Air conditioning is like an ice-cream. Nobody has ever said, “Wow, this warm melting ice-cream is awesome”. The same goes for your car’s AC system, it has to be cold. Even slightly cold doesn’t cut it. As everyone knows how hot and humid it can become with temperatures reach 40 degrees centigrade. Cars without AC are impossible to travel in such conditions, but a partially working AC system doesn’t help either. The months of May, June, and July are near and it’s going to get really hot, keeping this in mind, we will review some ways to keep your AC air chilling at all times.
So here are a few things you should inspect to easily maintain your AC and keep it blowing cool in the coming hot summer:
Turn the AC on full blast i.e. turn the airspeed knob to full and go under the hood of the car and check the cooling fans on the radiator. You need airflow so the air conditioning condenser gets cooled to get cold air inside the car. If for some reason your radiator fans stop working, your AC won’t work that well and it will strain the compressor hence burning it out faster, which can easily put a big dent in your pocket, so make sure your radiator fans are working properly. Over the time these fans do wear out but are pretty easy to replace.
This thing you look at is the debris on the front of the windshield, where there are air vents. Any people prefer a tree to park under so that the car is in the shade and doesn’t get that hot, but at the same time falling tree leaves can block the exterior air vents. You want to keep the air vents free of leaves and debris, otherwise, they can get sucked up and jam the AC evaporator and cause blockage with less air and subsequently less cold air.
Also Read: 4 tips to protect car battery in summer
Pop the hood of your car and inspect the AC condenser for the same debris. Bugs and other dirt can get stuck in the tiny grills of the condenser and block it. You can simply fix this with a water pipe and spray some water at a little pressure or use a sponge with it to remove any dirt or bugs stuck in the condenser.
One of the most overlooked things is the cabin AC filter. Its job is to trap all the dirt and other particles like leaves so that they don’t get inside the cabin so of course, it’s going to get dirty and blocked over the time. To get to the air filter, remove the glove compartment and at the back, you can see a small panel which holds the AC filter. You can dust the AC filter with a blower and clean it. Keep in mind most air filters are not suited for washing so if you want to save some money by not replacing it and washing it, don’t! A better option is to regularly clean it once a month so that it doesn’t get so dirty that you would have to replace it. Subsequently, you can buy lifetime air filters and washable air filters which cost a little more than the normal ones.
Next thing to check is the fan belt. Open the hood of your car and inspect it, make sure its tight and doesn’t have loads of cracks on it and needs replacing because if the fan belt is cracked or loose and slipping then the compressor will slip and it won’t work as well. Additionally, it will make it work harder and it can burn out prematurely and a compressor costs way more than a simple fan belt so it’s better to replace it on time.
The last thing to check is the AC gas. Now you can’t really check it at home unless you have AC gauges at home. Now realize that all AC compressors leak a little bit of gas over the time. They have a shaft that spins and there is a seal on the shelf. If the seal was perfectly air-tight and didn’t allow any leakage at all it would run dry and burn out so there is always a little AC oil that gets in there and it leaks a little gas out so over time you will lose AC gas. If you have to add the AC gas after 2-5 years, then it is completely normal, but if you have to refill it every 2-3 or even 4-5 months then you have a leak that you should get fixed immediately.
Another important thing to keep in mind is coolant. First of all, it is advised to never use water in your radiators as it causes a number of problems like rust build up inside the radiator and water evaporates quickly and need continuous refilling. Although the coolant is expensive but lasts longer too. OEM maintenance schedule suggests to change the coolant after 60-70 thousand kilometers, so it practically pays for itself and newer coolants comes premixed so all you need to do is pour it in and check regularly to maintain its level.
If you want maximum air flow inside the car for those hot summers be sure to drive your car with a light foot. When you push that pedal you are slightly taking away the power needed to run the AC. In most cars, the ECU controls each and everything and when you accelerate harshly the ECU will momentarily trip the AC compressor to provide that maximum acceleration. So, if you want your AC to stay on at all time try driving with a light foot.
One other nifty trick that you can use is that whenever you start your car splash some water on the front of the condenser. The condenser is already cooled by the coolant but splashing a little water on it will make it slightly cooler than before and give you extra chilled air for about 10-15 minutes. This trick really helps when you have a car parked directly in the sun and after starting the car its AC takes some time to give cold air.
That is it from our side, if you have any tips that help the AC running cold as ice, do let us know in the comments below.