which sensor or wiring has a failure. In the instance of clutch failure, Kia issued a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) KT2007081504 for A/C compressor clutch diagnosis. The clutch can usually be replaced independently of the compressor at a reduced cost.

Diagnosing the A/C is a hands on skill requiring a technician to look at the vehicle. To keep the A/C working you may have to replace some parts.

A certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, can diagnose and repair your A/C problem so you can stay cool this summer.

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