Taking care of your vehicle’s air conditioning is an all-important task if you want to have the best driving experience. The problem is that many car owners only remember to check the AC when something’s already wrong. This results in costly repairs, not to mention inconvenience as you deal with the emergency car service.
To prevent this situation from happening to you, here are some helpful tips for keeping your car’s air conditioning system in tip-top shape:
Have It Checked, Even If You Think Nothing’s Wrong
When it comes to your car, you need to be proactive. Don’t think that just because things are running smoothly, nothing is wrong. Particularly with the air conditioning system, you might get surprised by hidden problems in the compressor, condenser, and/or evaporator.
An annual check-up is more than enough to ensure that every component of your car’s AC system is working properly. This routine procedure becomes particularly important if you have a car that’s more than 5 years old.
Replace Parts ASAP
After the inspection of your car’s air conditioning, you’ll likely get recommendations from your mechanic regarding any parts that need to be replaced. Follow their advice ASAP, even if the part to be replaced is just a small one.
More importantly, acquire the components from a trusted auto parts dealer just like this one. With prompt action combined with quality components, you can be sure that your car’s AC will run perfectly for a long time.
One of the most common problems with car air conditioning systems is low refrigerant levels. This results in various problems beyond insufficient cooling. For instance, it can force your AC to work harder than it should. This causes a strain on the mechanisms that results in reduced mileage, not to mention premature wear and tear.
Another problem that stems from low refrigerant levels is that if it gets too low, air and moisture can get into the chamber. When this happens, you can’t just top-up the refrigerant. Your mechanic has to vacuum the system and then drain it, which is an expensive and time-consuming process.
Thus, it’s important to have your car air conditioning recharged regularly. This simply involves topping up your car’s refrigerant to reach the optimum amount. Depending on your car’s make and model, the manufacturer will have different guidelines regarding the schedule, but most recommend every two to three years.
Regularly recharging your car’s air conditioning system can also help identify leaks, if any, which should be repaired accordingly.
Shut the Windows
It doesn’t matter if you’re using your car’s AC to cool down or warm up. Make sure that your windows are fully closed for efficient operations. Otherwise, the outside air can seep through and the air conditioning system will have to work harder to achieve the desired temperature.
The less-efficient operation will result not just in the faster consumption of the refrigerant and lower mileage output, but also in premature wear and tear due to the strain on the AC system.
Clean the Filter
Another common problem that most car owners have is a dirty cabin air filter. The thing is, the filter shouldn’t get too dirty if you’re regularly inspecting and cleaning it.
To ensure your vehicle’s AC health, check and clean the filter about every 6 months, more frequently if you often drive in dusty environments. The process is simple enough and can be performed even without specialty tools. If you can’t DIY, most auto mechanics will know what to do.
Meanwhile, you should replace the filter once a year. Like the filter, you may have to do this more often depending on driving conditions.
Run It Once a Week
If you aren’t using your car every day, make sure to turn on the engine and run the air conditioning at least once a week. This is to ensure that the gas pressure remains constant and that the compressor is working properly. For the best results, perform this procedure for at least 10 minutes.
For cars with a defrost setting, the same procedure should be conducted once a week for 10 minutes. This removes any lingering moisture in the system, which stops mould and mildew from building up.
Read the Manual
Sometimes, even long-time car owners and drivers get lost about maintenance details. Should this happen to you, there’s one resource that will solve your dilemma: the vehicle owner’s manual. It contains every detail about taking care of your car, from maintenance to troubleshooting..
Keep a copy of the owner’s manual in an accessible place. Most people would keep it in the glove box for quick reference, especially if they get caught with an issue while on the road. Just make sure not to let it sit forgotten. Read it from time to time, even if it’s just to remind yourself of some maintenance details.
Owning a car is a privilege and a responsibility. Taking care of it ensures not just your own comfort and safety, but also that of others on the road. It can be tedious at times, but performing regular maintenance on your car’s systems is definitely worth the effort!