It’s one of those things that we all take for granted. Every time you’ve reached for those buttons, turned those knobs and set those dials, your air conditioner has always worked for you. That chilly blast is a blessing of arctic comfort in a vehicle where interior vehicle temperatures can rise well above 150 degrees in the summer. So, it’s no surprise that you lose your cool when there’s no breeze at the push of a button or no cool when you crank a temperature dial down as far as it will go.
What you can do? Getting stuck in traffic is enough to get even the most patient person hot under the collar, but getting stuck in traffic with no air conditioning in the middle of the summer can leave you steaming — literally. Vehicle HVAC systems are complex, and unless you’re familiar with how to work on them and have the necessary tools, it might be best to leave that to the experts at your local Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission location. However, there are a few basic preventative maintenance steps you can take to make sure you and your family keep cool this summer.
- Run the system regularly – It might seem odd to some to turn your air conditioner on in the middle of the winter, but that’s exactly what you should do. When windows are fogged up, use the air conditioner to dry the air out and clear those foggy windows. Plus, by running the air conditioner, you make sure that all the hoses, valves and pumps stay lubricated which helps them last longer.
- Check your temperature – If the air does not get noticeably cooler then you may have an issue with your air conditioning. When the air conditioning does not cool, most people thinks it’s because of low refrigerant in the system. People, shops and mechanics will add refrigerant to try and correct this. For that reason, we see more cases where the system actually has too much rather than too little refrigerant. Knowing for sure takes specialized equipment that is specific to your vehicle’s needs. With many changes to the EPA laws concerning refrigerant, DIY methods of adding it to your car are limited and strictly depend on the age of your vehicle.
- Airflow is essential – Turn on the blower fan and feel for air movement from the different vents. Remember you have vents on the dash, up close to the wind shield and down at your feet. Make sure air is blowing out of them. Cycle through each of the fan speeds to make sure the air movement increases as you turn up the speed. Work through the different ventilation options; defrost, face, feet and the combinations. If you have a problem with any of these it could be as simple as a clogged cabin air filter or it could be something more, like a blower fan motor.
Give you’re A/C a helping hand !
Rolling down the windows and driving for a bit as you turn on the A/C will help vent out some of the hottest air from the cabin, making it easier for you’re A/C to do its job. Using your recirculation feature will also reduce the strain on your system by using the cooler cabin air and not the hot air from outside to cool the cabin. Finally, consider tinting you windows with a window film. Window film (tint) has been proven to greatly reduce interior surface temperatures. In most states the Department of Motor Vehicles has rules about tinting your vehicle’s windows. So be sure that you use a tint shop that understands and will help you comply with the DMV regulations. Your state vehicle inspection will be denied if the vehicle tint does not meet DMV regulations.
As with many things automotive, small problems left unresolved can turn into bigger and more costly issues down the road. The summer heat doesn’t have to get you down! A little preparation can leave you way ahead and keep the rising temperatures from ruining your days. A thorough system check at a Milex Complete Auto Care / Mr. Transmission location can keep you and your family road ready!