Seven Tips on How to Look after Your Car’s Air Conditioning

Our summer in the United Kingdom is much hit and miss, but we can still enjoy very hot and sunny days, occasionally. If you have planned a day trip on one of these nice days with the family, you don’t want to be stuck in a hot sticky car together for a few hours. These days most of the modern cars are fitted with some sort of air conditioning. We may not use it much in this country, but it can still be used. If this is so, you need to regularly check that it is functioning correctly. It is advised that you have your car’s system looked at by a trained technician if you know nothing about what is under your car’s bonnet.

Remember when looking under the bonnet of the car, especially when the engine is still running, keep hair, clothing and hands away from moving parts. Make sure you use protective eye wear, too.

Here are a few things to look for when checking your car’s air conditioning system:

• Check to see if the air conditioning’s mounting bolts are tight, secure and in the right place.

• Are the caps fitted on the service ports? If not they will leave your system open to dirt, and the refrigerant will not be sealed.

• Keeping the engine running, check to see if the compressor clutch will engage, when the air conditioning is on. If this does not happen, it could mean that the system is out of refrigerant, or worse an electrical fault. Listen for clicking noises, as this is a sign that something is wrong. (Some systems don’t allow the compressor clutch to engage when temperatures are lower than about 40ºF)

• Still keep the engine running, but switch the air conditioning off. Listen for rumbling or knocking sounds near the compressor. If you hear these noises it could mean that the compressor clutch is not working properly, or the mounting equipment is loose.

• Next check the belts for any wear, cracks or glazing. If there is any sign of these, have they replaced as soon as possible. Then you can check the belts with the air conditioning on. If there is any vibrating it could mean that the belt is loose or the automatic belt tensioner is defective.

• Examine carefully the hoses within the air conditioning system for any abrasions, cuts, leakage or weak spots. If there is a leak somewhere you will notice this by dirt and oil collecting at fittings and connections.

• Clean the condenser, which is situated at the front of the radiator, regularly. This can sometimes collect insects and leaves that will reduce the flow of air. At the same time the system’s performance will be reduced. It is easy to clean the condenser just by spraying it with a garden hose.

One comment to Seven Tips on How to Look after Your Car’s Air Conditioning

  • long sleeve work shirt  says:

    Keep on working, great job!

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