A/C Repair -- Why Put It Off?
No one likes riding around in a car that's stuffy and uncomfortable, and in the summer you just can't get enough air moving through those open windows to cool everyone off. A/C systems rely on a cycle of compression and expansion of refrigerant, much like your refrigerator...but your refrigerator isn't subject to vibration, extreme heat and the other severe conditions that an automotive air conditioner sees.
A/C systems are pretty reliable these days, but they still need maintenance -- even a late model car can lose as much as five percent of its refrigerant over a year's time, due to the porosity of rubberized hoses, seals and O-rings.
Usually, all that's required is a recharge of the system to restore your air conditioning to its usual performance. These are all signs that you're probably running a bit low on refrigerant...
- A/C blows barely colder than ambient air outside the car
- A/C only blows cold when car's rolling, not when parked
- Air conditioning vents have a sour or dirty-socks smell to them when A/C is on
- Metallic clicking from under the hood, meaning the A/C compressor's magnetic clutch is cycling on and off due to low refrigerant
Running the A/C while low on refrigerant is actually bad for the system and can cause components like the compressor or condensor to fail. It's advisable to run the A/C at least once a month during colder months to make sure the system's still working properly. In any case, why put off having it serviced until it's hot and miserable outside?
The cabin air filter, usually located behind the glove box, is an important part of your car's HVAC system that's often overlooked. The cabin air filter is responsible for filtering out pollen, dust, spores and other particles that can irritate passengers' allergies, and too often it's left until it's clogged, impeding air flow and causing allergy problems. While there's no hard-and-fast rule on how frequently to have the cabin air filter changed, most techs agree that once per year is a good practice.
It may not be that hot in Bloomington, IL right now, but why wait until August to have your A/C system serviced?