When it’s hot outside, one of the last places you want to be is sitting in traffic without a properly functioning air conditioning (A/C) system. To help avoid this uncomfortable situation, the Car Care Council recommends having your A/C system checked annually to make sure it is functioning at its peak performance level when the temperatures are soaring.
“Making sure your A/C system is working properly will give you the peace of mind knowing that your vehicle will keep you cool and safe when you hit the road this summer,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Not only are high temperatures harmful to the body with prolonged exposure, but they can provide unnecessary wear and tear on a vehicle.”
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.