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Auto Air Conditioning Recharge and Repair

Auto A/C System Recharging and Repair

We know a thing or two about identifying and repairing A/C problems in vehicles.

The modern Automotive Air Conditioning system has come a long way in the last 80 years. In 1939, when Packard made the first auto A/C units available in automobiles, they were expensive and bulky systems. Early Air Conditioning Systems often occupied entire trunks and cabins with tubing and other equipment required to run the system - costing a small fortune at the time. It wasn't until the 1960's, when 20% of all cars on the market had A/C equipped, that A/C units had grown more affordable and were installed under the hood, similar to the systems in place today. Nowadays the A/C system will use around 4 horsepower of engine power, driving up gasoline usage and driving down fuel mileage.

There are several things that can cause your automotive A/C System to stop blowing cold air. One of the most common causes of people experiencing hot air from their Air Conditioning is being low on refrigerant. You may have heard it mentioned before, sometimes it's even called Freon. It's a necessary component to your A/C and without it, your vehicle is rendered unable to produce cooled air to the cabin. On older vehicles, the Air Conditioning System held 3-4 pounds of refrigerant and sometimes even more. That meant if the system was running a few ounces low, the system would still blow cold air.

On many of today's newer models, the A/C systems on average hold only up to one pound of Refrigerant. This is a quarter of what vehicles used to hold in their systems, and that means if your air conditioning system leaks that same 3-4 ounces (or 1/4 pound), the system is running way too low on Freon to create the cooling required to blow cold air. That's when you start to experience the warm or hot air coming from the car vents.

If your car or truck A/C System is just blowing warm air, it's a good idea to stop attempting to operate the Air Condition and to bring your vehicle in for an inspection. Continuing to operate the A/C if it's damaged or low on Freon, you could do costly damage to the vehicle. Sometimes A/C Compressor isn't being properly lubricated and continued use under those conditions usually requires replacement. It's important to have your automotive A/C System checked and recharged if need be annually to ensure functionality. If you're Air Conditioning is due for an inspection, feel free to Schedule An Appointment with one of our Automotive Technicians today!

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY A/C SYSTEM NEEDS RECHARGING OR HAS A PROBLEM?

The Temperature Control System inside your vehicle is responsible for both your Air Conditioning and Heating Systems - which makes it very important - and it includes several components taht must work together in order to provide you with a comfortable drive. In many cases, regularly maintenance of your A/C System or even an A/C Recharge Service can keep your system in good working order for those hot days when you need it.

On the other hand, ignoring maintenance and not recharging your A/C System when it needs it could turn a small repair into an expensive and major repair issue. Here are the most common indications that your automotive Air Conditioning system will require service, repair, or recharging.

[1] If after running your car Air Conditioning for a couple of minutes, the dash vents blow air that is only slightly cooler than the outside air. This is an indication of a low charge and you should not continue to operate the system until you can have the A/C System recharged.

[2] Request an A/C System Inspection immediately if the air blowing through your dash vents smells damp, musty, or like mildew and mold. You should discontinue use until it is repaired.

[3] When you turn on your Air Condition, you feel as though your engine might stall or you hear unfamiliar noises, such as grinding.

[4] Your auto air conditioning system is erratic and blows cold – then warm – then cold again – and you don’t have good or accurate control over the temperatures.

[5] The airflow out of the dash vents feels very low – even at the highest fan speeds.

If you suspect problems with your car's Heating System, the most common idicators are: [1] The passenger compartment or cabin of your vehicle doesn’t warm up properly in cold weather – or it warms up and is only just a little warmer than outside, and [2] When trying to clear a fog on the inside of the windshield, the defroster takes longer than normal to operate or does not clear the fog at all. If you’re experiencing any of these conditions – consider them as indicators that your car’s temperature control system is in need so attention.

IF MY A/C DOESN'T WORK RIGHT AND I USE IT, WHAT KIND OF DAMAGE COULD IT DO?

First of all, if your car’s A/C System isn’t cooling, it’s probably low on refrigerant. That’s typically because of a leak. But understand this – the refrigerant that keeps you cool also provides cooling for the air conditioning (AC) compressor. So if you continue to run your car’s A/C when it’s not cooling, you could be overheating your compressor. Secondly, understand that your A/C System circulates oil. That oil is in the system to lubricate the compressor. In fact, that’s the only reason your car air conditioning system has oil – for compressor lubrication.

Therefore, if the system isn’t cooling, it’s probably low on refrigerant. That means the compressor isn’t getting the proper cooling – but it’s not getting the proper lubrication (compressor oil) either! Also know that if you continue to run your air conditioning system when it’s not cooling or blowing cold air, you WILL do damage and the system will NOT start getting cool on it’s own.

Your best bet is to book a service appointment and let us determine the real problem with your A/C system. With just a few tests for pressures, compressor operation and leaks, we’ll be able to tell you what’s wrong!