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.
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.