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What's happening with my auto A/C?
Q: My A/C works but the air doesn't blow out of the right vents. What's wrong?
A: The problem lies in the controls that regulate the air distribution. The refrigerant circuit only provides the means to remove the heat from the air entering your vehicle. The control system handles the air distribution so that you can select defrost, floor or dash vents.

In many cases, the air distribution controls operate with manifold vacuum. That is vacuum created by your car's engine. Your A/C system uses a canister or reservoir to 'store' vacuum and operate 'blend' and air distribution doors.

In a lot of cases, when a vacuum line under the hood is broken or left off (sometimes during other automotive services), you loose the ability to control the air distribution. The typical failure is that all the air is coming out of the defroster or the floor. Those are usually the 'defaults' for the system. In order to correct the problem, you simply have to find and repair the vacuum leak.

Although that sounds easy, there are a lot of different vacuum lines under the hood of any vehicle. They are typically small (about 1/4" diameter or less) hoses that are routed from the engine. These can get loose, cracked or even sustain holes from hot exhaust manifolds. Additionally, the actual vacuum reservoir can leak. That reservoir can be located anywhere under the hood, but typically on the passenger side close to the firewall. Check the hose connections and the canister itself. Leaking canisters have to be replaced, but they are usually not an expensive item.


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Our list of FAQ's is growing, so please visit back often. If you can't find the right answer here, visit the auto A/C help and discussion board at the COOL ZONE. You'll get all the right answers to your questions about troubleshooting and diagnosing auto A/C systems.

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