Air Conditioning In Your Vehicle

Maintaining Your Car’s Air Conditioning is Important… Unless you like to sweat! 😊

You can only imagine sitting in heavy (or even light) traffic on a hot day—not fun! ESPECIALLY, if your vehicle’s air conditioning (AC) system has a leak and has run out of refrigerant. Maintaining this comfort system is a must in most areas of the country; at least have it checked annually to stay on top of it.  A simple temperature check on the air coming from the car’s vent system, with the AC turned on high, can tell us what we need to know pretty quick. If you were sitting in the hot vehicle on a hot day you already know the answer.

Is My Air Conditioning in Good Shape?

Pride Auto Care has the credentials and the ASE certified (and MACS—Mobile Air Conditioning Society) certified technicians to service and repair your system to help keep you cool! Even a weak AC system in your car can have some “happy effect” on you and your passengers on a hot day, but let’s look at what it takes to keep your car’s AC working properly and up to full capability.

Done properly, a technician performing an AC service should:

  • Check the interior HVAC vents for (proper) output temperature
  • Check your entire HVAC system for obvious leaks and damage to the system
  • Pressure test the system for proper operation and cooling
  • Perform a leak test if the system is found to be low on refrigerant
  • Check for cross-contamination where different and incompatible refrigerants have been mixed/used
  • Check the system drive belts and tensioner (if equipped)

NOTE: If your AC system can maintain a temperature somewhere between 40 and 50 degrees cooler than the prevailing air temperature (coming from the vent) it’s working pretty well. If not, it may need servicing.

Common Problems With Automotive AC

One of the more common problems with a car’s inept AC is simply a low level of refrigerant. This could be caused by a leak somewhere in the system. Even on many maintained systems, these leaks or breeches in the system can form. Have us do a simple but effective AC System check and we’ll know where the problem is.

The automotive air conditioning system and the maintenance thereof has changed a lot since 1994. That’s the year that the government outlawed the use of R-12 refrigerant (Freon). In the ‘good ol’ days’ you could head down to the corner garage and have them top off your R-12 and /or even do it yourself. The AC was blowing cold again…at least for a while.

The issue with old school Freon is that it is a chlorofluorocarbon and can be extremely destructive to our atmosphere’s ozone layer. Most folk thought they just needed those R-12 ‘refills’ but by just refilling a leaking air conditioning system we allowed many millions of pounds of ‘bad-for-the-environment’ R-12 (aka Freon) in to the atmosphere annually.

Since it was outlawed, if a car is older than 1994, conversion kits to the newer, better-for-the-environment ‘freon, R-134,’ are available. Most vehicles made after this time used the R-134 system…much better for our atmosphere. And now, in the newest vehicles, even better for the environment is a new ‘freon’ called 1234yf. It is much more expensive than its predecessor, requires even more specialized equipment to use and is only now becoming more available in the aftermarket service centers.

See the experts at Pride Auto Care for any issues with your car’s AC!