AC is important for promoting good driving conditions. However, these systems are not perfect and are prone to failure. Look at Common Jeep Air conditioning Problems for further insight on the topic.
Air conditioning failure is among the worst of all the problems a vehicle can have. This component is especially important for off-road vehicles like Jeeps.
When drivers understand how the AC works and the issues associated with air conditioning systems, identifying and solving AC problems becomes easier, we will discuss some of the most common issues with Jeep AC systems.
How the AC on your car works
Before we can identify a failing air conditioning and what could cause this failure, you must understand how the Jeep air conditioning system works.
AC in your car cools the air by removing the hot air and moisture, making the car's environment more suitable for the driver. Systems’ operation depends on a refrigerant, which must effectively change properties when subjected to different physical changes like pressure.
We can summarize the two major functions of your AC as: reducing the moisture content inside the car and cooling the air entering through the passenger compartment
Let’s talk major AC parts
Your air conditioning works by applying some ac principles of thermodynamics and physics including evaporation and condensation, followed by cooling and expansion. Instead of boring you with the science behind it all, we will explain these principles with the parts that also allow the air conditioning system actually to work.
This is the belt driven pump attached to the engine that acts as the processor of the entire system. It has a magnetic clutch at the front that activates the compressor as soon as it receives power.
It pumps refrigerant (the stuff responsible for cooling the hot air) in a gaseous state to the condenser in a loop. The compressor sucks low-pressure gas from the evaporator and accumulator (suction side), compresses it to a high-pressure nature and sends it to the compressor (discharge side).
This is where the refrigerant gas changes to a liquid form. The condenser receives high-pressure refrigerant gas from the discharge/ compressor side.
Also known as the thermal expansion valve, this component depresses the refrigerant liquid to a gas. These parts coordinate to maintain the correct pressure and temperature of your system calculating the right amount of refrigerant that can circulate the system. Cars that use a receiver drier rely on the thermal expansion valve while those with an orifice tube utilize an accumulator.
Receiver drier or Accumulator
Both these components have a desiccant material that takes up moisture from the air, the second function of the AC system in your car.
This is the part located right behind the dashboard. Your evaporator's job is to deliver cold air to the passenger compartment.
What you need to know about refrigerant
This refrigerant we’ve been speaking about us commonly known as Freon. Also known as R1334 , Freon is widely used in many vehicles. However, older models used the refrigerant that was eliminated from use in the AC systems because of its highly polluting nature.
TIP: If you own a Jeep older than 1992 models, it is often advisable to see a pro when you experience AC issues. This is because older cars use a refrigerant no longer available to the public.
Common issues with your Jeep’s Air Conditioning System- Jeep air conditioning problems
A properly functioning AC is essential especially for those summertime road trips or while on a desert tour. Here are some of the most common problems Jeep owners experience with their AC systems.
A note on Leaks
Before we discuss some of the problems that you might experience firsthand with you Jeep AC, it is important to take note of leaks and how they affect your AC. Leaks are the number one issue with AC across the board. When there is a leak in the system, you begin to experience all sorts of AC problems. Other factors including wear and tear similarly play a role in triggering issues with your Jeep AC.
Dangers of refrigerant leaks
Apart from making your AC system work harder and increasing your energy bills, refrigerant may affect the air quality and harm your health or the environment. If you suspect any leaks from your AC system, you must have it checked and remedied immediately. Some of the ways professionals use to check for leaks include: Dye testing, Electronic detection, and Nitrogen detection bubbling.
A loud or noisy AC
While you may consider this an issue with some Jeep AC systems, some Jeeps have very loud cooling fans which can be considered ‘normal’. We included this as a common issue because a noisy AC cannot be excused for every model.
The HVAC system on the JL, for example, is louder than the one on the JK. HOWEVER, there are instances when you might hear strange noises e.g. hissing sounds coming from your system. This is indicative of a problem and should be cause for worry.
Air is blowing but it isn’t cold
Nothing is more frustrating than turning on your AC and you meet a blast of warm air. Apart from annoying hot driving conditions, an AC system blowing warm air could mean safety issues. Here are some instances where you might experience an issue with your AC blowing warm air.
First you might turn on the AC and meet a warm blast of air. Sure it takes some time for the air I your car to get cold, but there will be some instances when the AC blasts warm air into your cabin. This might mean you need a system recharge.
There are many instances when you might think the AC system is working but then you notice the air gradually getting warmer. Some of the reasons for this may be; LEAKS, a clogged expansion valve, a blown fuse that prevents power from reaching certain parts or even Faulty compressor clutch.
Lastly, the air from your AC might not be as warm as it used to be sometimes the air from your AC might not be exactly warm, but it isn’t as cold as it once was.
Most times, clogging, damage to some of the components or even failed parts or fuses lead to decline in the coldness of the air.
Strange odor coming from your AC
As a rule of thumb, weird smells are never a good sign for car parts. A dirty or old carbon filter and a moldy evaporator case are among the most common reasons for this smell issue. In addition to issues with your vents, residual mold and mildew grow from excess moisture might inhibit air from the system and cause a weak air flow.
Some common causes of AC system failure
As we mentioned, leaking refrigerant is among one of the biggest culprits when it comes to AC system failure. These leaks can occur anywhere in the components and often lead to many issues, some which we mentioned above. Jeep owners must learn to check for leak if they suspect an issue with it.
Damaged or worn parts are also a major concern as they influence how well your AC system will function. In fact, wear and tear is number two on the list of culprits when it comes to issues with the AC.
Lastly, the electrical components must work safely and normally so that the entire system can coordinate properly. Otherwise, an error with the electrical system will trigger the AC system to shut down to prevent improper function, damage or unsafe conditions for operation.
Troubleshooting AC on a Jeep wrangler
A slipping belt and issues with refrigerant levels are quite common with Jeep wrangler AC systems. Because the compressor runs using a belt or pulley system, it is prone to malfunction due to belt-related failures. Here is a step by step to help you troubleshoot your Jeep AC.
Fist, open the hood to inspect the inside of your jeep. The accessory belt of the Jeep wrangler is found at the front of the engine. Wranglers often have a sizable compressor easily noticeable on the driver’s side of the engine bay.
The belt is on the side of the compressor. What you’re looking for are signs of wear or tear that may be cause for this malfunction. Damage is often responsible for slipping on the compressor.
Turn on the engine and then turn the AC to the coldest setting
Proceed to turn on the fan speed to the fastest setting
If you do not feel any cold air coming from our vents, you might have low refrigerant levels in your AC system.
Minor problems like low refrigerant levels often call for a recharge. However major issues like leaks and damage usually require a replacement.
Questions & Answers
Here are 10 issues some Jeep Wrangler owners or potential buyers may have, along with some answers and explanations.
Q: What is the main advantage of having a Jeep air conditioning bypass?
A: The main advantage of having a Jeep air conditioning bypass is that it can give the vehicle a little push in terms of power, which is why some people try to bypass the A/C in the winter. By deleting the A/C compressor, the engine does not have to work as hard to drive it, resulting in less parasitic drag and more horsepower. However, this advantage may be negligible or outweighed by the disadvantages of not having an A/C in your Jeep, such as reduced comfort, resale value, and safety.
Q: Do Jeep Wranglers have air vents?
A: Yes, Jeep Wranglers have air vents that allow you to adjust the temperature and airflow inside the cabin. However, some owners may find the air vents to be inadequate or poorly designed, especially in the rear seats. Some common complaints include weak air conditioning, noisy fan, and lack of directional control. If you are looking for better air ventilation, you might install aftermarket air vent covers or upgrading to a newer model with improved HVAC system.
Q: Is it legal to drive a Jeep Wrangler without doors?
A: It depends on your state and the local laws regarding vehicle equipment. Driving a Jeep Wrangler without doors is legal as long as you have the required number of side mirrors and other safety features.
However, some states may have stricter regulations prohibiting driving without doors unless you have a special permit or exemption. You should always check with your local DMV or law enforcement before removing your doors and driving on public roads.
Q: What are some common Jeep Wrangler problems?
A: Jeep Wranglers are known for their off-road capabilities and ruggedness, but they also have some common problems that owners may encounter. Some of the worst Jeep problems include:
- Death wobble: This term describes a violent shaking of the steering wheel and front end at high speeds or over bumps. Worn or loose suspension components, unbalanced tires, or improper alignment can cause it. It can be fixed by replacing or tightening the faulty parts, balancing the tires, or aligning the wheels.
- Transmission issues: Some Jeep Wranglers may experience problems with shifting gears, slipping transmission, or fluid leaks. This can be due to faulty transmission parts, low fluid levels, or poor maintenance. It can be fixed by replacing or repairing the damaged parts, topping up or changing the fluid, or servicing the transmission regularly.
- Electrical problems: Some Jeep Wranglers may have issues with their electrical system, such as faulty ignition switch, blown fuses, dead battery, or malfunctioning lights. This can be due to wiring defects, corrosion, short circuits, or alternator failure. It can be fixed by checking and replacing the faulty components, cleaning the terminals and connectors, or charging or replacing the battery.
Q: Can I drive a Jeep Wrangler without windows?
A: Yes, you can drive a Jeep Wrangler without windows as long as you follow the local laws regarding vehicle equipment and visibility. However, driving without windows may expose you to various risks and inconveniences, such as weather elements, road debris, noise pollution, theft, vandalism, or reduced aerodynamics. If you want to enjoy the open-air feeling of driving a Jeep Wrangler without windows, you should always wear appropriate clothing and protective gear, secure your belongings inside the vehicle or remove them when parked, and install additional mirrors or cameras to improve your visibility.
Q: What is the most reliable Jeep Wrangler model?
A: According to consumer surveys and reviews, the most reliable Jeep Wrangler model is the 2021 Jeep Wrangler. It has a high reliability rating of 80/100 and a low number of reported problems. It also has a powerful engine lineup, a user-friendly infotainment system, and a variety of advanced safety features. The 2021 Jeep Wrangler also offers several trim levels and options to suit different preferences and needs.
Q: Are Jeeps dangerous?
A: Jeeps are not inherently dangerous vehicles, but they do have some characteristics that may make them more prone to accidents or injuries than other vehicles. For example:
- Jeeps have a high center of gravity and a narrow track width, which may make them more likely to roll over in a crash or when taking sharp turns.
- Jeeps have a solid front axle and a short wheelbase, which may make them more susceptible to death wobble or steering instability at high speeds or on rough terrain.
- Jeeps have removable doors and roof panels, which may reduce their structural integrity and protection in a collision or rollover.
- Jeeps lack some advanced safety features that are standard on other vehicles, such as side curtain airbags, blind spot monitoring, or lane keep assist.
To reduce the risk of driving a Jeep, you should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance and operation, wear your seat belt and helmet (if applicable), drive within your limits and according to road conditions, and avoid distractions and impairments.
Q: How do I maintain my Jeep Wrangler?
A: Maintaining your Jeep Wrangler is essential for keeping it in good condition and extending its lifespan. You should follow the recommended service schedule in your owner’s manual and perform regular inspections and repairs as needed. Some of the basic maintenance tasks for your Jeep Wrangler include:
- Checking and changing the engine oil and filter every 3,000 to 10,000 miles or as indicated by the oil life monitor.
- Checking and topping up the coolant, brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid every month or before a long trip.
- Checking and replacing the air filter, fuel filter, spark plugs, and belts every 15,000 to 30,000 miles or as specified by the manufacturer.
- Checking and adjusting the tire pressure and rotating the tires every 6,000 miles or as the tire manufacturer recommends.
- Checking and replacing the brake pads, rotors, and calipers every 20,000 to 50,000 miles or as needed depending on your driving habits and conditions.
- Checking and lubricating the hinges, latches, locks, and seals of the doors, hood, tailgate, and roof panels every 6 months or as required.
- Washing and waxing the exterior and cleaning the interior of your Jeep Wrangler regularly to prevent rust, corrosion, and damage.
Q: How do I customize my Jeep?
A: Customizing your Jeep is a fun and rewarding way to express your personality and enhance your vehicle’s performance and appearance. Depending on your budget and preferences, there are many ways to customize your Jeep.
Some of the popular customizations for your Jeep include:
- Adding a lift kit or leveling kit to raise the suspension and increase the ground clearance and off-road capability.
- Installing larger tires and wheels to improve the traction and stability of your Jeep on different terrains.
- Replacing the bumpers, fenders, grille, hood, or lights to change the look and functionality of your Jeep.
- Adding a winch, tow hooks, skid plates, rock rails, or other accessories to enhance the recovery and protection of your Jeep.
- Installing a new exhaust system, intake system, or engine tuner to boost the power and efficiency.
- Upgrading the stereo system, speakers, subwoofer, or amplifier to improve the sound quality and entertainment.
Q: How do I store my Jeep Wrangler doors and roof panels?
A: If you want to remove your Jeep Wrangler doors and roof panels for an open-air driving experience, you should store them properly to prevent damage or loss. You should follow these steps to store your Jeep Wrangler doors and roof panels:
- Find a safe and dry place to store your doors and roof panels. You can use a garage, shed, basement, or storage unit. You can also use a tarp or cover to protect them from dust, moisture, or sunlight.
- Use a door cart or hanger to store your doors. You can buy a door cart or hanger from a Jeep dealer or online retailer. You can also make your own using wood or metal. You should secure your doors with straps or locks to prevent them from falling or sliding off.
- Use a roof panel bag or rack to store your roof panels. You can buy a roof panel bag or rack from a Jeep dealer or online retailer. You can also make your own using wood or metal. You should secure your roof panels with straps or locks to prevent them from cracking or breaking.
Q: How do I improve the fuel economy of my Jeep Wrangler?
A: The fuel economy of your Jeep Wrangler may vary depending on several factors, such as your driving style, road conditions, vehicle condition, and modifications.
However, there are some tips you can follow to improve the fuel economy of your Jeep and keep it ultra-reliable.
- Keep your engine tuned and maintain proper tire pressure. A well-tuned engine and properly inflated tires can improve your gas mileage by up to 4 percent.
- Avoid excessive idling and aggressive driving. Idling wastes gas and emits pollutants. Aggressive driving such as speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking can lower your gas mileage by up to 33 percent on highways and 5 percent in cities.
- Use cruise control and overdrive gears. Cruise control helps you maintain a constant speed and avoid unnecessary acceleration. Overdrive gears reduce engine speed and save gas on highways.
- Remove excess weight and reduce drag. Carrying extra weight in your vehicle can reduce your gas mileage by up to 2 percent for every 100 pounds. Reducing drag by removing unnecessary accessories such as roof racks or cargo carriers can improve your gas mileage by up to 5 percent.
As much as we love the Jeep, it is not perfect. Like all vehicles, you may experience issues with your AC here and there. Most of the time, these issues are due to leaks within the systems or damages due to wear and tear.