Hot Tips to Keep Your Car Cool in the Summer
The days are getting longer and the temperatures are starting to rise…meaning it’s time to start thinking about how to keep your car cool! At Don Owen Tire, we do a lot of AC work as part of auto repair in Bloomington, IL, and we know that nobody likes riding around in a car that’s hot and stuffy with AC that isn’t performing well. We’d like to suggest a few ideas to help your car’s AC do its job better and help you avoid costly auto repair:
- In some respects, your car’s AC system is a heat exchanger that replaces the hot air in the vehicle with cold air from the system. An easy way to improve the efficiency of that process is to reduce the buildup of heat during the day by parking in the shade with the windows cracked an inch or two. As you drive the first few blocks, lower all the windows (easier with power windows!) for the first few minutes as you run the AC. This helps move hot air out of the car more quickly, which will help the AC system fill the car with cold air faster.
- At one time, everyone used to think that the drag of an AC system would cause a penalty in gas mileage, and driving with the windows down would help fuel efficiency. That might have been true for your dad’s 60s- or 70s-era cars, but things have changed. Today’s cars are much more aerodynamic, and windows-down driving causes drag and turbulence that can actually hurt fuel efficiency. That, along with the fact that modern AC systems are more efficient, means that there’s practically no difference in gas mileage when running with the AC on and windows up at highway speeds.
- You can help cool the car down faster by turning the AC to its highest setting for the first few minutes after you start driving. This lowers the temperature both by blowing the coldest air and by moving more hot air from the car. If your car has climate control or automated temperature control, just set the temperature for its lowest setting, then return it to a comfortable temp once the car is cooled off.
- Is there a sour, musty, “dirty socks” smell coming from your AC vents? Try toggling back and forth between Defrost and AC, or switching between the MAX setting (recirculating cabin air) and NORMAL (which brings in outside air). If you still notice the smell, it could indicate a cabin air filter in need of a change, or a system that’s low on refrigerant. It also indicates that there’s bacteria and mildew in the ducts, which could be a problem if you suffer from allergies – don’t just put up with it, set up an appointment for auto repair and let us have a look at Don Owen Tire.
- Lubrication is an important part of any auto AC system; even in the cooler months, you should run the AC system for a few minutes every week or two. This will ensure that oil and refrigerant flow through the entire circuit of the system, keeping the lines, valves, O-rings and seals conditioned.
October 19, 2015 at 2:48 am
Change out transmission and differential oils. While not requiring frequent service, these fluids must be changed according to service intervals. Always use transmission fluid or gear oil of the recommended type and viscosity.