Sometimes, your Tesla air conditioning system may fail to function, leaving you with uncomfortable cabin temperature while you are on a ride. This article discusses the common reasons your Tesla air condition system is not working and how you can fix the problem.
Why Is Your Tesla Air Conditioning Not Working?
Reason 1: Low refrigerant
The refrigerant is a fluid that circulates in your Tesla air conditioning system and absorbs heat from the air.
When the refrigerant level is low, your car’s air conditioning system cannot cool or warm the cabin air efficiently. Whenever there is no adequate refrigerant, you’ll see that your air conditioner lines are freezing and become white.
If refrigerant level is low, this can cause problems with the compressor or other components of the system. Lack of maintenance, improper installation, or leaks can cause low refrigerant.
Leaks can happen because of aging or damaged components like coolant pipe or condenser that allow the refrigerant to escape from the system.
Your Tesla AC unit is essential to maintain a comfortable cabin climate. However, low refrigerant levels can cause problems to the performance of the unit and even result in complete failure if not resolved rapidly.
How to fix: contact Tesla technicians
Regularly notice signs of low refrigerant levels, such as strange noises coming from inside the system, warm air coming out instead of cold, and weak airflow from the blower motor.
If you suspect that refrigerant levels are low, take your car to a nearby Tesla support center or a certified professional dealing with AC systems of electric vehicles.
AC refrigerant recharge is a major method that can be used to address low refrigerant levels. This involves adding more 410a (or R-22) gas into your system which will help restore expected efficiency and performance back into your unit. However, these can only be handled by professionals who understand the aspects of AC refrigerant recharge, top-off procedures, and leak repair.
Reason 2: Failing compressor
When you feel unpleasant sweating inside your vehicle and hot temperatures inside the cabin can’t be controlled by opening the windows and the fan is blowing nothing, know that the AC is not working.
A faulty compressor could be another problem that may cause your AC to fail. The compressor plays a significant function in your Tesla’s air conditioning (AC) system. Its key role is to compress the refrigerant, raising its pressure and temperature to facilitate the cooling process.
However, sometimes, the compressor can fail to work due to issues, such as overheating, electrical issues, or wear and tear.
When the compressor’s lifespan is over, your Tesla’s air conditioning system won’t be able to cool down the air that it’s sending into your cabin. As a result, you’ll get warmer air than it should be.
Also, if the AC compressor is broken, you’ll hear some rattling noise because the compressor is loose. The rattling noise could also happen because the compressor oil used for lubrication is not in adequate supply or becomes contaminated (normally with water vapor).
How to fix: seek professional help
- Contact Tesla technicians or a professional mechanic to diagnose your car’s compressor.
- You should take the car for service as soon as possible.
- Any further delay might cause further damage to the air conditioning system, which will cost you extra money when fixing the compressor.
Reason 3: Coolant pipe problem
Coolant pipe is an important part of your Tesla’s air conditioning system. The pipe is made of high-pressure rubber that has unique automotive AC pipe fittings on each end.
The role of the coolant pipe is to move refrigerant from the compressor to the components of the air conditioning system. Then the refrigerant cools air about to enter your car’s cabin. However, sometimes, the coolant pipe can fail to work because it’s exposed to high pressures.
One of the obvious symptoms that something is wrong with your car’s AC system is that the air inside the cabin is not blowing cool air. In certain cases, the cause of this problem is that the coolant pipe could have become loose. But a more serious issue that may cause air not cooling is the coolant pipe gets worn out or damaged.
If the coolant pipe is damaged, it’ll start causing the refrigerant to leak. This leakage of refrigerant affects the system’s cooling functionality.
You can easily notice a damaged coolant pipe. This component is located under the hood of your car. A damaged coolant pipe has signs such as breaks, cuts, or cracks in the line; fluid leaking from the pipe; and loose connections on either end.
How to fix: take your car for professional servicing
Remember that if the coolant pipe is leaking fluid, the fluid is considered as a contaminant to the rest of the car. However, driving during the hot summer days without air conditioning is not pleasant. It’s not advisable for some people to travel in a hot car. Elderly adults and people with kidney, lung and cardiovascular issues are normally advised not to be in the heat.
Take your car to a nearby Tesla car center or a certified professional mechanic to fix the bad coolant pipe and diagnose the cause of other AC problems.
You can’t fix a bad coolant pipe by yourself. Only a certified professional specializing in AC repairs can resolve the problem.
Reason 4: Software issues
Sometimes, your car may not heat up in cold weather. The problem could be caused by faulty software that causes a valve within the heat pump of the car’s air conditioning system to stay open.
Tesla vehicles normally use the heat pump to warm the cabin during extremely cold temperatures.
Your car’s heating system may freeze up and windshields may not defrost quickly enough during extremely cold weather seasons. Other Tesla owners often experience their vehicle’s heating system refusing to switch on, preventing the travelers from staying warm during cold weather.
These problems arise due to a software fault that can open a heat-pump valve unintentionally. This situation can trap the refrigerant inside the evaporator, leading to a reduced defrosting performance.
How to fix: update software
Tesla periodically releases firmware updates that can fix or enhance various issues of its cars, including the air conditioning system.
Mostly, Tesla updates happen automatically. However, it’s important to check if an outstanding update is affecting your AC system.
- To initiate a software update, ensure your car is connected to a stable Wi-Fi network. Then, go to your car’s touchscreen and click on the “Controls” menu.
- In the “Controls” menu, select the “Software.” In the “Software” menu, click on the “Check for Updates” button. This action will trigger the car to connect to Tesla’s servers and search for any available firmware updates.
- If there is an available update, the details of the new software version will pop up. Then select the “Download and Install” option.
If your car was recently updated, this could be affecting your air conditioning system. So you’ll need to perform a full power down and restart.
Reason 5: Faulty temperature sensors
If the temperature inside your car is not as cold as you set it to be, this problem could be due to an ambient air temperature sensor malfunctioning. To assess this situation, drive your vehicle and move out there to see if the air blowing inside your car is cold enough.
Some Tesla car users sometimes experience their vehicles report much lower interior temperature than it is in reality, which triggers the air conditioning system to stop blowing cold air through.
The sensor keeps an eye on the vehicle’s cabin temperature. They monitor temperature from outside as well as inside the car.
However, if there is a discrepancy or a fault in the sensors, it can cause the AC system to ignore or misread the data. Sometimes, damage, wear and tear, dirt, or calibration errors can cause sensor issues.
How to fix: reset the sensors
When the temperature sensors go bad, you should reset or replace them.
- First, locate where temperature sensors are located. The sensors are normally located at the hood area.
- Next, disconnect the car battery before you reset the temperature sensors. This action is an important safety factor. It’s essential to remove the power supplies before you work on electrical appliances.
- Once you’ve located the sensors and disconnected the battery, now remove the sensors. There are special plastic terminals attaching the sensors to the wiring. Don’t use extra force while disconnecting the sensors on the wires. You may end up damaging the wiring and the entire setup.
- You can reset the sensors after removing them. Find the reset buttons on them that allow you to do so. Or you can clean them and put them back in place and then check the readings. If these solutions don’t work, it means the sensors are seriously damaged. It’s therefore best to replace them. Take your car to a nearby Tesla support center for replacement.
Reason 6: the air conditioning system malfunctioning
Sometimes, your Tesla air conditioning system may shut off and on suddenly, and you’re wondering what’s wrong with your AC system.
At times, you may notice that your AC unit turns on and off frequently before it starts to cool the cabin environment to a desired temperature. These conditions happen due to various reasons such as, unwanted wear and tear on the AC system, faulty components or a dirty / poorly maintained system.
When your AC shuts off and on prematurely, it means that the unit is malfunctioned. This situation can be caused by a problem in the system or there is an electrical problem, like faulty wiring to the unit. Another issue that may cause your Tesla AC unit to shut down suddenly or incorrectly read that the cabin temperature is if it’s improperly maintained.
Also, when the blower motor gets dirty, and choked with dander and dust, the airflow is restricted. This causes the evaporator to freeze, which can cause the AC system to shut down prematurely. Also, when the condenser is dirty, and coated with dust, it can struggle to conduct heat exchange properly. This can cause the system to overheat and shut down prematurely.
Electrical problems can also affect the functionality of your Tesla’s AC unit. A damaged AC system, bad connection, or a compressor / compressor not receiving power properly can cause the unit to stop working.
How to fix: regularly maintain the AC system
- Once every month, check the AC unit, clean and properly maintain the system.
- Take your car to the Tesla service center for technicians to properly diagnose and repair the electrical issues.
- If your AC system is damaged or not working, contact Tesla technicians to diagnose and repair the unit.
My Final Thoughts
If your AC unit is weak or not working in cold winter or hot summer days, before you call Tesla technicians, try these troubleshooting tips to see if it resolves the problem.
Hopefully, these solutions will assist you address problems facing your air conditioning unit. If not, contacting a mechanic or taking your car to the Tesla service center or contacting a professional mechanic.
Ensure you stay ahead of any issues that might cause your Tesla AC unit not functioning.