Main IndexAuto Repair Home Search Posts SEARCH
Who's Online WHO'S
Log in LOG

Search Auto Parts

Air Conditioning hates the winter for 3 years running...

  Email This Post

New User

Mar 10, 2016, 9:07 PM

Post #1 of 6 (724 views)
Air Conditioning hates the winter for 3 years running... Sign In

Car info: 2005 Hyundai Accent 1.6L with 117k miles

When the weather turns cold, usually right when it starts raining, the A/C stops working. Light on the dash goes out, compressor won't kick in, no defrost. But a few weeks after it gets warm; light on, compressor kicks in, sweet refreshing cold air.

Three mechanics later, no one knows what the crap is going on. This winter it rained a lot and the same happened. Then we got about 10 days of dry weather and it came back on. Last night it started raining again and when I went to the car in the morning, no A/C!!! Any idea what could be causing this?

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Mar 10, 2016, 11:23 PM

Post #2 of 6 (708 views)
Re: Air Conditioning hates the winter for 3 years running... Sign In

? Do you mean asking for air flow to defrost doesn't work also?
I can't compete with techs who looked right at this car but not all are specializing in A/C either so find a place that does. It matters what is really happening not clear to me in your post. That detail totally matters. If your A/C didn't work to produce cool air alone would have nothing to do with how dash controls for which ducts worked.
Please define what cold means to you just for clarity. I'm from "up North" and if raining it isn't that cold if you catch my drift?
It's "wet" sensitive it seems more than temperature. IDK - wiring that's exposed to water but would have to do some testing and much better while the problem is happening so if techs already looked at it working properly you might get no place as it would test properly for many things,


New User

Mar 11, 2016, 12:08 AM

Post #3 of 6 (704 views)
Re: Air Conditioning hates the winter for 3 years running... Sign In

Thank you for responding. There is always airflow, regardless of operability. The button to activate the AC is a microswitch. When the AC is not working the light on the microswitch does not light up at all.

There are 3 signs that the AC is not working: (1) The windshield will not defrost, not matter how long I run air over the windshield. The airflow simply does not remove the fog. (2) Regardless of the ambient temperature (which never dips below ~50 degrees fahrenheit) the air coming from vents is never colder than the windows. (3) When the AC is working, I can feel the compressor kick in due to the small size of the engine.

When the AC begins working again it is very obvious, both in temperature and overall function. It feels as if there is some pool of water somewhere that shorts out the electric and will not allow it to activate. Does that help?

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Mar 11, 2016, 1:03 AM

Post #4 of 6 (698 views)
Re: Air Conditioning hates the winter for 3 years running... Sign In

OK - That helps. The dash choice controls for air works. Now let's find out why not cool and some questions about that.

50F isn't cold to me personally yet that temp with humidity will fog windows as you and I both know. If you are asking for cold air to defog or defrost a windshield and others you are asking for more foggy windows if it worked.

There's a minor but prevalent school of thought that you need A/C for defogging to work with dry air which it can help but not alone so easily. Consider dew points and RH or "relative humidity" in the mix also. Many vehicles don't have A/C at all and still defog and defrost ordered new without the feature. Speak for myself as I don't drive every type of car ever made but have owned zillions, about 1/2 didn't have A/C at all - not broken it came without it as it isn't worth the cost for some.

To defrost or defog if and only if warm enough for A/C to work (it quits at low temps or would choke a compressor) it would remove moisture from air and make warm air request dry for defogging and help some with defrosting not as much as you need to know that when cold enough below freezing humidity drops down or it would be precipitation in frozen form.
The light indicator is in question? Is the bulb out or not activating the system? Would have to do some tests and observations to verify that.

Your subject line is like an oxymoron where you say your A/C hates Winter. Why do you want A/C in Winter? I doubt I'm alone but request heat. That small area when it could condense moisture out of air is very limited. The gas used in air conditioning will turn to liquid when too cold and compressed so has to stop it as it goes thru a compressor that can't compress a liquid or would choke on it or bust it to bits so it quits compressing just like you didn't have A/C in the vehicle from new.

You said 3 years running this is an issue for you. Are you sure you are requesting proper settings for the norms of what most people would request? If you are asking for you car to be a freezer it isn't made to put out air that cold even if you wanted it wont. Output temp air when you request maximum A/C cooling shouldn't really be below 40F or the system would ice up and wouldn't work at all. That is a problem with things not right and techs should know to look for that.

Back to what I already said is if 3 techs didn't fix it I ask now was it working or not and was it normal but you wanted more than it was designed to do? I don't know. Did they understand your complaint?
There may be a lack of understanding AND a problem to fix?

BTW - Said I'm from the North which still South of others, middle of New England if you know the general idea. Ocean to inland mountains both. Hot in Summers that rarely lasts and cold in Winters that may or may not last and I mean well below ZERO F. such that plastic is brittle, a stick of butter would shatter like glass just making the point all assorted conditions are here not many for very long.
Yup - those humid cool 50F like days when a car has been out in colder overnight for example will drip moisture inside windows and out. While driving if A/C is on outside windshield will fog up if you are asking for cool air.

Since your issue is wet or rain related there probably is a problem with an electrical part not able to connect or perhaps even a drain for your evaporator is plugged and can't let water out usually you get water on passenger's floor if that happens.
In short - the right tech and understanding what you want and a fix or understanding of what's normal and what's not is needed.
Try to find a tech certified in automotive air conditioning with the equipment.
Can't speak for all techs or shops but some just don't do A/C performance or work where I am as it's very seasonal and costly to own all the stuff for a short season plus it takes up space in a shop that could better be used for something you need more often.

Side note: Most shops don't heat the shop much more than 45F in Winter. Equipment and products for A/C don't work well at those temps or at all so just a few take on the work off season,


(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Mar 11, 2016, 3:20 AM)

Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Mar 11, 2016, 5:34 AM

Post #5 of 6 (685 views)
Re: Air Conditioning hates the winter for 3 years running... Sign In

One thing you can try it taking a spray bottle with water in it and spray around under the hood to see if you can get the problem to occur. The car and ac will have to be running of course.

Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

kev2 profile image

Mar 11, 2016, 6:50 AM

Post #6 of 6 (681 views)
Re: Air Conditioning hates the winter for 3 years running... Sign In

would be nice to know what make model yesr etc....
The system will work when above the stated temp SO the system is disabling AC.
I would scan - look for any codes, look at ambient or any sensors that relate to temp. And when low temp and not working maybe check AC charge.

  Email This Post

Feed Button

Search for (options) Privacy Sitemap