It may only be barely May but full-on summer is right around the corner. You know what that means: getting into a scorching hot car and burning your legs on the leather seat. Now’s the time to get any AC repairs and tuneups necessary so this doesn’t happen to you.
There are also a few steps you can take on your own to ensure your car’s A/C is ready for the season. But as it is a complex mechanical process, air conditioner repair is complicated and dangerous — leave the actual repair work up to the pros. So go ahead, pop the hood, open the vents, and look for these signs of a properly-working system.
When you turn on your AC, is it making any unusual noises? It shouldn’t be loud; rather, you should hear just a quiet hum. If there’s a lot of noise or banging, something could be malfunctioning internally.
It’s true to some extent that air conditioning smells a bit strange, in the sense that it’s not the same smell as fresh outdoor air. However, the AC shouldn’t give off a musty, unpleasant smell. Rather, it should be neutral. If not, there could be some dust, residue, or mildew building up inside the system. This can trigger allergies and asthma so get it cleaned.
Check the Refrigerant
Your engine’s refrigerant is an integral part of your car’s AC system, so it’s important that the liquid refrigerant remains dry. When it is wet, it will react with that water to create corrosive hydrochloric acid; this can be dangerous for your engine.
Check on your refrigerant by looking at the sight glass under your car’s hood. You’ll find it if you follow the hose that’s connected to the condenser. The liquid should appear clear, and not milky or bubbly liquid. If it looks off, this could mean that either water or air has infiltrated your refrigerant. A mechanic will have to replace it.
Take its Temperature
A properly-functioning AC system must be able to keep the inside of your vehicle 50 degrees below the air temperature outside. Check the area air temp with a thermometer. Run the A/C for a while and check how quickly the temperature goes down. If you don’t notice a quick shift downward, your system is in need of maintenance.
After the Assessment
After going through the above steps, if you notice problems, make an appointment with your mechanic. Remember, AC coolant is toxic, so don’t attempt to replace it yourself, especially if your old clunker still has Freon.
Smarter System Use
Sometimes, your AC is working A-OK, but you’re just not using it in the most efficient way possible. For example, when you’re driving in the city or stuck in traffic, turn off the air conditioner and open your windows instead. On the other hand, when you’re cruising along on the highway, use the AC instead, as open windows cause excess drag, which wears on the AC.
Contact Mr. Fixit Auto Care
To book an appointment for quality AC repair, contact us in Rocklin CA at 916-645-2293.