Tips for Maintaining Your Car’s Air Conditioner

A stock photo of people enjoying summer in their car.

How Do You Know If Your Car’s AC is Broken?

Mid-June signals the beginning of summer in our little corner of the world. That simple fact means a lot of things, but primarily it means we have entered road trip season. If you plan on hitting the road this summer, you want to ensure your vehicle is working properly. Today, we’re specifically focusing on your automobile’s air conditioning. So, how do you know if your vehicle’s AC is broken? Luckily, nobody needs to be an automotive expert to know when something is wrong with the climate control system. Let’s take a closer look at a few pieces of information you might want to know.

READ MORE: What Does a Check Engine Light Mean?

3 Major Signs of Car Air Conditioner Problems

The air conditioner in your car, truck or SUV isn’t all that different from the cooling unit that you might use in your home. All air conditioners work by pulling hot air through a condenser that removes the moisture and returns cool air into a room or a vehicle’s passenger cabin. When something goes wrong, it usually happens in only a few places. 

  • Can’t Feel Cold Air: The most common sign there is something wrong with your car’s air conditioner is that no cool air comes through the vents when the system is turned on. There could be a few things causing this, including a lack of refrigerant, damaged fans or even something as simple as the vents being clogged.
  • Weak Air Flow: If you notice that barely any cool air comes out of the vents when the AC is on, there could be a leak somewhere in the system. If the unit’s coolant fluid is leaking the problem could be even more severe. 
  • Foul Odours: Unexpected bad smells are almost always a clear sign of a problem. This is also true of foul odours coming from an automobile’s air conditioning system. The most likely cause is condensation collecting in a place it shouldn’t be. Left untreated, these conditions can grow mould and/or mildew, which could aggravate someone’s allergies or present other health issues.

How Do You Prevent AC Problems in a Vehicle?

Like anything else in the automotive world, preventative maintenance is the key to avoiding problems with your car’s air conditioning unit. A few of our expert service technicians put together a short list of easy things you can do to avoid, or at least stay ahead of, potential AC problems this summer.

  • Run the AC system once a week for 10 minutes, even in winter
  • Use the defrost mode to avoid mould and mildew
  • Make sure the coolant system (refrigerant) is charged

Make an appointment with Fifth Avenue Volkswagen, today, and one of our expert service technicians will look over your vehicle’s environmental control system and let you know if there are any problems.