Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips for Your Car
Who doesn’t want to know the insider tips and tricks to keep their air conditioner lasting longer? After all, with summer getting closer, the last thing you’d want is your ac breaking. Whilst there are tips to navigate driving in hot weather, your AC breaking in summer is a travesty Aussies wouldn’t even wish upon our worst enemies.
To ensure the long and prosperous health of your air-con, there are a few tips that can keep your ac performing at the top of its game. The best part is you don’t have to be a car whizz to do these either! The tips range from visual to manual and are as easy as booking in services, so carry on reading if you want to ready your AC to take on the sweltering summer heat.
Steps to Maintaining Your Car’s Air Conditioning System
1. Have it cleaned by the pros
Scheduling to have your ac unit cleaned is the best way to ensure that the air will stay fresh and cool. A clean AC is an optimal AC. Save your hands from getting dirty with the help of a qualified professional. In the safety of their care, your air conditioning will have the utmost attention from the proper equipment from people who know what they’re doing.
We know there’s a lot of DIY fanatics who like the challenge of learning something new or saving a few dollars by completing a task themselves. But if you aren’t well versed in mechanics (like most of us), it’s best to opt for a professional and lighten the load of your to-do list.
2. Run the air conditioner once a week
Running your car’s air conditioning once a week for around 10 minutes is the perfect antidote to maintaining the life of your AC. In doing so, you’ll be maintaining the gas pressure that keeps your car’s compressor working optimally. It’ll also help clean out moisture and prevent mildew. When you do this, make a note to switch to the highest fan speed and coolest setting.
Side note – we advise not doing this if your car is hot! It’s a one-way ticket to potentially causing damage to your windscreen, such as a stress crack. Sudden temperature changes are the silent culprits that cause windscreen damage. Believe it or not, it’s not only the debris on the roads that cause this. If you suddenly turn on your AC after your car hasn’t had a chance to heat up, (whilst in Australia, it isn’t very long at all), then it is susceptible to cracking.
If you’re wondering exactly how long this takes, RACQ put this to the test and found it took as little as just two minutes for temperatures to rise from cool air-conditioned levels to the surrounding temperature, and seven minutes to reach dangerous temperatures of 40 degrees. The sun and its heat can cause a whole host of problems to your car’s exterior (as well as interior), but that is a future topic to come where we’ll dive deeper, so keep your eyes peeled.
3. Avoid pre-cooling your car
Although sliding into a pre-cooled car is comfortable (and feels like heaven during the summer) it can seriously affect the air conditioner’s performance. Your car’s air conditioning system works at its most optimal when your car is in motion. So avoid cooling your car when it’s stationary, and switch to cooling once you have hit the road.
4. Keep your car clean
Just as we keep our homes clean, we need to do the same with our cars. If you need persuasion to keep on top of your car’s cleanliness, think of it as an extension to your home. Besides a dirty car having social, physical and mental effects on a driver, it can also negatively impact the ability of your car’s air conditioning.
Allowing your car to get dirty is just feeding fuel to the fire, and increases your chances of your car’s AC succumbing to damages. So do your AC and your future self a favour by keeping debris and dirt at bay through regular dusting, vacuuming and cleaning.
We understand it can be difficult to know where to start when your car has got into a bit of a state, so we’ve put together a list on how to keep your car looking spick and span to simplify everything.
5. Get a full air conditioning service
Now to check your AC. Early detection is the remedy to most things in life and is a good habit to elicit. Applied to cars, picking up on any leaks or damage to your vehicle’s AC system can save you time and money. With regular checks, you’ll be able to notice whether your car is acting funny. If this happens, make sure to see a local trusted service provider to determine the route of the issue.
You may be wondering, is this really urgent? And we’re here to echo it is. Whilst your wallet may not like facing the fact your AC could be failing, leaving it for later will only likely increase the damages and repair bill. It’s also important to note that a damaged air conditioner can impact other components of your car, such as the wiring. So it’s better to be safe than sorry and act fast. After all, you could save yourself some coins.
6. Park under the shade
Living in the southern hemisphere, we’re all well accustomed to the heat. Unfortunately, our cars aren’t made to repel and withstand heat as well as some of our traditional Australian homes. Whenever shade is available, make sure to take advantage of its protection. A car left out in the sun will have to work twice as hard to cool itself down, putting considerable strain on its AC.
If shade isn’t available, it’s good to have a backup plan, such as a sunshield. Using a sunshield on both your front and rear windshields will deflect the sun’s heat off your interior. Saving your upholstery and your precious electronics. If you pledge to try and keep your car cool, you can expect your car’s AC unit to work efficiently all year round.
If you’re new to learning the ill effects of the sun on cars and find yourself with a stress crack, don’t fret. As the windscreen experts, Novus are here to assist with all your repair needs. Our trained technicians can provide you with prompt, professional and technical advice and services, ensuring your safety and equally important comfortability across the summer months to come. Contact Novus today on 13 22 34 to book a service and read our regularly updated blog if you’re interested in learning more on all things automobile.