This summer is on the books to be one of the hottest in recent memory, meaning you’ll be asking a lot of your car’s air conditioner.
There are many things that can go wrong with your air conditioner, but the effect is consistent. The car will not cool down as its supposed to.
Below is a readiness test that you can use at home to determine whether or not your air conditioner is up to the task this summer, or if it needs some service.
1. Road test the air conditioner in car
This, of course, may seem like a no-brainer, but it is an important step. Take your car out and take note of how the air conditioner behaves. Is it running but not cold? Is it not pushing out enough air? Try to be detailed in your notes.
2. Check the cabin filter
Sometimes there may simply be something stuck in the cabin filter, or it’s time to replace it. Like any air filter, your car’s air conditioner operates best when the filter is clean and free of obstructions. This is a cheap and easy fix so it’s good to check this first.
3. Check the hoses
The hoses which carry cold air into the car are often made of high-grade rubber. Under abnormal stress, these can tear or break and allow air to escape. This will prevent your air conditioner from operating effectively.
Make note of the leaks and use good, strong tape to cover them while you source some new ones or take it to the dealer.
4. Refresh the refrigerant
This is one of those things you can easily do at home that would cost you a fortune at a mechanic. A kit like this one will make the job easy.
Here’s a great video to demonstrate how to refresh your refrigerant using these products.
5. Check the compressor
Note: This step is a little more advanced. Use caution or take it to a pro if you’re not comfortable.
The air conditioner in your car uses a compressor to generate the air needed to cool your car. This compressor is a complex little motor that can have lots of little, hard-to-solve problems. Fortunately, troubleshooting those problems isn’t too difficult.
This video does a great job of explaining how to test your car’s A/C compressor.
Going through this checklist will eliminate any air conditioner issues that you may be able to solve yourself, saving your the money and trouble of going to a mechanic. One of the silver linings of A/C problems is that you will know immediately whether or not you’ve sufficiently repaired it.
Stay cool this summer and stay tuned to the Strutmasters blog for more great car care advice.