July 3rd through August 15th have been deemed “Air Conditioner Appreciation Days,” and rightfully so. As things heat up country-wide, your vehicle’s air conditioner is especially appreciated for cooling you off. Unfortunately, like any car part, sometimes things go wrong, and your car’s air conditioner may require service. Here’s a run-down of the types of checks and repairs you can expect a service department to cover in the event your air conditioner is failing.
- Visual inspection: First things first. A technician will take a look at the whole system, looking for obvious signs of damage or wear and tear. Hoses, lines, seals, and other components are checked for leaks, while the drive belt is examined for cracks or other damage.
- Check pressure: The technician will check for pressure, testing refrigerant charge, outlet temperatures, and overall operation.
- Check refrigerant: If your system is low on refrigerant, the technician will perform a leak test to determine the point of leakage. In some cases, refrigerant may be topped off, although some states do not allow this. Additionally, technicians may check for refrigerant cross-contamination, or the mixing of refrigerants, which should never be done.
- Check compressor’s drive belt and tension: Finally, the technician will check the drive belt and tension to ensure they are functioning properly.
- Check the HVAC system: To ensure air is flowing unobstructed into the cabin, the technician will likely check the air filters and HVAC system.