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We’re in the midst of another hot Colorado summer and while that means enjoying weekends at the pool and evening barbecues basking in the outdoors until past sunset, for those without functioning a/c in their vehicle, it means miserable commutes sweating through your clothes in what feels like a portable oven and praying for an early autumn. In today’s post we will give tips on how to keep your vehicle’s air conditioning functioning at its highest level and other tips to keep your car cool during the hot summer days.
The A/C System
Just like every other part of your vehicle, the air conditioning system needs servicing from time to time. There’s no suggested interval of when to service the a/c but when you first notice a problem with your air conditioning, take action. If your cooling system is low on coolant and unable to cool you down, it can be more than just an inconvenience. It could indicate a leak, which means that dirt is coming in and damaging internal parts, leading to refrigerant leaking out into the environment. At Courtesy Automotive Service our ASE-Certified technicians can perform a leak and pressure check to make sure you’re not losing valuable refrigerant.
If you find that your a/c vents are cool but not cold, the culprit could be your cabin air filter. If the air filter is clogged or dirty, your air conditioning might be working overtime, wasting fuel and still failing to cool down the vehicle.
Aside from the refrigerant and cabin air filter, there are a number of other components that could stop your a/c from functioning as it should. Fans, a compressor, fuses, switches, and other internal components can fail and leave you feeling miserable in the heat. That’s why we caution against purchasing a refrigerant recharge kit from the parts store before determining the cause of the a/c malfunction. To avoid costly repairs, have your air conditioning system inspected by an ASE-Certified technician who can diagnose the problem and help you avoid snowballing problems.
If your A/C is in good shape, maximize your car’s cooling ability by turning the air on full blast as soon as you start the engine and crack open all of your windows until the air inside is cool. This pushes the hot air out as the cool air comes out of the vents. Once the vehicle has cooled down, use the car’s air recirculating feature along with the air conditioning to maintain the best temp.
Car windows act like a greenhouse, trapping in heat and sunlight. Even in only 60 degrees, direct sunlight can cause the interior temperature to increase to more than 110 degrees. Reduce the amount of sunlight entering through your windows and you can keep the car cooler, thereby reducing the risk of burns from hot seats and the amount of time it takes for your a/c to cool down the interior. This is especially important for people with young children or infants as they are more susceptible to the risks of returning to a vehicle which has been sitting in the sun.
Sun shades and tinted windows help to block direct rays coming into your vehicle and this keeps the temperature slightly lower. Make sure you know your state’s laws on tinted windows before you have the service done as some states have restrictions on how much or which windows you can tint. If you don’t have tinted windows or a sun shade, park in the shade whenever possible. If you have no back seat passengers, even parking your car so the sun is hitting the rear window instead of the windshield is helpful as it keeps the steering wheel and front seats slightly cooler. Leaving the windows cracked while parked allows some warm air to escape the vehicle. Crack the sunroof as well if you have one.
If we have missed off any tips, please share them here. If you are experiencing any problems with your car’s air conditioning, stop by our shop for an inspection or call us at (719) 632-2167.