It’s smoking hot out there, and your car’s air conditioner is working overtime to keep you cool in the heat. The truth is, you need to take care of your car’s AC to make sure it keeps working that way!
Your A/C system will become less efficient as you use your car more in high temperatures. You might as well find yourself stuck in a vehicle that blows only hot air if you don’t take its proper care.
So, how do you recharge and take care of your car’s AC? The below tips will help!
Recharging Your Car’s AC: How Much Does It Cost?
Did you know that the A/C system in your car doesn’t blow cold air into the cabin? Now you do.
The fact is, the A/C does not add cold air to your car. Instead, it removes heat from hot air and creates a cool sensation. The closed-loop system in your car is responsible for this. It contains refrigerant, which absorbs heat.
Your car’s A/C system is made of seven main components:
- Condenser: The condenser converts the refrigerant gas into liquid. The condenser air cools both refrigerant as well as the air conditioning system.
- Compressor: The compressor is a belt-driven component that draws in cool gas refrigerant and pumps it through the A/C loop.
- Receiver/dryer: The receiver/driver can be either a reservoir or a canister that extracts moisture from your A/C system.
- Thermal expansion valve: This valve decreases the flow of liquid refrigerant, reduces its temperature, and enables it to expand and decrease pressure.
- Evaporator: Usually found under the car’s dash, the low-pressure refrigerant transforms into a gas when it absorbs heat.
- Accumulator: The accumulator acts as a filter to remove moisture.
- Refrigerant: The refrigerant used in cars is called R134a or 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane. It is a gas that condenses to a liquid under pressure.
Low refrigerant levels are often the reason your A/C stops working. To ensure that your system is working correctly, it’s advisable to get it checked by a trained professional. This inspection covers all parts that are accessible, including the drive belts and connecting hoses.
After ensuring that no components are damaged, the technician will use a coolant recuperator to remove all the refrigerant from the system. After vacuum testing the system, they will remove the air.
The technician will then add the correct amount of refrigerant to the system. Your A/C system will be back at its peak performance after it is recharged. The technician will advise you on the next steps to take if the refrigerant levels drop due to damage or leaks.
The Importance of The Process
Although it isn’t a necessary fix, reducing the refrigerant level will cause too much pressure on the system. This could lead to damage or extensive repairs. It’s best to call your mechanic as soon as your A/C starts acting up.
The Risks Involved
Refrigerants can pose a risk to your health and the surrounding environment.
So, you must not attempt to recharge your A/C unit on your own. Rather, take your vehicle to a nearby car repair shop to get the job done.
You can expect to pay between $100 and $280 for parts and labor. Your car’s air conditioner should last at least three years after the job is completed.
If you live in scorching areas, your A/C system will need to be recharged more often.
How To Save Cash With Maintenance?
Although it may sound like a great way to save money, neglecting maintenance will end up costing you more long-term.
Regular maintenance will increase the chances of detecting problems with your car and repairing them when they are less severe. For example, you may detect fuel leaking from your Chevy Silverado. So, you can get your Silverado fuel pump repaired before it escalates and costs you thousands of bucks.
No one likes to drive their car in scorching heat with the AC off. Well, if you don’t take care of them, you’ll have to drive your vehicle, all sweaty!
Make sure that situation never arises. Take cues from the above tips and keep your vehicle in top condition!