With Summer quickly approaching, there are some things you have to make sure are crossed off your checklist.
Let's take your car air conditioning for example.
Who really wants to go through Summer with a half-functioning car air conditioner? With road trips and beach days on the horizon, luke-warm air conditioning could ruin everything.
But some car owners are unaware that there is so much more that goes into good A/C maintenance than meets the eye.
No worries, though. We're here to help. Get the max out of your air conditioner this summer with these awesome tips.
1. Ditch The Pre-Cooling Method
How many of us are guilty of blasting the car air conditioning as soon as we start the car so that it could cool faster?
Honestly. I think everyone.
But did you know that in order to get your air conditioner to work faster, it's better to have the engine running? Contrary to popular belief, the faster the engine turns, the faster the A/C compressor is likely to run. It has nothing to do with whether the car is "warmed up" or not.
Fun Fact: Everyone knows that leather seats in the summertime are no fun. In order to cool your seats down, turn up the fan when you begin driving and roll down your back windows for about 20 seconds in order to force the hot air out of the car.
2. Start Your Car Air Conditioning At A Low Setting
Almost everyone's initial reaction when entering into a sweltering, hot car is to turn the air conditioning system as high as they can in order to push the hot air out first, right?
Don't act like you have never done it.
The thing is, cars don't function that way. If you want to get the most out of your car's air conditioning system, your best bet is to start to start on the lowest setting and properly adjust your fan.
Because average car air conditioning is cooled at 38 degrees, when you increase the temperature by blasting the air, the system only knows to reheat your air and burns more fuel that way.
Our suggestion? Turn your air on low and begin warming up your engine by driving. Take it from us- your air will cool in no time.
3. Make Sure Your Filter Is Clean And Sound-Free
Whenever you come in for maintenance and a savvy technician informs you that your filter needs to be changed- trust them! If your cabin's filter is dirty, this can prevent the car air conditioning from the optimal air flow.
These filters are pretty easy to check on, especially if you have a newer car. Find out where your air filter is located and if there is a lot of dirt accumulated on it, it's about time you take your car in for a filter change.
Another thing to look out for is weird sounds coming from your ride's air conditioning system. When you turn it on, there shouldn't be any unusual noises coming from it at all. So if you're hearing squealing, squeaking, or banging - this is a huge indicator that your system isn't functioning properly.
4. Check For Odors And Unusual Sightings
This is hands down probably one of the most overlooked steps.
Unless something smells like it's burning, the average car owner won't really think twice if they smell something unpleasant coming from their vents.
Essentially, car air conditioning should be associated with a neutral scent. But when there is mildew, dust, and other things collected in your air conditioning system, this can often result in a musty smell thus triggering allergies and asthma issues for those who suffer from them.
Along with odors, be sure to check for unusual visuals. Like any other air conditioning system, the refrigerant will be one of the most important parts when keeping your car cool this summer.
If you're new to this, here's a solid piece of advice: Make sure your refrigerant stays dry. Whenever you see condensation, make your way to a technician because this can cause serious damage to your engine.
Here's how you check:
- Take a quick peep at the sight glass under your hood. Don't know where it is? No worries. Just follow the hose connected to the condenser and it should lead you there.
- When checking the sight glass, the refrigerant should be clean and clear of any bubbles or foam. If it happens to have a milky-like substance, this means that liquid has gotten into it and a mechanic needs to make his way over to replace it.
5. Check The Temperature
Fun Fact: If your car isn't able to keep the indoor temperature 50 degrees below the outside temperature, you might want to take your car in for a serious checkup.
This might not seem ideal, but it's a great way to gauge the functionality of your air conditioning unit.
For those with older cars, bring a thermometer with you the next time you go for a car ride. If your car air conditioning is struggling to drop down a few degrees, maintenance may be required.
Newer cars are likely to already come with a digital thermometer. So if you're seeing a glitch in your car's thermometer, this might not only be an air conditioning issue but a technical issue that needs to be addressed right away.
Want To Learn More About Car Maintenance?
If you've noticed your car undergoing any of the above symptoms, it's time you take your car to a mechanic. Because refrigerant can be toxic, it is not recommended that you do any of the repairs yourself. And newer cars require a specific oil to coolant balance in order to function properly.
Here at AAMCO Lee's Summit, we're all about getting you in the know when it comes to taking care of your car. From air conditioning to installing infant car seats - our goal is to cater to all car owners via our customer service.
Check out what services we offer and see how we can serve you!