Nothing feels better than feeling the cold air blowing in your car on a hot day, practically a necessity, it is one of the most important parts of any car: a working air conditioner. Should you need the cold air and be greeted with nothing or warm air, it can be quite the cause for concern as you hope to figure out why. Usually your air conditioner will begin to show signs that it is beginning to experience an issue, typically through weird and unusual sounds. Should you notice your air conditioner making any weird and uncommon sounds, it is important to know what they may signify and the best way to treat it before any damages can be caused.

Weird & unusual sounds and their fixation

  • Loud Squealing Sound- Usually the most commonly reported weird sound, a loud squeal can signify an issue with the serpentine belt. Rather than using any belt dressing for diagnosis of an issue, spray the belt down with a spray bottle of water and if the noise stops, have your vehicle looked at for further inspection. If your serpentine belt is old you may want to just replace it anyways even if there are no weird sounds or signs of wear and tear.
  • Buzzing Noise- A sign that the AC Compressor is beginning to go bad, a buzzing noise may be heard when turning the AC on. This is usually the sign of an overcharged system, which is only usually an issue when too much Freon is added during an air conditioner service. An overcharged air conditioner will not properly cool and needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. The buzzing is caused by the liquid refrigerant entering the compressor intake port and is a great signifier that there is too much Freon. Replacing the entire air conditioner compressor is expensive and much harder than it initially may look so correcting the issue fast will save you plenty of time and money.
  • Knocking or Clicking Sound- While not as common an issue as the other sounds, either a constant knocking or clicking sound is the result of loose mounting bolts that are meant to secure various air conditioning components. When the engine is running you can find the trouble area by simply standing back and looking, as you will be able to see any loose components shaking and moving around. The easiest fix when it comes to sounds your air conditioner could make, you simply have to tighten bolts and add thread-locking compound to solve the problem.
  • Hissing Noise- One of the more common weird sounds that  drivers may here coming from the air conditioner is not a bad sign at all actually. A hissing noise after turning the car off is actually caused by equalizing pressure, this is made by the Freon moving from the high-pressure side of the compressor down into the lower pressure side and is a completely normal occurrence and sound.
  • Constant Rattling Sound- There are a few potential culprits for an air conditioner that rattles when you turn it on, if you think it may be any of them it is important that you find the cause right away and have it taken care of before further damages can be spread. An air conditioner compressor beginning to fail, a compressor pulley or serpentine belt that is beginning to wear out or the compressor clutch can cause a rattling noise. The compressor clutch is a high-wear item that will need to be inspected and replaced fairly often, it will create a rattle sometimes if it is wearing out though some vehicles require the clutch and compressor be replaced at the same time.

Wrap Up

Weird sounds coming from the air conditioner can be one of the most concerning things to a driver, especially during the summer when the air conditioner is just about the most important piece of a car. Whether it is the sign that something is failing or in need of maintenance, or simply a normal occurrence that you do not need to worry about, knowing what sounds to listen for from your air conditioner can help you find and properly diagnose an issue before it becomes critical, which will help keep all of your car in proper working order and free of issue.