10 Tips for Extending the Life of Your Car Air Conditioner

10 Tips for Extending the Life of Your Car Air Conditioner

Most people consider a working car air conditioner as a non-negotiable necessity. We rely on them to keep us cool in the summer (or all year long if you live in a hot climate). Like other systems in the car, maintaining the car’s air conditioner is important to keep it running properly. Here are 10 tips for keeping your air conditioner in top shape!

Routine Maintenance for Car Air Conditioners:

  • Clean the system: A clean system will run much more efficiently than a system that is full of dirt and debris. Clean residue and dirt from the condenser to allow for optimal airflow.
  • Check the filter: Over time, filters can become dirty and clogged. This leads to blocked airflow and a reduction in the system’s efficiency. If needed, have a new filter installed.
  • Flush the radiator: Radiators should be flushed every couple of years and kept clear of debris. Dirty radiators can also lead to restricted airflow and inefficient cooling.
  • Check the coolant levels: Maintaining the proper level of coolant will help your system run at the correct temperature and keep your engine from overheating. If your engine runs too hot, then the air conditioning cannot work well.
  • Inspect the fan belts: Your drive belt should be carefully inspected to ensure it’s working properly and that it’s in good condition. The belt powers other important parts of the vehicle, like the alternator, water pump, and steering pump.
  • Look for leaks: Your air conditioning system uses refrigerant to cool the air coming into your vehicle. To operate efficiently, check for tiny leaks in the system that allow refrigerants to escape and have them repaired.
  • Recharge your air conditioning system: Recharge the entire cooling system with gas and lubricant every two years.

Usage Best Practices:

  • Use the car air conditioner often: The more you use it, the better the condition it will stay in. As the refrigerant circulates, it pushes the lubricating oil through the system. This keeps the most important parts properly lubricated, thus preventing the seals from drying out. Make it a point to run the air conditioner once a week for about 10 minutes. This will maintain gas pressure to keep the compressor working properly. Be sure to turn it to its highest fan speed and coolest setting. Regular use also prevents a buildup of mildew.
  • Turn off the air conditioner before turning off your engine: Turning the air conditioner off before you turn off your engine can actually extend the life of your vehicle’s battery, as your car won’t have as many tasks to perform the next time you start it up.
  • Run defrost mode for about 5 to 10 minutes: This prevents mildew and cleans out excessive moisture, which can lead to foul odors.

The car’s air conditioning system requires regular maintenance and best usage practices to continue to operate well. By following these tips, you can ensure that you will ‌stay cool for as long as possible!