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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On a road trip, and on the second-to-last day home, my front A/C died. Initially, it blew cold air, but the air flow was low even with the fan on high. Now, it’s not blowing any air at all but still makes a blowing sound (which I can hear inside the dashboard) when the fan control is turned up.

For a while, the backseat A/C seemed to be unaffected, but now it’s air flow seems to be down too.

Two questions: (1) What do you think the main problem is?
(2) Can I run the back A/C to cool off the car while driving home tomorrow without doing further damage? It’s hot out there!

thanks
 

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Sounds like the classic compressor relay failure. Autozone carries them. Under $10. One thing that can happen when that occurs is the compressor gets stuck on and creates high pressure which will release refrigerant. You may be low on refrigerant.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. Do you think it’s ok to run the back A/C at diminished capacity just to keep it cool for the drive home?
 

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Thanks. Do you think it’s ok to run the back A/C at diminished capacity just to keep it cool for the drive home?
I would replace that relay and you should be fine.

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Two other possibilities come to mind since you mention that the blower is working (you can hear it) and the airflow reduces over time. I would check out the mode motor next time you start the car. You can leave the AC off for that. Just run through the positions to be sure the dampers move to adjust airflow.

Another (and more likely) possibility is that your evap coil is freezing over. It is icing up either due to low refrigerant pressure, bad compressor, or bad expansion valve. The evap coil in my 2010 started to freeze up a year ago due to a bad expansion valve. Ours would freeze up after 30 to 45 minutes of driving so it wasn't an issue on shorter trips. If you let the car sit a while, it will melt and then should work again until it freezes. Need to address root cause though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It appears to be option B. When I drove it today, everything was fine. I guess over the 8-hour drive, the coil froze. Great news! So now I can just get it checked out when we get back home. Thanks
 

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When it freezes over, you can turn off AC and leave blower on high to help melt the ice. You will hear the ice fall off the coil. You might get some moisture/ice chips coming out the vents. But then you can cool the car again if needed.

It would be easier to diagnose if there was an easy way to inspect the coil where you remove the cabin filter but the blower fan is in the way.
 
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