Most motorists know that their vehicles need regular preventive maintenance like changing the oil and filters, rotating the tires and refilling the washer fluid. But did you know that your air conditioning system needs routine maintenance as well? Taking care of your air conditioning system can extend its life and prevent costly repair bills.
Why is it important for drivers to get routine maintenance on their air conditioning system?
First, the refrigerant contains an added lubricant. As the refrigerant circulates through the air conditioning system, its parts are lubricated. This constant lubrication keeps the parts functioning well. But over time, this lubricant is used up, and without it, the parts will eventually seize up and fail.
The air conditioner will continue to pump out cool air even without the lubricant, so you won’t know the system is sick until it actually dies. So good car care includes regularly checking the refrigerant and lubricant in your car air conditioning system and replacing it if needed.
The second reason your air conditioning system needs preventive maintenance is that air and water can get into the system. Air, water and the contaminants they contain will reduce the efficiency of the air conditioning system and can cause corrosion of the system’s parts.
Keeping the air conditioning system clean is an important practice and will extend its life and keep you from losing your cool on hot days.
How often should you get a routine car air conditioner inspection?
It varies from vehicle to vehicle. Check your owner’s manual for the auto maker’s recommendation. Here’s a good piece of auto advice for motorists that will extend the life of their air conditioning systems: You should run your air conditioner in the winter every once in a while. This circulates the refrigerant, which lubricates the seals. That way, they won’t dry out during cold weather.
Your air conditioning system doesn’t just cool the air in your car; it dries it out as well. So if you have trouble with a foggy windshield, flip on your air conditioning on the defrost setting. You may be surprised at how quickly it takes care of the problem.
Of course, some vehicles can’t run the air conditioner and defroster at the same time; you should check your owner’s manual or with the automobile manufacturer if you are uncertain whether this feature works in your car or not.
So, after learning about preventive maintenance for your A/C, you might now be wondering if your air conditioner is in trouble. Two early warning signs of a failing air conditioner are:
- The air just isn’t getting as cold as it used to.
- There’s a strange noise when the air conditioner turns on.
If you notice either of these symptoms in your car, you should bring it to your service provider as soon as possible. Just some good auto advice to keep you cool and keep you on the road.
Want more tips and car advice? Visit www.askpatty.com.
Jodi DeVere is the CEO of AskPatty.com