We look forward to summertime every year. The weather allows for cookouts, camping, pool parties, water parks, and more outdoor fun. However, with the summer comes the heat and the need to stay cool. You rely on your car’s air conditioner to keep the heat outside as you navigate your way around, and no one likes it when their air-conditioning (A/C) fails, especially in the dog days of summer.
New Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram (CDJR) vehicles rarely experience A/C failure. However, if you own a car even a few years old, you could run into trouble. To help you avoid a breakdown, we asked our service specialists at Huffines Plano CDJR to provide some helpful information to keep your car’s A/C blowing cold air all summer long.
How Car Air Conditioners Work
Most people don’t know the science behind vehicle air conditioners, and that’s okay. Your A/C uses a complicated system of chemical reactions, hydraulic components, and mechanical equipment to work correctly.
It starts with the gas, Freon, getting compressed. Once compressed, Freon gets warmer, and your A/C system pumps it through cooling coils, which change it to a liquid before it evaporates. As the Freon changes back to gas, it gets really cold.
At the same time, your car’s fan system pumps the warm cabin air through the frigid coils and chills the air. Then, finally, it returns the cold air to your cabin. Unfortunately, the warm air blowing through the cold coils warms the Freon again. As a result, your A/C must constantly circulate fresh compressed Freon into the cooling coils to keep pumping cold air.
Run Defrost Mode Weekly
New CDJR models have a defrost mode on their climate control system. You should run this mode for ten minutes weekly, even in winter. If your car doesn’t have a defrost mode, run your A/C at its coldest temperature setting and highest fan setting for ten minutes. This procedure helps maintain pressure, keeps your compressor running strong, and prevents mold and mildew from accumulating.
Change Your A/C Air Filter
Sometimes, you might notice an increase in your A/C’s air temperature and need to change your A/C air filter. The parts department at Huffines CDJR Plano has an expansive inventory of filters, and our service department can quickly change yours. However, you can probably change the filter at home if you’re handy. In most cars, it’s located behind the glove box.
Adjusting Cabin Temperature
Many drivers turn their A/C temperature up rather than lower the fan speed when the cabin gets too cold. Unfortunately, this approach can waste money because your A/C system runs more efficiently in the coldest setting. So when you raise the cabin’s temperature, the air in your A/C system gets warmer. As a result, your A/C works harder to keep the air at a warmer temperature.
Service Your A/C Annually
We strongly recommend you have a professional inspect your A/C system every year. Our technicians can perform this task quickly, including topping off any Freon you might need. Doing this in the Spring will ensure your A/C will run at its peak when you need it the most.
Symptoms of a Failing A/C
Unfortunately, things break, wear out, or run out, including parts of your A/C. However, by knowing what to look for, you can fix most issues before they cause more severe damage. Here are the most common signs you might need your A/C serviced.
Sudden Loss of Cold Air
Unfortunately, a sudden and steep drop in cold air production indicates you have a serious problem. We recommend you have our service center technicians diagnose the issue immediately. All systems eventually run out of the Freon necessary to produce frigid air, but it’s gradual. So when your A/C stops blowing cool air suddenly, you might have a compressor issue or a leak somewhere.
Gradual Loss of Cold Air
As your system slowly runs out of Freon, your A/C won’t produce air as cold as it would with a total amount of Freon. Unfortunately, the process happens over months and even years, depending on how often you use your A/C. As a result, most drivers don’t notice this symptom right away. Fortunately, charging your A/C system with more Freon is a simple matter.
Failing Compressor Clutch
Your A/C activates through a clutch, which is a device that engages the compressor. When you turn on your car’s A/C, you should hear the clutch engage with a click. If you don’t hear the click, you might have a malfunctioning clutch, especially if the system blows warm air. It might also indicate that you need to add Freon. This is because the compressor needs Freon to work. Without enough Freon, the compressor might shut down.
Visible Freon Leak
The puddle under your car shouldn’t be Freon. Instead, it should be condensation from the cooling system. Unfortunately, a Freon is a possibility. If your A/C isn’t blowing cold air, we suggest you check the puddle to see what it is. Freon has a thin, greasy texture, whereas water is just water. You can also look for Freon around the compressor, and in rare situations, in your cabin.
Recharging Your Freon
Customers often ask us how easy it is to perform maintenance procedures, such as recharging your Freon. If you’re handy, it isn’t difficult. However, we always recommend that a professional maintain and service your car, truck, or SUV. A trained professional can spot potential problems before they occur, which saves money and time.
We know some people love working on their vehicles at home, and we support them. Our parts department technicians love talking shop and will happily advise you on any service or repair. And if you order parts online, we can have them ready for you when you arrive.
Recharge Your Freon in Plano Today
Unfortunately, A/C failure almost always occurs during the summer when you need it the most. It isn’t likely to fail when you aren’t using it during the winter. So as the weather continues to warm, have your A/C serviced. Our technicians will inspect your system for leaks and other issues and fill up your Freon.
We recommend you schedule service online to secure a convenient day and time. However, you can stop by our West Plano Parkway dealership anytime, and one of our service department professionals will be happy to help.