Car Care Council
“It’s tough to keep your cool when the inside of your car is full of hot air from a malfunctioning air conditioning (A/C) system. According to the Car Care Council, an annual checkup of your vehicle’s A/C system will help prevent it from breaking down when you need it most, especially as sky-high temperatures are hitting many parts of the country.
“Getting stuck in traffic is hard enough but getting stuck in traffic during the heat of summer without properly functioning A/C is the pits,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “It is important to always have the A/C system properly maintained to keep it in tip-top shape and avoid costly repairs down the road.”
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:
A service 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.
“Checking the A/C once a year is key to making sure your cooling system is running efficiently all year long,” White said. “A properly running HVAC system will help improve your gas mileage, is more environmentally friendly and will keep you from losing your cool on the road.”
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.”
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