my 2001 elantra's a/c will run ice cold for 5 to 10 minutes and then puts out ambient air temp. from then on. Any clue as to what is happening?


Asked by bub Apr 26, 2007 at 06:57 PM about the 2001 Hyundai Elantra GT

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

my 2001 elantra's a/c will run ice cold for 5 to 10 minutes and then puts out ambient air temp. from then on. Any clue as to what is happening?

4 Answers


Hi bub! That's an interesting set of symptoms. Here's an AC troubleshooting guide to help you narrow the possibilities. I hope it helps, good luck!

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.

Hello Bub, Running the AC like this could be putting a serious strain on the system. The system is probably shutting down in order to avoid serious damage. Think about it this way: If you start a car without any coolant, it still takes 5-10 minutes for the engine to overheat. Similarly, an AC system with a marginal issue will run until the problem builds up enough to shut the system down. Most air conditioning systems contain multiple temperature/pressure switches that can sense a problem and shut down the main compressor long before any damage occurs. The most common culprit for tripping a sensor is that the system is either overcharged or undercharged. Overcharging is only possible if the system was serviced recently and the technician screwed up. Undercharging is much more likely because even without a significant leak, all AC systems gradually lose pressure over time. A properly charged AC system will maintain a temperature/pressure balance between the "cold side" (in the cabin) and the"hot side" (in the engine bay). A system that is slightly overcharged/undercharged can still run and even give you ice-cold air, but the imbalance will build up and eventually trip a sensor to shut the system down. Another (less-likely) possibility is that there is too much moisture in the system. AC systems should circulate a precise mixture of refrigerant and lubricant and basically nothing else. Evey AC system contains a device called a "dryer" that effectively removes small amounts of moisture that seep in over time. Too much moisture will overwhelm the dryer and could actually clog the system by accumulating and freezing within the "cold side" . Generally, once this happens pressure will build up rapidly and trip a sensor. This would explain why the system works initially and then stops once the moisture freezes. Shutting down the system allows the clog to thaw, and the process can start again. There are even other possibilities (bad compressor, faulty sensor etc.etc.) This problem can only get worse over time and only a technician with the proper tools can diagnose the problem. I would have it looked at ASAP. Good luck!

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Mike Trefry

recharge the A/C. simple as that. 19.99 at walmart or 25 at your local auto shop

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Andrew Haynes

Could be a bad pressure switch or a bad cycle switch.Mine Is doing the same is not freon. I tried.recnarging.pressure switch is in line high side right above .passenger front wheelwell

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

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