Chevy Traverse AC Works Intermittently – Why? What To Do?

Driving your Chevy Traverse can be an uncomfortable experience if its AC cycles on and off frequently. Now, you’re wondering what could be the cause of this problem. What can you do to fix the SUV’s cooling system? We researched these concerns for you, and here’s what we found.

A Chevy Traverse’s cooling system may cycle on and off at irregular intervals because it encountered problems ranging from a dirty AC filter to a faulty compressor. Stop using the SUV’s AC and find the source of the issue. Use the results of your troubleshooting to pursue the proper fix or repair.

So continue reading as we talk about the possible reasons why a Chevy Traverse’s AC works intermittently in greater detail. We’ll also tackle the potential solution for each cause as you go through this post.

3 Reasons Chevy Traverse AC Works Irregularly (And Their Possible Fixes)

Dirty AC Filter

The AC filter’s job is to keep harmful particles, such as dust and pollen, out of the Chevy Traverse's cabin while the cooling system is running. However, the filter also acts as a net that can accumulate dirt, pollen, and other pollutants over time.

If so, the SUV’s AC may work intermittently. Failure to clean or replace the filter might also lead to a complete cooling system shutdown.

Used white Chevrolet Traverse on display at a car dealership under the sun

How To Fix

You can either clean or replace the filter to make the Chevy Traverse’s AC work properly again. But the latter option might be better than the former, especially if the SUV reached the 12,000-mile mark. At this point, you may need to change the filter as it might already have structural damage, reducing its overall performance.

So follow these general steps to help you replace the filter of your Chevy Traverse’s AC:

What You’ll Need
  • Torx screwdriver
  • Replacement AC filter
Step-By-Step Guide
  1. Turn off the Traverse’s engine and engage its hand, parking, or emergency brake.
  2. Open the glove box and unhook it from its mount by removing its latch on the cover’s side.
  3. Push both sides of the glove box and pull the container out of its mount.
  4. Use a Torx screwdriver to remove the screw securing the old filter in place.
  5. Press the tab on the right of the filter cover and lift it out of its mount.
  6. Pull out the old filter and install the new model. Make sure to follow the recommended orientation when putting the new filter in place.
  7. Return and secure the AC filter’s cover, then return the glove box to its original location.
  8. Turn on the Chevy Traverse’s engine and its AC. Allow the cooling unit to run for a few minutes to check if the problem persists.

Check out this replacement AC filter for Chevy Traverse on Amazon.

You can also read our post on the effects of using an air filter in a car to find out more about this component’s functions.

Refrigerant Leak

The typical automotive AC, including the cooling system in a Chevy Traverse, uses refrigerant. This chemical goes through the air conditioner, helping the blown air cool down as the substance goes through the condenser.

However, a leak in the SUV’s AC may result in the system not providing sufficiently cold air into the cabin. Also, the lack of refrigerant may cause the AC to overheat, resulting in its frequent cycling.

How To Fix

Searching and sealing the leak in your Chevy Traverse’s AC should restore the system’s normal functions. Plus, you should also recharge the system’s refrigerant levels to ensure the AC works properly.

tools you need to fix AC leak. Chevy Traverse AC Works Intermittently - Why What To Do

So take note and follow these general steps to seal the leak in your Traverse SUV and recharge its AC:

What You’ll Need
  • Refrigerant leak detector
  • Recharging hose
  • Automotive AC sealant
  • Automotive AC recharging kit
Step-By-Step Guide
  1. Turn off your Chevy Traverse’s engine and engage its hand, parking, or emergency break.
  2. Turn off and ensure the SUV’s AC is off and allow the engine to cool for a few minutes.
  3. Open the vehicle’s hood and use the refrigerant leak detector to search for the leak’s escape point.
  4. Find the Chevy Traverse’s low-side service port and remove its cap.
  5. Turn the valve in the recharging hose of the sealant kit counter clockwise to withdraw its piercing pin.
  6. Connect the recharging hose to the sealant’s container.
  7. Turn the valve attached to the container clockwise to pierce the container’s opening.
  8. Shake the sealant’s can for a few minutes.
  9. Turn on the Traverse’s engine and AC, and set the cooling system to its maximum settings.
  10. Connect the recharging hose to the low-side service port and hold the container upside down.
  11. Wait until the sealant in the container is empty.
  12. Remove the recharging hose from the empty sealant container and replace it with the correct refrigerant can.
  13. Shake the refrigerant container lightly as it dispenses into the SUV’s cooling system.
  14. Once recharged, turn off the AC and remove the recharging assembly from the low-side port.
  15. Return the low-side port’s cap and turn on the AC again.
  16. Allow the AC to run for a few minutes to check if its performance is stable.

Check out this automotive AC refrigerant on Amazon.

Warning: Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine what refrigerant to use. Never mix different refrigerants as it may cause additional harm to the Chevy Traverse’s AC.

You can also watch the video below if you need help finding the AC leak in your Chevy Traverse:

Next, the following clip shows you how to use a special sealant to fix the AC leak:

Also, watch this video for a visual guide to the AC recharging process:

Faulty Compressor

Your Chevy Traverse’s AC compressor is an assembly generally responsible for condensing the refrigerant. Doing so increases the temperature of the chemical, allowing the cold air from the substance to escape through the SUV’s cabin’s air vents.

But the compressor should be condensing refrigerant while the AC is running. If it has a fault, the cooling system may cycle sporadically.

How To Fix

Replacing the AC compressor in the Chevy Traverse is generally the better option than applying temporary fixes to the assembly. Continue reading this section to gain insight into this procedure's general steps:

What You’ll Need
  • Ratchet and socket set
  • Extension rods
  • Serpentine belt removal tool
  • Air compressor
  • Manifold gauges
  • Replacement AC compressor
Step-By-Step Guide
  1. Turn off the Chevy Traverse’s AC and engine, and engage its hand, parking, or emergency brake.
  2. Allow the engine to cool before opening the hood.
  3. Flush the refrigerant from the AC.
  4. Remove the bolts securing the AC’s high-pressure line.
  5. Remove the coolant hose and set it aside temporarily.
  6. Loosen the bolts on the alternator.
  7. Go underneath the vehicle and loosen the serpentine belt assembly.
  8. Detach the serpentine belt to gain access to the old AC compressor.
  9. Remove the bolts securing the AC compressor and pull out the assembly afterward.
  10. Install the new AC compressor in the same location as the old unit.
  11. Go through the previous steps in reverse order to return the removed parts to their original locations.
  12. Turn on the Traverse’s engine and AC, and check if the problem persists.

Check out this replacement AC compressor for Chevy Traverse on Amazon.

Watch this video if you need a visual reference for the steps mentioned above:

You can also watch this clip if you need help flushing the refrigerant from your vehicle's AC:

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Chevy Traverse Air Conditioner?

Chevy Traverse owners should expect to pay about $249 to repair their SUVs’ ACs. Take note that overall costs may vary depending on certain factors like the difficulty of the job and the part to repair or replace.

For example, it’s often less expensive to replace an AC filter than to change the vehicle’s compressor. Also, the location of the automotive service center may affect the repair's overall fees.

Chevrolet Traverse II steering wheel, badge, front seats, central console panel, shift knob, dashboard, windshield

What Are The Most Common Car AC Problems?

Aside from the AC working sporadically, your vehicle’s cooling system may also encounter other problems. Some relatively common car AC issues to watch out for are:

  • Little to no cold air coming from the vents
  • AC’s performance is low regardless of the settings issued
  • A moldy stench from the system
  • Unknown noises (e.g., banging or rattling) when the AC is active
  • A liquid escaping from the AC system

Manifold gauge meter for check car air conditioner system heat problem and fix repairing and filling air refrigerant concept.

Final Thoughts

Make sure to troubleshoot your Chevy Traverse’s AC to find the main source of it working intermittently. Then, use the appropriate DIY solution to fix the problem from its source. If you think that repairing the SUV’s AC system is too much for you to handle, you can rely on skilled professional automotive repair services to help you in this undertaking.

If you're looking for answers to other Chevy vehicle concerns, check out these other great posts:

How Much Can You Tow With A Chevy Traverse?

Chevy Silverado Gurgling Sound Under Dash – What Could Be Wrong?

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