Summer is on its way. And this is the time when the air conditioner in the car is mostly used. Most people think about the AC when winter gets over, and the summer starts setting in. You could be the person who uses AC only when it is hot or somebody who uses it all the time irrespective of the climate conditions. Whatever the case, the AC will work efficiently only if it is taken care of well. Here are some tips to maintain your car AC:
* Like human beings, regular health check-ups are necessary for machines too. The AC has to be serviced once in 25,000-30,000 km.
* Get the condenser of the AC cleaned when you go for the regular service of your car. A condenser filled with dirt will seriously affect the working of the AC. Also check if there are problems in the cooling fin.
* Switch on the AC only after starting the engine. Likewise, shut down the engine after switching off the AC.
* If the car is parked under the sun, do not switch on the AC immediately. Open all the doors and let off the hot air accumulated inside. Do not put the AC in full blow immediately. Increase the temperature setting gradually.
* If it's an AC car, try to run the car with AC on most of the time. This will help reduce the dust inside the car and prevent drying up of pipe joints and O-rings.
* In an AC unit, compressor contains moving parts. If there is gas leak, it could lead to leakage of compressor oil too. So, if you are refilling the gas, ensure the oil level is also checked.
* In areas where salinity is high, the filter of the condenser could damage fast. Small holes can develop on the pipes and fins, which could lead to gas leak.
* Another issue that affects the working of the AC is the dust inside the car. The issue is compounded when the climate alternates between sun and rain. When AC cars are run with windows open, dust enters the cabin and get sucked into the evaporator, which could lead to troubles.
* In some cars, when you switch on the AC, it stinks. This is due to the presence of bacteria, fungus and other microorganisms that get deposited in the evaporator.
* If you remove the evaporator or the cooling coil and clean it, this problem can be solved to a great extent. Ensure that you clean it once in 30,000-50,000 km or once in two years. These days, premium vehicles have a filter to prevent this issue. Do not forget to change the filter after 10,000-15,000 km. The filter blocks dust and other matters that could stick to the evaporator.
* You need to check if the fresh air cable and the hot air cable are aligned properly. If they are wrongly aligned, both hot air and cold air could get mixed.
* If the AC is not working, before heading to a mechanic, please open the fuse box and check the fuse of the AC. If the fuse is blown, the AC won't work.
* Before approaching service centres with the complaint that the cooling is less, check if you have kept the AC's fresh air intake open.
* If you have put the AC in full speed but the air throw from the evaporator is weak, the reason could be a filter block. It is better to fix this first before switching on the AC. If the evaporator or the compressor makes any sound, switch off the AC immediately and take the car to a mechanic.
* Check the drive belt of your car. If it is loose, it could slip. If it is tight, it could lead to the damage of the AC compressor's magnetic clutch.
* In order to improve the efficiency of the AC, manufacturers these days use thin aluminium pipes and fins. The smallest of the vibrations inside the engine room could lead to gas leakages.
* During routine servicing, ask the mechanic to check the temperature inside the AC vents. If the temperature is not between 4 and 10 degrees, it means the AC is not working properly.
* If the car interiors and seat leather are in black, cover the seat in white cloth. When you park the car in the sun, this could help reduce the heat inside the car.
* Try to find a shade to park your car. If you can use a cover, nothing like it. Use a cover that can reflect sunlight.