The best way to test an air conditioning system –


Each week, we answer your questions about what’s going on under the hood of your vehicle and put them to a knowledgeable mechanic in the Greater Toronto Area. In today’s column, we discuss a broken air conditioning in a Honda Odyssey and what it could mean if your brake doesn’t release.

Dear, ask a mechanic,

I drive a 2006 Honda Odyssey. Air conditioning worked well until recently. I don’t know what happened, but I tried to turn it on the other day, but it just stopped working. I looked into the situation in more detail and found that my compressor was not engaging. What can I do next? – To be hot

Zafar Habib, co-owner of Humble Autohaus in Scarborough, believes there may be a leak in the system and said he has seen customers with vehicles in this series having problems with the air conditioning compressor relay system. In this situation, since the compressor does not switch on, refrigerant could escape from the system. He recommends consulting a professional. A leak inspection should be performed before filling the system. If this initial inspection does not reveal a leak, the mechanic may perform an evacuation and recharge service. This allows the internal system to be emptied of all refrigerant, air and moisture.

“If it’s necessary, they pressurize the system again, put the dye in the system and do an ultraviolet light test,” he explained.

UV light causes the dye to fluoresce. Using special colored glasses, mechanics can then locate the leaks and determine if a repair is needed.

Dear, ask a mechanic,

In the past two weeks, my car’s front passenger side brake has not been fully released. This causes the car to drag and shake. I have noticed that this happens when the engine is warming up. What is causing this and what should I do? – Impossible to take a break

Habib thinks there are two possible reasons for this. The first is that the caliper could stick. The second reason could be the flexible hose, which supplies brake fluid to the caliper, which may have failed inside. The inner layer can swell or tear, acting as a one-way valve or restriction. “When you apply the brake, the system pressure will overcome the restriction, but when released, the brake cannot fully disengage,” causing the wheel to drag. Habib suggests taking him to an auto garage for them to check out. A mechanic will likely perform a test drive before removing the problematic wheel and performing an examination.

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 sometimes asks your dad or brother your questions. You can send your questions to These answers are for informational purposes only. Please consult a certified mechanic before performing any work on your vehicle.