When it comes to your vehicle’s air conditioning, there is no owners’ manual recommendation for how often you should have it serviced. Unlike other routine car maintenance needs, like fluid and filter changes, the proper schedule for auto air conditioner service is unclear. Now that spring is here, many people are already making the switch from heating to cooling, in both vehicles and homes. So this time of year, many drivers are questioning their auto AC needs. After all, smart car owners know that preventative maintenance is the key to a long-lasting life for any vehicle. Continue reading for a look at how to assess your auto air conditioner requirements, and who to call for professional service you can trust.
Auto AC Maintenance
To determine your auto AC maintenance needs, you must consider the condition and overall performance of your vehicle. A good place to start is familiarizing yourself with known indications of auto AC problems, and keeping an eye out for these signs as you use your system. Signs include:
Luke Warm Air – One of the most common signs of auto AC malfunction is reduced coolness. When you notice your air is just not as cold as it used to be, it is a sign that something is not quite right with your car.
Strange Noises – If your car begins to make strange or unfamiliar noises when you turn on the AC, you may need auto air conditioner service. Generally, this is an indication of a compressor malfunction, one of the more costly parts of a vehicle. For this reason, immediate service is strongly recommended.
Strange Smells – If the air produced by your AC begins to smell funny, it could be caused by a buildup of bacteria on the evaporator or filter. A simple treatment will remove any bacterial buildup, but must be administered by a trained automotive technician.
Interior Condensation – When water begins to drip or accumulate inside the interior areas of your vehicle, it is a sign that something is wrong with the air conditioning system, most likely, clogged drains. This problem should be addressed immediately to avoid mold and mildew growth, which is harmful to your health.
If you see water beneath your vehicle after driving with the AC on…
This is perfectly normal. When you see a pool of water under your parked car, it is just condensation from the evaporator. This would not be a sign that something is wrong with your vehicles cooling system. But if you still suspect something may be wrong with your car or truck, it is best to bring it into a reputable auto repair shop for professional inspection and service. An ounce of prevention goes a long way towards increasing the life and performance of your vehicle.
There is not a particular schedule for auto AC maintenance. The best way to maintain your car’s heating and cooling is to continue getting the scheduled car maintenance your owners’ manual suggests. During these routine visits, an auto mechanic should be able to catch small problems early on, before they can turn into costly auto AC repairs.