Is Your Car's A/C Going To Keep You Cool This Summer?

As summer temperatures rise, the battle to beat the heat in your vehicle begins. The last thing you want is to be stuck in traffic when you figure out your A/C isn’t working properly, or wait until it’s already uncomfortably hot outside to have it serviced. Here are a few things we’ll check before the summer heat becomes unbearable to make sure your car’s A/C is going to be able to keep up.

Check Refrigerant Levels

One of the most common causes of vehicle air conditioning that doesn’t cool properly is low refrigerant. Leakage or low levels of refrigerant can be remedied fairly easily with a quick boost. The proper way to check refrigerant levels is with a set of pressure gauges that allow us to see the high and low-side pressures.

If the refrigerant levels are low, there is probably a leak. A leak can be found with a refrigerant leak detector (commonly referred to as a “sniffer”), or if the leak is too small to detect, die can be injected to find the leak with ultraviolet light at a later date.

Check the Compressor Drive Belt

Is your car's air conditioning going to keep you cool this summer?

Your A/C compressor drive belt is one of the most important parts of your vehicle’s HVAC system. It connects your engine to the air compressor, allowing the engine to power the compressor. If this belt has degraded over time, the belt may fail and could cause further damage to the components on the front of the engine. A quick visual inspection of the belt is all that is needed to check for age or wear. We’ll look at the ribs that provide the belt’s grip and check for cracks, tears, or dryness. The belt can easily be replaced and it’s typically affordable to do so.

Check the Condenser Auxiliary Fan Operation

The majority of newer vehicles have two electric fans that are mounted behind the A/C condenser and radiator. Older vehicles may have no fan or only one fan. These fans are typically triggered by either temperature or refrigerant pressure and serve to cool the engine and operate the vehicle’s air conditioning system. If you notice that your engine is overheating, your air conditioner doesn’t seem to be cooling very well (especially while stopped in traffic), or you’re hearing odd noises from the front of the vehicle, you may have an issue with your condenser auxiliary fan. If this occurs, we diagnose the malfunction and get to the root of the problem.

Check the Cabin Air Filter

If the cabin air filter is dirty or clogged with debris, you may not feel a good volume of cool air coming through your air conditioning system, even if you have enough refrigerant and everything else is working properly. Ideally, your cabin air filter should be changed roughly every 15,000 miles. At the beginning of the season, we can replace your cabin air filter to ensure that your car will get cool without overtaxing the HVAC system.

Let Collinsville Auto Help

At Collinsville Auto, we take pride in providing honest, quality auto repair. We’re family-owned and operated, and we work hard to treat our customers like family too. We offer general auto repair services, tires, alignments, brakes, and more. We also service and repair diesel vehicles. Contact us now to schedule your vehicle’s maintenance or repair appointment.

Serving CollinsvilleCanton, and surrounding areas.