Why is My Car Air Conditioner Making Noise?

  • June 14, 2023
Woman trying to turn on her car's A/C Woman trying to turn on her car's A/C

As the heat of summer arrives, there's nothing quite as comforting as stepping into a cool car with a cold air conditioner. But what do you do when your car's air conditioning system starts making strange and unsettling noises?

We'll explore some common air conditioning noises drivers may encounter, including gurgling, clicking, knocking, and whistling sounds. We'll delve into what these sounds may indicate, which components could be affected, and how these issues can be resolved by a professional at your local Tires Plus.

1. Gurgling Sound in Your Car Air Conditioner

Are you hearing a gurgling noise coming from your car's air conditioning system? This peculiar sound is often an indication of trapped air. The gurgling sound typically comes from air bubbles moving through the cooling system in the heater core, and may also be a sign of a clogged evaporator core drain.

How to Fix a Gurgling Sound in the A/C

A gurgling sound can be the symptom of a few different issues, so it’s crucial to have your car's air conditioning system inspected by a qualified technician if you notice the sound. The technician will be able to identify the problem and fix the issue after your approval, or clear that pesky evaporator core drain tube to ensure proper water drainage.

2. Clicking Noise from Car Air Conditioner

A repetitive clicking sound coming from your vehicle’s A/C can be quite bothersome! This type of noise could be caused by a loose part rattling around. However, there may be a more serious issue with the electrical components within the A/C unit, such as a failing blend door actuator, which controls the temperature of air through the vents.

How to Fix an Air Conditioner That's Making Clicking Noises

Whether it’s a loose part or a failing blend door actuator, we recommend getting a professional diagnosis from a Tires Plus technician near you. They can diagnose the source of the clicking noise and repair or replace the faulty components, ensuring your A/C system operates smoothly without clicking.

3. Knocking Noise in Car Air Conditioning

A knocking noise coming from your car's air conditioning system can be unsettling. But similar to a clicking noise, this sound may be the symptom of a loose part such as a mounting bolt or bracket. However, this sound can also point to a problem with the blower motor — a vital component responsible for pushing air through your evaporator and heater core and ultimately out of the cabin A/C vents. A damaged or failing blower motor may produce a knocking or rattling sound if it is no longer properly balanced due to trapped debris.

How to Fix an Air Conditioner That's Making Knocking Noises

Whether it’s a loose part or a faulty blower motor, it’s important to seek professional help from a Tires Plus technician to properly diagnose the issue. Our repair experts can inspect your vehicle to find the source of the knocking. If the blower motor is the culprit, our team can either repair or replace it to get your air conditioning system blowing again.

4. Whistling Noise from Car Air Conditioner

If you notice a high-pitched whistling sound emanating from your car's air conditioning system, there’s likely an issue with the airflow. This noise might indicate a clogged or dirty cabin air filter, a blocked air vent, an externally clogged evaporator core, or even a partially clogged heater hose filter screen.

How to Fix a Car Air Conditioning Whistling Noise

A whistling sound from your A/C may be an easy fix if there’s an obstruction in one of your vents. Use a flashlight and check inside each vent for debris that may have gotten stuck. 

If your air vents are clear and you still hear a whistling or hissing noise, it’s best to visit your local Tires Plus for a thorough inspection of your car's air conditioning system. Our skilled technicians will examine the cabin air filter and clean or replace it if necessary, as well as inspect the blower motor and ductwork to ensure proper airflow.

5. Squealing Sound in Your Car Air Conditioner

Several culprits could be causing your car's A/C to emit that dreaded squeal. One common cause is a loose or worn serpentine belt. This component often drives the A/C compressor, and if it isn't functioning as it should, it can slip and produce squealing noises. Another potential cause is a malfunctioning A/C compressor clutch, which may also lead to the same unpleasant sound.

How to Fix an Air Conditioner That's Making Squealing Noises

While it's always best to consult a professional technician for proper diagnosis and repair, there are a few things you can check before heading to the shop. With your engine turned off, you can inspect the serpentine belt for wear and looseness. If you notice any issues, it may be time to have the professionals at Tires Plus check it out. 

However, keep in mind that these are just preliminary checks, and it's crucial to have a professional inspection to accurately identify and fix the problem. A professional technician at Tires Plus will have the necessary tools and expertise to diagnose the source of the squealing sound and determine next best steps.

Quiet Your Car’s A/C With Professional Tires Plus A/C Services

When your car's air conditioning system starts making weird noises, don't ignore them. These sounds are often symptoms of underlying issues that, if left unchecked, may lead to further damage or your A/C to stop blowing cold air. 

While it may be tempting to attempt a DIY fix, especially if you're handy with cars, the A/C system is a complex and delicate system. Without the proper knowledge and tools, you could end up causing more harm than good. A professional technician will not only accurately diagnose the issue but also ensure that the repair is done properly, restoring your car's A/C to its optimal performance. 

Want to stay ahead of other potential vehicle problems? Visit your local Tires Plus at the first sign of A/C troubles for professional, affordable service. You can also schedule a complete vehicle inspection during your visit to keep up with routine maintenance and ensure your car, truck, or SUV is ready for the open road.

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