Car Basics: How to Keep Your Air Conditioning Ice Cold Imagine
Imagine a triple-digit August afternoon. You’ve walked the long distance to your car on the hot asphalt parking lot. You’re ready for the relief of your car’s AC. But instead of ice-cold air, you’re hit with the stale, gasp-inducing heat of an AC that just can’t keep up.
In lower temps, your car’s air conditioner may have no problem pumping out cold air. But if you haven’t serviced your AC lately, you may be heading for an unexpected, miserable car ride home come July or August.
Here at Christian Brothers Automotive Round Rock, we want to help you stay cool this summer and keep your AC in tip-top shape. But first, let’s break down the basics of your car’s AC.
Cabin Air Filter
Cabin air filters keep the air inside your car clean and free of exhaust fumes, dust, and odors. Failing to regularly switch out your filter can reduce the airflow of your AC. We can help you replace your filter in as little as 15 minutes. It’s a simple, cost-effective way that you can improve the flow and quality of air inside your car.
Too much or too little refrigerant can wreak havoc on your AC. Refrigerant’s sole purpose is to transform hot air into cold air. It traps and releases the heat, leaving cool air in its place. It’s basically the lifeblood of your AC.
Your car is likely low on refrigerant if it is six years old or older. An AC can lose small amounts of refrigerant over time due to higher refrigerant pressures during our long, hot summers. Pressurized refrigerant can slowly escape through O-rings even when there are no leaks present.
This is one thing you never want to replace or top-off yourself. Essentially, all do-it-yourself systems rely on a certain amount of guessing. Newer vehicles in particular are extremely sensitive to fluid levels. At Christian Brothers Automotive Round Rock, our ASE-certified technicians use the latest diagnostic technologies to help you keep your fluid levels in the ideal spot.
If the refrigerant is the lifeblood of your AC system, then the compressor is the heart. The air compressor is driven by the engine and pressurizes the refrigerant that cools your air.
Replacing an air compressor can cost you upward of $2500. However, inexpensive, routine maintenance can dramatically improve and increase the life of your air compressor.
If your AC isn’t at peak performance, you may have a clogged or leaking condenser. The condenser is mounted at the front of your car, right behind the bumper. The condenser’s job is to get rid of the heat. It does this by turning hot, refrigerant gas into condensed, cooler liquid.
Found between the condenser and the evaporator, the expansion valve ensures just the right amount of refrigerant enters the evaporator. Too much or too little refrigerant could be disastrous for your AC system. The expansion valve continuously monitors the pressure and temperature of your AC to release just the right amount of refrigerant into your evaporator.
This is the last stop before you feel the cold air hitting your happy face. This aluminum box looks like and is similar to a radiator.
The evaporator has cool refrigerant flowing through it, which absorbs heat from the cabin air as a fan pushes the warm air across it. Evaporator failures are due to one thing: leaks. If evaporator failure occurs, it must be replaced, which is a very time-consuming procedure.
When to Service Your AC
If your car isn’t getting as cool as it used to, or if you’ve noticed a strange smell or a leak, it’s probably time to call our experienced team of professionals before an easy fix turns into a major problem.
Our ASE-certified technicians will examine, diagnose, and repair whatever is keeping your AC from running at peak performance. We will fully explain the problem and offer reliable, cost-effective solutions.
Don’t wait until your AC breaks. Call us today to schedule your complimentary courtesy inspection.
“The people here are very honest and straightforward with you, they ensure that you know exactly what's going on and the severity levels each thing; so I know how urgently I need to get certain parts of maintenance done.” – J.D.A.
“When I took my vehicle to Christian Brothers Automotive in Round Rock, the staff was very friendly. They repaired my vehicle quickly. So far, my vehicle is running fine and I am satisfied with the work they did.” – Joey Perry