A long trip on a hot day will not be comfortable if the car lacks efficient air conditioning. Open windows will not help then either, which will further increase fuel consumption through higher air resistance while driving. So it is worth checking the air conditioning system in your car before you travel. How to do it?
Regular service is a guarantee of air conditioning efficiency
Changing the oil in the engine, filters, pads or discs is a standard, regularly performed servicing of the vehicle. However, not everyone remembers that, as with oil, the air conditioning is also worth servicing at least once a year. Then you can be sure that problems will not occur, and the only risk will be mechanical damage – among other things, to the hoses.
How to service the air conditioning? First of all, you should go to a specialist, who will carry out the entire process from checking the condition of the ducts through de-fumigation of the air conditioning, its ozone treatment (including getting rid of bacteria and viruses inside the vehicle) to refilling the refrigerant to the nominal amount.
Also remember to turn on the air conditioning not only in summer, but also in winter or autumn. This will reduce the risk of possible breakdowns. If, when checking the system before a long trip, you have some doubts about the efficiency of its operation, go to a specialist, even if you serviced the air conditioning a few months ago. All this to check for possible leaks. You will be sure that you will not encounter an unpleasant situation during your trip, which would certainly strongly interfere with your driving comfort. Although it seems that some time ago this system in the car was a luxury, today we can’t imagine driving on a hot day without the cool air blowers on.
Is it possible to check the air conditioning yourself?
You already know that the best way to keep your air conditioner running efficiently is to have it serviced regularly. But even then, it is worthwhile to take care of checking the efficiency of the system yourself before a long trip. First of all, it is just a few steps that do not require equipment. All you need is knowledge, free time and willingness. First, check the temperature, if the air conditioner is working properly, you will feel the coolness on your hand when you put it to the air vent. Even better if you can use an electronic thermometer. Insert it between the blowers and check how the temperature drops. It should be between 8℃ and 10℃ after a few moments.
Another activity you can do yourself is de-fumigation. You can do this regularly, even several times a year, in addition to visiting a service center. You can buy the preparation necessary for this at automotive stores. Remember to always follow the instruction manual that comes with the product. Next, replace the cabin filter, which for many cars will also not be a problem. You can easily find instructions on the Internet to make the task easier. Finally, listen for any noises coming from the air vents, among other things. In many cases, air conditioning problems start with a characteristic whistling sound when the air conditioner starts up and runs.
main photo: unsplash.com/Olav Tvedt