Summer is just around the corner, and with it comes that hot Texas sun. To beat the heat, we take to the beach, pool, or water park, all fun ways to stay cool and have a good time. We also crank up our car’s air conditioner (A/C). But what do you do if your A/C stops blowing cold air? Various circumstances can cause this unwanted failure. We asked our service technicians to explain how your A/C works, give you some tips to keep it running cool, and a few signs to look for that you might need A/C service.
Vehicle A/Cs Explained
Your car’s A/C may be the most complex system of your vehicle. Air conditioners compress Freon, a gaseous refrigerant that changes temperature when compressed. Once compressed, Freon’s temperature rises, and the system pumps hot Freon through a series of cooling coils. This process turns the Freon from a gas to a liquid. As it travels through the cooling coils, it evaporates and produces frigid air.
Your vehicle’s cabin fan system then sends the warm air from the cabin through the cold coils, which cools the air before the fan returns it to the cabin. As a result, the Freon in the cold coils warms. The system must continuously circulate compressed Freon into the cooling coils to maintain constant cool air.
Tips To Keep Your A/C Blowing Cold Air
First, we recommend you run your A/C on defrost mode for 10 minutes weekly, including during the winter. New Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram vehicles have this setting. If you have an older car without a defrost mode, you can run the A/C at the coolest and highest fan settings. This procedure prevents mold and mildew, helps maintain system pressure, and keeps your compressor at its peak.
If you notice the A/C blowing air that isn’t as cold as usual, you can change your A/C air filter. Many cars have this filter behind the glove box, which you can replace easily at home. However, if you don’t have the time or inclination, our service center can do this for you.
Our technicians also recommend you run your A/C at its coldest setting and adjust your cabin temperature using the fan speed. Your A/C runs more efficiently at the coldest setting because it doesn’t have to work as hard to cool the air and saves you gas.
Finally, we suggest you have a qualified technician service your A/C yearly before the warm weather arrives to avoid a breakdown. Our technicians can quickly inspect your A/C and refill the Freon if necessary.
Signs You Might Need Your A/C Serviced
If your car’s A/C suddenly stops producing cold air, you have a problem that needs immediate attention. Most A/C units gradually lose Freon, which causes your A/C to start blowing warm air. A small leak in the system can also cause this symptom.
Less Freon in the system leads to less cold air. However, you might not notice the gradual decline immediately, so we recommend an annual A/C checkup.
Your A/C has a clutch that activates the compressor, which clicks when you turn the A/C on. If you don’t hear that sound and no cold air arrives, your A/C clutch might have failed. This failure could be mechanical or because there isn’t enough Freon in the system.
If you notice a Freon leak, you need immediate service. Freon is a thin, greasy fluid, and you might see it pooling around the compressor or beneath the vehicle. In some circumstances, Freon can leak inside the cabin. Always have a professional inspect the leak to determine the cause.
Fact or Fiction: Do A/Cs Break Easier in the Heat?
When your car’s A/C fails, it’s usually when you need it during the summer months. The more you use your A/C, the more wear and tear it endures. Eventually, this usage can cause a breakdown. Unfortunately, it happens when you need it the most. Your A/C won’t fail in the winter because you aren’t using it. However, parts can still break or wear out during the cold season. As a result, the problem won’t necessarily reveal itself until you need it in the summer.
How To Recharge Your A/C
At Huffines Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, we always recommend that a professional perform any service or maintenance to your vehicle. Our factory-certified technicians are experts at all car-related issues, including A/Cs. Having our service center perform the work guarantees the job gets done correctly. We can usually recharge your A/C in minutes, getting you back on the road fast.
Many of our customers like to perform this service at home, and we respect that. We love people with the same passion for cars and want to help. So if you enjoy recharging your A/C or doing any other routine service at home, we want you to do the job right. That means getting the right parts and sound advice from our parts department. You can order parts online, and we’ll have them ready for pick-up when you arrive.
Freon Recharge Schedule
Eventually, your Freon will run out. When it runs out depends on how much you use your A/C. While there’s no precise schedule to follow, we recommend you recharge your A/C’s Freon in the spring before relying on your A/C. However, if you notice a decline in cold air from your A/C, you probably need more Freon before that.
You want to avoid running your A/C with little or no Freon because this can cause significant damage to the system, mainly the air compressor. Replacing the compressor can cost more than $1,000. It makes sense to recharge when you compare that with the low cost of replenishing your Freon.
Schedule A/C Service in Lewisville Today
We know you rely on your A/C during the hot Texas summer, so now’s the time to have your A/C inspected and recharged. Our service center technicians can do this quickly and at a price that won’t break your bank account. Plus, we’ve streamlined the process with our online scheduling tool. You can select a convenient day and time and leave the rest to us.