The heat of summer is fast approaching, yet most car owners never think about the air conditioning system in their vehicle until they need it and go to press the AC button on the dash. It’s important to get routine maintenance done on your air conditioner to ensure that it is performing correctly so you won’t be surprised when you start it up for the summer season. To ensure that you have a long and trouble free air conditioning system, routine maintenance is essential for every car. You want to be certain that you always have enough refrigerant to properly do the job since small leaks in the air conditioning system allow the refrigerant to escape and the system can’t cool the air as well.
There are many benefits to having your air conditioning system working at optimal levels. The most obvious is to keep you comfortable in summer so that you can enjoy the cool air on hot and sticky days. Being able to beat the heat is worth the little bit of effort it takes to keep your car’s air conditioner maintained. However, your air conditioning system not only cools your vehicle in summer, but it removes the humidity from the cabin. Therefore, it’s good practice to use it in winter as well to keep fog off your windscreen, which impairs your visibility.
There are numerous problems that can lead to an air conditioner not working ideally, so before it becomes a problem get the issues addressed through routine maintenance. Your car is an expensive investment and you can keep its value up if you take good care of it. Routine maintenance on your car’s air conditioner will help you catch problems right away, rather than having them get compounded and worsen. The earlier they are detected and repaired, the better off you are in the long run. Additionally, having routine air conditioner maintenance demonstrates to potential buyers that you value this investment as a reliable and responsible car owner.
There are some obvious faults that are associated with a vehicle’s air conditioning system to break down.
• The tension in the drive belt tension has loosened
• There is blocked air flow occurring through the condenser and the radiator
• There are visible signs of refrigerant oil stain at the compressor, hoses, pipes or fittings
• The compressor mounting brackets are loose or faulty
• Caps are missing at the service port
Tips for Optimal Operation:
It is recommended that if you run the air conditioner once a week for ten minutes, this action will maintain the gas pressure and prevent hardening of the hoses and compressor seals failure. Do this by turning on the air conditioner to its coolest setting and highest fan speed. Also, it’s advisable to operate the defrost mode for five to ten minutes in order to clean out accumulated moisture, which prevents mildew and lingering dirty odours in the system.
When you allow all of the car windows to remain closed during the hot days of summer, the aerodynamics of the car remains at optimum performance. This helps to keep fuel consumption low and reduces exterior noise to a minimum.
Each year more than 10 percent of the air-conditioning gas permeates from the air-con system, resulting in a reduced operating efficiency. Car manufacturers recommend a full air conditioning service done at least every two years since a poorly maintained system operating on a low amount of oil and gas will reduce your compressors capacity to run efficiently. This inefficiency ends up costing you extra in fuel.
Those hot summer days are right around the corner, so get ready for the sweltering and sticky weather by servicing and maintaining your vehicle’s air conditioning system.