Wednesday, May 9, 2012

3 Ways to Look After Your Car's Air Conditioner

Regular car maintenance may not always include a check of your air-conditioner. Your mechanic will be responsible for the major servicing activity that your car requires, but your air-conditioner may need a little personal attention.
These days we have all become used to the comfort that air-conditioning provides, especially in our cars. Which of us have not had to jump into a hot car only to burn the backs of our thighs after the vehicle has been parked in the blazing sun? It's at times like these that we really come to value and effective air-conditioning system.
Imagine how distraught you would feel when you discover that your air-conditioning has failed and you are destined to travel on the vehicle with temperatures approaching 40°C. That's why it is worthwhile looking after your car air-conditioner properly.
Here are three super tips for keeping your air-conditioner in tiptop condition so you can enjoy cool driving conditions.
  • Refer to the manual that came with your car and read the specifications of your air-conditioning system. Here you will generally find parts which require regular maintenance and occasional replacement. This will include the compressor, the evaporator, hoses and belts and the troubleshooting guide will indicate tell-tale signs that your system needs servicing. Forewarned is forearmed in this regard, so reading the manual makes sense.
  • Irrespective of how your system is running, make sure you have it serviced at least once a year, usually in spring. A quick check will highlight any pending problems and a repair job before summer will be the most important factor in keeping your cool.
  • In the cooler months where your air-conditioner is not generally used, turn it on for at least 10 minutes once a month to keep the hoses from hardening. Make sure you turn the thermostat to the coldest temperature and that you run it at the highest fan speed.
  • Run your car's defrost for 5 to 10 minutes after you have been using your air-conditioner for an extended period. This will dry out the evaporator core which is a good maintenance step for your air-conditioner.
The older your vehicle is the more likely you are to experience a slow leakage of refrigerant. You need to have your system checked by a specialist because leakages can be extremely difficult to detect. Make sure you take your vehicle to a reputable servicing agent because this specialist attention can become quite expensive.
Get at least three quotes before you decide to do anything.
Using the air-conditioner during winter, especially to defog your windscreen, is a useful way of keeping your system in tiptop condition.

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