Summer’s here and temperatures and humidity are on the rise. Making sure your family stays cool and comfortable is important whether you’re driving 500 miles or just running an errand across town. Having to deal with your vehicle’s air conditioning not working, well … is just uncomfortable.
An Ounce of Prevention
In the case of maintaining your AC system, the old adage is true, a little preventive maintenance will go a long way in eliminating more costly repairs in the future.
Here are some ways to address common problems with your auto’s AC system.
My AC no longer cools like it used to.
There are several reasons the cooling capability of your AC unit can diminish. A Freon leak, a bad compressor, a clogged or leaking tube or hose, a failed blower motor or condenser, or even a blown fuse or relay can reduce your AC’s cooling capacity.
Refrigerant leaks in your vehicle’s AC system are the No. 1 problem leading to poor AC performance. Fortunately leaks are the least expensive and easiest AC problem to remedy.
What’s that musty smell?
A musty, damp smell in your vehicle is typically the result of bacteria and moisture build up in your AC’s evaporator. As a result when air flows across your evaporator it distributes this less than fresh air into your auto. Moisture build up can be caused by clogged discharge lines and normally can be repaired easily. If you don’t see some water under your vehicle after the AC has been running, your system may not be working optimally. Using a cleansing conditioner will eliminate any bacteria in or around your evaporator.
I am not getting any cold air.
Compressors do fail. A compressor is the pump that circulates the coolant throughout the cooling system and can fail due to coolant leaks or just because the mechanical components eventually wear out. Replacing a compressor can cost a few hundred dollars, but unfortunately there is no cold air without it.
My vehicle’s AC has weak air flow.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to weak air flow. A loose hose, a ventilation fan that stopped working, seals that are leaking or even mold or mildew that has collected in the evaporator coil can impact air circulation. Cabin filters that become clogged over time also affect air flow. It is recommended that you replace these filters every 10,000 miles.
We can’t get the temperature inside the vehicle set properly.
Many late model vehicles are now equipped with dual heating/cooling controls where the driver and passenger can both control the temperature. If the blend air door that regulates the temperature on each side of the vehicle does not work properly, then it is likely a problem in the electronic module controlling this feature.
What can I do to inspect my AC system in my vehicle?
There are a couple of simple things a vehicle owner can do to catch potential problems early.
• Visually inspect the AC system’s drive belt for cracks or damage
• Visually inspect for leaks or damage to your AC system
• Check your blower at all speeds
• Check dual cooling and/or auto temperature setting controls
If you suspect you have a refrigerant leak there are “Do It Yourself Recharge Kits” available. When using these kits it is very important that you put in the correct amount of refrigerant based on your AC’s specifications. Putting too much refrigerant into your AC system can put excess pressure on weak hoses and fittings causing additional problems in the future.
Beck’s Auto Center Can Help
If you are experiencing any problems with your vehicle’s AC system, we’ll be happy to “check it out” and perform all needed repairs.
To schedule an appointment that fits your schedule go to Make An Appointment. We’ll do our best to keep you cool this summer.