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What Happens When Your Air Conditioning Blows Warm

Every week, we take your questions about what is going on under the hood of your vehicle and pose them to a knowledgeable mechanic in the Greater Toronto Area. In today’s column we learn more about low profile tires and faulty air conditioning.
Nida Zafar

Dear Ask a Mechanic,

I’m starting to use my air conditioning now that the weather is getting warmer, but I noticed it blows very warm air for about 30 seconds when I first turn it on. This has happened a few times over the past couple days. What could the issue be? – Trying to stay cool

Paty said he believes the air conditioning might not have been working long before the driver realized that this was happening. “It shouldn’t happen intermittent,” he said, adding the air conditioning “works or it doesn’t.” He added it could feel like the air conditioning is working even when it is not because it’s blowing cooler outside air into the warmer vehicle.

Paty said there could be a couple issues taking place if warm air is blown consistently: either the air conditioning compressor isn’t working, or the car is low on refrigerant. If it is the latter, there is a leak in the system. “Refrigerant and air conditioners, it’s a sealed system,” he said, explaining the refrigerant is supposed to always stay in the system. In either case, he recommended getting the system checked by a professional to make sure it’s working properly.

Dear Ask a Mechanic,

I purchased a new 2021 Kia Forte GT two months ago and found the ride was bumpy regardless of speed. I waited for a month and took it back to the dealership. The manager took a ride with me and agreed with the poor ride quality. He told me the engine had no problem, but the tires are “low profile.” He lowered the tire pressure from 37 to 35 psi, as recommend on the tire information found on the interior of car’s door well. The ride quality improve somewhat but still exists. Please advise on what I can do next. – Feeling confused

“Most likely, there’s not a lot you can do,” said Kirk Paty, owner of R & G Auto Center in Pickering. Lower profile tires will definitely “ride rougher” because there’s less tire sidewall between the wheels and the road. “You’ve got less cushion,” he said.

Paty said more information will be needed to determine the exact type of tires being used but he doesn’t believe there should be anything wrong with the vehicle itself because it is new. He recommended asking the dealership if you can take the same model out for a test to see if it also drives the same way as you are experiencing and to be completely sure no issues exist.

Ask a Mechanic is written by Nida Zafar, a reporter at The Pointer who grew up in a house full of mechanics in Scarborough, and occasionally poses your questions to her dad or brother. You can send your questions to These answers are for informational purposes only. Please consult a certified mechanic before having any work done to your vehicle.

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