How To Keep A Healthy Car AC Unit

A car with a busted AC unit in the summer is like driving around in a sauna.  It might be all right with open windows when driving around the neighborhood, but on the highway things will get pretty sticky in no time.  Even though repairing an AC unit should not break the bank, checking on the system to ensure it is functional is always a good idea.  The funny thing with AC units is that they will not give much of a warning sign before plunking out completely.

A conscientious car owner that wants to save some money and some sweaty car rides should regularly check the status of their unit.  It is important to remember that the unit in not simply blowing cold air into the interior of the car.  The AC unit is a circulatory system that works to remove hot air from the interior and replace it with cooler air extracted from outside.  This process involves the coordinated work of an evaporator, condenser, and compressor.  Then there is the refrigerant liquid that turns hot air into cold.  As with all mechanical gear, these pieces will experience normal wear and tear over the years and will require consistent checking and semi-consistent maintenance.

A car owner should do the following things to keep their AC unit healthy:

Run The Unit Regularly – It’s advisable to run the AC unit for a few minutes at a time about once a week.  This should be done all season long regardless of the external temperature.  The purpose of this task is to keep all the tubes, pumps and valves well lubricated.  If these components become too dry they could possibly disconnect or at least become less fluid.

Ask Mechanic About The Refrigerant Levels – At the next general car check-up, have the mechanic check the refrigerant levels.  Not all mechanics in Longmont will consider the AC as part of their general check-up routine, so clarifying before an oil change and regular check up is always helpful.  If the refrigerant levels are low it’s nothing to worry about.  It is sold at Walmart and many other locations.

Might Have Fungus – The older the car, and the damper the climate, the more likely it is for mold or fungus to build up within the AC unit.  Most people will not even recognize the fungus or mold smell in the car.  Those with asthma or allergies will recognize the presence of these unwelcome growths and will most likely experience poor breathing because of it.  This is a rare case, but it can certainly happen if the car is over 10 years old.  Luckily there are some cleaning liquids that can be applied to the AC unit to clear it out.

These are some great tips for car owners to prevent the breakdown of their AC unit in the hot summer months when they need it most.

Comments for this post are closed.