A/C Service: Keep Your Car Cool When Things Heat Up

Sitting in traffic when temperatures soar without a properly functioning air conditioning (A/C) system is the last place most drivers want to be. To help avoid this uncomfortable situation, the non-profit Car Care Council recommends that motorists be car care aware and have their A/C system checked annually to make sure it is working at peak performance when they need it most.

A vehicle’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning system (HVAC) keeps the interior cabin comfortable in any season by providing the right temperature and humidity level. Typical A/C service consists of the following steps:

 

  • Service technician visually inspects hoses, lines, seals and other components for leaks as well as inspect the drive belt for cracks or damage.
  • Technician checks pressures to test operation, refrigerant charge and outlet temperatures.
  • If the system is found to be low on refrigerant, a leak test is performed to find the source of the leak. Keep in mind that if your vehicle is leaking refrigerant, it is damaging the ozone layer.
  • Refrigerant may be added if necessary to “top off” the system, although some states do not allow “topping off.”
  • A technician may also check for evidence of refrigerant cross-contamination, which is the mixing of refrigerants.
  • A/C service should also include a check of the compressor’s drive belt and tension.

The Car Care Council also recommends that when having a vehicle’s HVAC system inspected, the cabin air filter be checked to make sure air is flowing properly into the car.

“Making sure your A/C system is working properly will keep you cool and safe when you hit the road this summer,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.