AC in car takes a long time to turn on. What could be the problem?

I have a 1999 Kia Sephia and the AC usually take a long time to come on. I put refrigerant/freeon in. That seemed to have help the AC stay cool when it finally comes on. But it is still taking a long time for the AC to come on. Usually about 10-15 minutes.

I do have an oil leak that is leaking inside ( and so far the mechanics haven’t found exactly where the leak is). All they have said is that a lot of the parts are greased up by the oil leak. I do have to add oil to the engine every couple of weeks (maybe about 2 months at a time). I don’t know if oil has leaked into the AC system or not but I just wanted to say that in case there is a correlation.

But any ways when I turned the AC on I hear a screeching sound and then nothing and the ac takes about 10-15 minutes to come on.

I’m planning on getting a newer car but in the meantime can someone tell me what maybe going on with my car? Do I need a new compressor?

1 Answer

  • mark32937
    9 days ago

    The delay you describe could be the condenser fan not coming right on right away. That’s the fan by the radiator with the thin curvy blades, not the short fat blades. Test it with 12v (wire it from the battery just to see, not a permanent thing) just to see if it is bad, or check the harness with a voltmeter to check for an intermittent electrical connection. The starter cap in the fan assembly may be shot so it needs a boost to get started, as might happen when you get going fast enough to push enough air through it to get it spinning. If that’s the case you’ll need a new fan. The leaking engine oil won’t affect the AC. The initial screeching sound that goes away indicates the system is overcharged with refrigerant. That sound is from liquid being inside the compressor until it turns on an lowers the low-side pressure enough to evaporate before fluid reaches it. It’s a bad thing and is shortening the life of your compressor. However much you put in is probably the excess amount you now have. The 10-15 minute delay you describe isn’t caused by the wrong refrigerant level or a bad compressor. Good luck with this car and your next one!

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