I turned on my a/c recently and all that came out was hot air. Usually when the a/c comes on, I hear it engage with a loud "thump and rattle" but no more. I thought I could live with out the a/c but then I noticed that my temperature gauge was a bit higher than normal. Not overheating or in the danger zone, just running a bit hotter than usual. So I checked the coolant and it was a bit low so I topped it off. Still no a/c and still a hotter engine.
I decided to take my car to a well known national chain service center and have them check it out. They did the diagnostic stuff with the dye etc and I was told I had leaks in the system, but they didn't indicate if they were small, large or where they were. They did recharge the coolant and said the air was cold but didn't know how long it would last. Finally, I was told I needed to replace the entire a/c system and that would cost $2,000. Now, anyone who owns a Kia knows it's worth about $50 no matter what the age so that repair wasn't going to be authorized. So I said I could live w/o the a/c (I lied) but was concerned about the hotter than normal engine. I asked them to check the temperature after it idled for a bit (I did do some research before taking my car in) and it was within a "normal" range. They told me they tested the engine cooling fan independent of the a/c system and it worked. I asked if it could be the thermostat or a temperature sensor that was preventing the fan from switching on. They balked at the notion. They said Kia developed the system to be interdependent so in order to have the engine cooling fan work I have to replace the whole a/c system. So, back to spending $2,000.
I asked them if I could continue to drive the car in it's current condition and they said yes. I asked about overheating the engine and they said it's possible so I needed to be careful. So I left and promptly tested the a/c. It wasn't cold. Which leads me to the question: doesn't the engine cooling fan need to be operational in order for the a/c to work?? I can live w/o a/c (I'm still lying) but I don't feel comfortable with the hot engine and the lack of a cooling fan. They seemed to be fed up with my inquisitiveness but I'm not satisfied with their explanation. I think more investigative work needs to be done but I'm not sure where to start. And I can probably live w/o the a/c if it's going to cost me two grand. And I'm not lying.
Can anyone help me figure this out??