Many people ask us “Is it really necessary to service a car’s air conditioning?”
Most vehicle owners don’t service their air conditioning until after it fails. Maintaining your vehicle’s air conditioning system means that you always have enough refrigerant to properly do the job. Small leaks in the air conditioning system allow the refrigerant to escape and the system can’t cool the air as well. This happens with both domestic or imported cars and trucks.
Along with the refrigerant, a special oil circulates in the system. The oil lubricates air conditioning components, and keeps the seals resilient. Low refrigerant and lubricating oil means that the air conditioning parts will wear out prematurely, and we all know that air conditioning repairs can be costly in Hatfield.
Air conditioning service at J’s Auto Service starts with a visual inspection of the components for signs of damage or leaks. The compressor is driven by a belt from the engine, most often the serpentine belt, so it’s inspected for cracks or wear.
The air conditioning compressor and other components are checked for proper operation by your J’s Auto Service service advisor. Then comes the leak test. If a leak is detected, often in a hose or connection, it’s repaired and the domestic or imported vehicle system is retested. Your J’s Auto Service technician will also perform a temperature drop test.
If needed, the old refrigerant is evacuated and the system is recharged with clean, fresh refrigerant. A final test insures that the air conditioner is working, and you’re on your way.
How often this should be done at J’s Auto Service varies from vehicle to vehicle. Your domestic or imported vehicle owner’s manual will have the manufacturer’s recommendation and, of course, your professional, honest, and personable J’s Auto Service service advisor can tell you. It’s typically every two years. Let’s talk about air conditioning service and repair issues. Most of us don’t give our air conditioning a second thought as long as it’s making cold air. But it’s a complex and expensive system that we should think about before it starts blowing hot air.
The refrigerant in the air conditioner contains a special oil that lubricates and cools the A/C parts. When enough refrigerant leaks out, your air conditioner still makes cold air, but the parts don’t have enough oil to protect them and they wear out faster than they should so it’s important to service the air conditioner as recommended by your vehicles manufacturer.
Replacing old refrigerant has another benefit: refrigerant tends to gather moisture and become corrosive. That causes leaks in the system which can be expensive to repair. Fresh refrigerant protects the air conditioning components and keeps the system operating at peak efficiency so it doesn’t have to work as hard to keep you cool.
Even with regular service A/C parts can just wear out. Normal wear and tear eventually gets to all moving parts.
Addressing problems early can save on more extensive repairs down the road. For instance, a common failure is the clutch that turns the compressor on and off. If you can take care of a bad A/C clutch when it first starts having problems, you may be able to save the compressor. Wait too long and you’ll have to replace both. Check your owner’s manual or ask J’s Auto Service for service recommendations. And if you’re hearing strange sounds when your air conditioning turns on, or if it just isn’t as cold as it used to be, have us give it the once over and see what it’ll take to keep you cool.