HOW TO MAKE YOUR CAR AC COOLER
If you’ve ever been in your car on a hot Chico day, you know how bad it can get with a broken air conditioner. Fixing your A/C is essential when the days keep getting warmer, as your A/C will work harder than ever. However, handling more simple maintenance is necessary before it’s needed, and Tedious Repairs is here to help.
Here you’ll find pro tips from our auto mechanics to keep your A/C system in peak physical condition. And we’re not talking just maintenance here; follow these tips, and you may notice a vast improvement in how cold your system can get. You won’t regret going the distance before summer sets in and things get hot!
Please Note: Always keep your owner’s manual handy for specifics during system maintenance. If you no longer have it, Google the manual for the make/model of your vehicle.
FIRST, CLEAN YOUR CIRCULATION
Start simple and ensure the pathway for cool air to pass throughout your vehicle is clear and clean. Blockages make a huge difference. Anyone who’s cleaned a dusty box fan should know the difference it can make. A couple of simple things to do include:
CLEAR YOUR A/C VENTS
Vacuum or blow out your car vents (do not blow against the A/C’s airflow while it’s active). If the vehicle has been smoked in regularly, you may need to try to scrub off old grime that can build up on vents. Additionally, the air that circulates will be fresher, effectively making it feel “cooler.”
CLOSE DOORS AND WINDOWS COMPLETELY
This seems rather obvious, but open doors and windows will substantially reduce cool air by circulating it out of the vehicle. So it’s worth the effort to fix windows or open doors if you notice you can’t keep the cabin cold. Even if you have to plug a crack with a rag, it may be worth it, especially on long drives.
CLEAN THE A/C CONDENSER
This takes a little more effort but can go a long way in old cars. The A/C condenser looks like a grill under the front bumper or hood. You can clean it with a typical shop vac or by hand, but you must use a light touch as the fins are easy to bend (reducing its ability to transfer heat and cool your car). Watch this video, “How to Clean Car’s AC Condenser,” by dial2fast on Youtube for a helpful tutorial on cleaning your AC condenser.
If you’re not comfortable working under the hood, call us at (530) 826-4275, and we’ll do the job for you.
CHECK THE AC COMPRESSOR
The A/C compressor is the machine that pushes refrigerant through your system to exchange heat and change temperatures. It helpfully makes a sound when it’s actively working. You can check to see if you need compressor repair simply by turning on your engine, enabling the A/C, then listening to the compressor for activity. As a visual indicator, the clutch on the compressor should engage at least every 15 minutes too. If it engages constantly, this is a sign of low refrigerant, a relatively easy issue to resolve.
RECHARGE YOUR A/C REFRIGERANT
If you’re low on auto refrigerant, the A/C won’t be as calm, and the system will work harder to keep temperatures low, wearing the system down even faster. However, replacing your AC refrigerant is safe and relatively easy, so don’t be afraid to do it yourself. Just check the owner’s manual or Google further instructions using this keyword term [without quotes]: “replace AC refrigerant [CAR MAKE/MODEL HERE].”
AC REFRIGERANT TYPES
If you’re unsure what vehicle refrigerant to use, please check out our post on Types of AC Refrigerants. For your convenience, though, it’s probably R134a unless you have a relatively new car (2018 or later), which may be R1234yf. But, again, check your vehicle’s manual to be sure.
FIX AC REFRIGERANT LEAKS BEFORE THEY GET WORSE
It’s not uncommon for there to be leaks or holes in the A/C lines, especially on older cars. In addition, older systems may leak from loose valves or fittings. Fortunately, there are some options for at-home repair regarding line leaks.
Products like Stop Leak can be a lifesaver regarding A/C issues. Run the fluid through your car’s AC system, and the chemicals will seal small openings like glue. It will likely help around seals, but more significant leaks will need tightening or repair. You can also use a UV air conditioner leak detection kit to see the leaks for yourself, with the help of a UV light in a low-light room.
Refrigerant and A/C line sealant can easily make a massive difference in A/C performance, even when there are no apparent issues. So it may be worth a try, even if you don’t think you need it.
NEED AN A/C REFILL IN CHICO?
Don’t feel like dealing with an A/C refrigerant refill yourself? Then, we’ll take care of it for you!
Use the contact information below to call, text, email, or schedule an online appointment. We’ll be happy to help you with whatever your auto repair needs happen to be.
fForreading, and tune in soon for more cool auto repair content!
CALL TEDIOUS REPAIRS FOR A/C REFILL SERVICE
BENEFITS & SERVICES
- Fast, Affordable Refrigerant Service
- Expert A/C Technicians
- Free Diagnostics with Air Conditioner Service
- Free Advice on A/C Parts and Upgrades
Buddy started his auto career journey at Butte College and started his own auto repair company in 2007. Since then he has worked on countless cars, diagnosing, repairing, and replacing worn, faulty, and broken parts.
After a few years, he moved to a bigger shop to accommodate his growth and to better serve the Chico, CA community. It’s a family-owned & operated business.
Outside of work Buddy enjoys spending time with his family and playing softball is one of his many passions.