With the dreadfully hot month of May underway, the importance of your car’s AC system grows multifold. Losing your air conditioning in summers, especially in a country like India that is known for its scorching heat at this point of time, can be no less than a nightmare. The temperatures inside the car cabin may even rise to as high as 60 degree Celsius, and one can just not afford to have their AC act up in such a scenario of hot commute. AC servicing may cost one a fortune, and can be easily avoided upon following the below-mentioned tips for maintenance:
- One of the most common issues is a blockage in air filters and AC condensers which prevents air flow over cooling coils. Therefore, make sure to wash the condenser thoroughly with water every week, without fail. This will not only help in the removal of dirt from those otherwise unreachable parts but will also contribute towards maintaining better cooling, thereby relieving you during summers.
- Dirt and moisture are two of the major culprits causing a plague in the car’s AC unit. Hence, all carpets and mats in the car should be vacuumed and cleaned well every week to ensure that the AC duct and the vent inside do not attract any dust from outside, thereby remaining in clean condition and providing better cooling.
- The air filter of AC, which is located below the dashboard in most of the cars, should be cleaned thoroughly with water or even replaced, if need be. Make sure that you get the filter cleaned during your regular servicing. Especially when it comes to summers, take a proactive stance towards getting it cleaned before the season begins.
- If the engine is running hot or is overheating, it may noticeably impact the air conditioning. This is because the AC condenser is located immediately in front of the engine’s radiator. In case of overheating of the radiator, the excessive heat may get transferred to the condenser and negatively affect the way it works. Therefore, in order to avoid situations like these, the radiator should be cleaned every 3 months.
- Since the AC compressor is usually driven by the engine via a belt, insufficient lubrication or maintenance may lead to failures in the compressor. Therefore, ensure that you inspect the drive belt attached to the compressor, gas pipelines, and hoses well in order to avoid any such malfunctions in the working of the car AC.
- Never ignore any weird and unusual sounds coming from the compressor. Such noises may indicate issues with the drive belt, liquid refrigerant entering the compressor port, loosening of mounting bolts that secure the components of AC, equalizing of pressure, or even wearing out of the belt. All these issues in the AC system are concerning, whether these signify maintenance or replacement, and you should consult the nearest service centre as soon as any such situation occurs.
- Check if there are any leakages from the AC gas pipelines at least once a month. You may even clean it well with soap water to ensure that there aren’t any.
- Loss of lubrication is one of the most common reasons behind the failure of the AC compressor. So, if you observe an AC gas oil stains on the compressor or on the pipelines and hoses, you should immediately consult to the service centre.
- Use recirculation mode as much as possible. Compared to the fresh air mode, using the AC in recirculation improves efficiency as the AC works more quickly and strongly. Moreover, this mode blocks the entry of dirty air or unpleasant smell from outside. Especially in summers, when it is very dusty outside, it is better to use recirculation mode over fresh air mode.
- One of the most basic yet highly important tips is to use the AC controls as gently as you can in order to avoid any damage that may render the AC non-functional.
Author: Rupendra Singh, Vice President, Certification Services, Droom