Comprehensive Guide: Troubleshooting Intermittent Automotive Air Conditioner Problems

This guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions to troubleshoot an automotive air conditioner that's working intermittently. This is a common issue, but one that can often be resolved with a little time and patience.

Step 1: Gather Necessary Tools

Before beginning, you'll need a few tools:

  • Thermometer
  • A/C Pro A/C Pro Gauge
  • A/C Pro Super Seal A/C Stop Leak
  • A/C Refrigerant

Step 2: Check the Air Temperature

Start your car and let the engine warm up. Turn on the A/C to its maximum setting and measure the temperature of the air coming out of the vents using the thermometer. If the air isn't cold enough, it might indicate a low refrigerant level or a problem with the compressor.

Step 3: Examine the Compressor

Locate the compressor in your car's engine bay. While the A/C is running, check to see if the center of the pulley is turning. If it isn’t, this might indicate a problem with the compressor clutch or an insufficient refrigerant level.

Step 4: Check the Refrigerant Pressure

Using the A/C Pro Gauge, you can check the refrigerant pressure in your system. If the pressure is too low, it may be the cause of your A/C's intermittent functionality. Make sure your car's engine is off before doing this.

Step 5: Add Refrigerant If Needed

If the refrigerant level is low, add some using the A/C Pro Gauge and Refrigerant. Follow the instructions on the canister for safe and effective use. Be careful not to overfill, as this can also cause problems.

Step 6: Check for Leaks

If your refrigerant level was low, you might have a leak in your system. You can use A/C Pro Super Seal A/C Stop Leak to help identify and seal minor leaks.

Step 7: Seek Professional Help If Needed

If you've gone through all these steps and your A/C is still working intermittently, it may be time to seek professional help. There could be more complex issues at play, such as problems with your A/C's electrical system or a failing compressor.


Troubleshooting an intermittent automotive air conditioner can be a bit complex, but with a little patience and the right tools, you can often diagnose and even fix common issues. Always remember, if in doubt, consult with a professional to avoid causing further damage to your A/C system.

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