Great when they work and keep us cool, right? But when they don’t, we get hot and bothered in more ways than one! Here are a few tips to keeping you comfortable all summer long!
Q: What's wrong with my car's AC? It's not blowing cold air.
A: You might be surprised to learn that your car's air conditioner does not make cold air! What actually happens is it removes the hot air! The remaining circulating air is cooler than the ambient air temperature making it feel cooler. The most common reason for ACs not cooling effectively is due to the “Freon” gas (correctly known as R134a) not circulating effectively through the AC components.
Q: Why does this happen?
A: This may be due to low levels of Freon due to system leak(s), and/or caused by failure of a mechanical component in the system.
Q: How is this fixed?
A: We start by doing a visual inspection of your car's AC system, looking for any visible points of leakage or residue. Next, we drain the remaining Freon and measure the volume removed compared to the correct amount for your car's fully charged system, and repair any leak(s) if found. The Freon is recycled and cleaned with special closed system equipment to prevent any escape in the atmosphere. The AC system is then refilled and fully charged with Freon and checked to hold pressure. If it doesn't hold pressure, the process is repeated to ensure all leaks have been repaired. If system failure continues, this indicates a non-Freon related problem. We then look for an issue with one or more of the mechanical components of the system.
To diagnose this problem, several very expensive machines and tools specifically designed for air conditioner diagnostics are used. In addition to the technician’s regular complement of specialized tools, the cost of this equipment can exceed $10,000! Unfortunately, the service life of some of this diagnostic equipment is just a few years. Combine this with the extensive process of diagnosing and servicing your AC to get you back in the cool, and you can see why AC service might be a little pricier than you might have expected!
TIPS FOR OPTIMIZING YOUR CAR’S AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM:
Remember, the AC system does NOT make cold air! It removes heat from the ambient air.
Finally, if your AC is not working effectively, have it checked. Freon will not be emitted if the unit is operating effectively, but if it's not, it could be leaking Freon into the environment, contaminating the air we all breathe. Stay cool and do your part for the environment!
TIPS ON AUTO CARE AND MAINTENANCE