Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: When a/c was on, steam from under hood and a/c went warm on a hot day and on another day came out cool for a several minutes

asked by on

When a/c was on, steam from under hood and a/c went warm on a hot day and on another day came out cool for a several minutes, then went warm again

My car has 108000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

The source of the steam should be the first thing repaired. It is highly probable that once the leak is repaired, the A/C system will begin to work again. There are two fluid sources under the hood that can create steam. They would be coolant and A/C refrigerant. The description you have given suggests the refrigerant is low in the A/C system and this is also consistent with the steam from under the hood. In addition, if you had a coolant leak, your car would most likely be overheating and the leak would be getting worse the more you drive it. It’s is very rare for a cooling system to leak and then stop. The A/C system however under goes a series of pressure changes as it begins to produce cold air that could easily create a leak and then turn off as a result of the sudden pressure drop.

I recommend the following inspection to help you out; AC is not working inspection, to get your air conditioning system back working again.

Good luck!

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. When a/c was on, steam from under hood and a/c went warm on a hot day and on another day came out cool for a several minutes

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Noises from the ac 2004 Saturn Vue

Hi there - if the compressor is making rattling or clanking noises this indicates an upcoming failure of the compressor. Yes, it will eventually seize or otherwise fail, possibly breaking the belt when it does. When the compressor fails, bits...

Q: Car leaks antifreeze from hose

Coolant leaks can be tricky. I recommend having a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, come out to your car's location to run a diagnostic inspection of your antifreeze leak, and suggest the best path to repair.

Q: How do I program a personal entry code?

You can program your own personal entry cod for the keyless entry keypad with just a few steps: 1. Enter the factory set entry code, which is located on the owner’s wallet card. 2. Within five seconds, press the 1-2...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...