How To Get Your Car’s AC Ready For Summer

If you are worried about your car’s AC system performing correctly in the hot weather, relax. I’m going to show you how to prepare your air conditioner for a hot summer weather.

”There are few things that you need to check: Your cooling system, electric cooling fans, cabin air filter, fan belt and then perform an AC pressure test. These check ups are not as hard as they sound. With proper guidance, everyone can do them.”

As I mentioned above, anyone can do these checkups with proper guidance, therefore, here is your guidance:

Check Your Cooling System

As crazy as it might sound, for your AC to work right first you got to make sure that your cooling system is working right. If your cooling system isn’t working right, that can often shut down your air conditioning system with the computer system that operates it. So, make sure that your cooling system is full of clean coolant. If it isn’t clean, then flush it out and put new coolant in.

Check Your Electric Cooling Fans

Next, start up your car and turn the AC on full blast. Go and check your electric cooling fans to make sure that they spin when the AC is turned on. Most modern cars have two electric fans. If you find that only one spins and the other doesn’t, you need to fix it so they both spin when the AC is blowing full blast. Also, check the front of the air conditioning condenser which is located in front of the car’s radiator. Look for anything that might be restricting flow. Don’t be shocked if you find a plastic bag, or other debris which may block the air flow.

Check Your Cabin Air Filter

Speaking of not blowing well, most modern cars have cabin air filters that people just forget about. I partly blame that on the engineers that designed it because you got to take a lot of parts off in order to get to the filter. Once you take it off, there are good chances that your air filter will be dirty because it’s probably never been changed. So it’s a good idea to check these things about two or three times a year. You can vacuum off and use them over a lot of times.

Check Your Fan Belt

Now, of course, you want to check the fan belt that drives the air conditioning compressor to make sure it’s not cracked or loose. Your car may have more than one AC belts. Inspect it to see if there is any damage on it.

Perform AC Pressure Test

The last thing to do is to put a set of AC gauges. Hook them up to the car and see what the pressures are. Now, if you don’t have a set of gauges, or if you don’t know how to use them, pay a mechanic to do this. But it’s pretty simple, the blue low side fitting goes on the L for low, it just goes right on and snaps in place and then the high side goes on to the one that says H on it for high side. There is no way you can do this wrong because the sizes are different. Then you start the car and put it on full-speed AC. Check the pressure readings. The low side is about 40 and the high side is about 150. Reading AC pressure gauges is an art, it depends on the heat and the temperature outside, even the humidity. But, as a general rule you find the pressures are really low it means that you’re low on refrigerant. Have that checked out first.

Never Use AC Recharge Kits

If your AC is low on refrigerant, don’t use AC recharge kits. It’s a bad idea for people who aren’t mechanics to try to use one of these AC recharge kits on their car. If not done correctly, you try one of these kits, you can actually cause a lot more damage to the system then you will helping it try to make it blow cold again. In the old days when cars had what was named freon or R12 refrigerant, it was perfectly fine using a can to refill them. They were a different type of system. When they were low, the receiver drier had a little window on the top of it, and when the system that had freon R12 in it, if it was low you would see a bunch of foam like waves on the beach inside, and all you had to do was hook up one of these cans and add it in until the foam went away. Then you knew it was filled correctly to the right amount and you could turn the valve off and have cold air. But that was long time ago. The new cars use the newer 134A refrigerant, where you can’t look at any sight glass. You have to use gauges and a scale to do it correctly and to have the right amount of refrigerant. Back in the day, some systems had over three pounds of refrigerant. So, they had a lot of leeway If you had not enough or a little bit too much in it. But, modern systems use the 134A and they use a lot less refrigerant in them. Everything is metric these days and a lot of them, they only use like 450 grams. That’s it. So, if your off, not only won’t it work right, but it can actually do damage to your system. If you are using one of these cans, you have no idea how much you’re putting into the system.
Now you know how to check your AC and make sure it works perfectly for the summer season. If you have any questions or you want to share your experience, please do it so by writing a comment and I will respond as soon as possible. I will be grateful if you share this article with your friends.

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Hi there. I am a certified Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) mechanic since 2018 and a car detailer for 10 years.

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