It’s almost summer, so it’s time for an automotive air conditioning check-up. Even in mild weather you can end up sweltering when you’re stuck in traffic if your A/C fails, and preventive maintenance is your best assurance against that. Plus regular service keeps your A/C at its maximum capacity for those hot days ahead. Are you planning a trip inland? Be sure to include air conditioning service as part of your vehicle’s preparation.
How Do Air Conditioners Work?
Just like refrigerators. When a gas is compressed it heats up. When it expands, it cools. Special refrigerant gasses such as freon condense and evaporate at just the right temperatures and pressures for efficient cooling. A compressor pressurizes the freon into a condenser coil that dumps the added heat to the outside, and the freon condenses into a liquid. As the refrigerant goes through an evaporator coil it expands and leaves way cooler than when it started. Blowing air across the evaporator then gives you what you’re after.
Isn’t Freon Bad for the Environment?
Yes it is, as a leading cause in weakening the protective ozone of the upper atmosphere. But that’s the old “R12” type. The new R134A refrigerant doesn’t deplete the ozone layer and works great. Whether you have an older vehicle or a brand-new car or truck, the refrigerant can indeed be topped-off or “recharged.” But for units manufactured before 1993 it will be necessary to install a retrofit conversion for R134A.
Regular A/C Service
Scheduled auto and truck air conditioner service not only keeps you cool, it gets rid of those musty odors. And a poorly maintained A/C system is a common cause of engine overheating. If your A/C is in really bad shape it can even save you gasoline. Scheduled maintenance is appropriate about once a year, and early spring is the perfect time to avoid warm-weather troubles.
A standard package includes the following.
- Clean the evaporator coil with a non-toxic solution that removes mold, mold spores, and their odors.
- Inspect the air conditioning intake and cabin filters and replace them as necessary.
- Visually inspect the air conditioning system, including belts.
- Check freon levels and pressures to assure efficient operation.
- Test operation.
We can “recharge” the system or add freon as needed for an additional cost.
Vehicle Air Conditioning Repairs
Sometimes you’ll know that it’s time for an auto air conditioner repair. If your A/C doesn’t turn on at all, just drop by and we’ll do a free diagnostic scan. We’ll explain what we discover, and discuss the repair options with you. If you no longer get enough cooling the odds are that the refrigerant pressure is low and you need more freon. When you hear squealing or knocking noises it’s likely that the compressor starting to fail. It’s important to get that repaired, and not use the A/C in the meantime, to avoid a major failure that will require flushing out the system and a completely new compressor.
We’ve been taking care of San Diego’s auto A/C needs for over 20 years. Our clients keep coming back thanks to our efficient diagnostic skills, efficient quality workmanship, and truly personal customer care. So there’s no need to loose your cool.