Getting the Most Out of Your Car’s AC This Summer

There are few things more irritating, and potentially dangerous, than having your car’s air conditioner (AC) break down during a heat wave. Thankfully, the most common issues these systems face can be resolved quickly and cost-effectively. Here are some of the most common questions we at Dana Meyer Auto Care receive every summer, with the most frequent issues that brought the client in! 

Why Does My AC Have Weak Airflow?

There may be many reasons why your car’s AC is experiencing weak airflow issues. The most common of which, thankfully, is the cheapest and easiest to handle – your cabin air filter, also called a Pollen Filter, needs to be replaced. Few car owners realize that their vehicle’s filters need to be swapped out as often as their furnace filters. It only costs a couple of dollars and can improve engine efficiency, air quality, and the strength of the breeze coming out of the exhaust vents.

What is Causing My AC Warning Light to Light Up?

Going beyond air filters, the rest of the issues you may experience will often trigger a dashboard warning, in newer vehicles. Otherwise, your only clue is not getting cooled. For instance, if the evaporator coil gets too cold, water droplets can freeze into a single block. This will trigger the sensor. Other common issues that will trip an alarm include:

  • AC Line Leaks
  • Blower Failure
  • Compressor Fails
  • Electrical System Failure (Relay failures are common)

Regardless of the reason, if you see a warning light, it is imperative that you get your car checked. Modern engines are intricate, interconnected devices where one failure can possibly lead to others. Get the problem nipped in the bud and make sure that the issue doesn’t spread!

Why is My AC Losing Its Cool?

An air conditioning unit that starts off cold and loses its power down the road often has one of three issues, in addition to those listed above, though the most common cause is low “Freon”:

-Contaminants in the Line

Contaminants tend to settle to the bottom of the refrigerant tank when the car is off. As the system pumps the coolant through the system, more and more will be picked up and pushed through. This will result in lower efficiency and thus warmer air.

-Frozen Coils

Frozen coils do not start off as blocks of ice. They will turn on, work for a little while, and then have a block of ice form around them. Since air cannot get through, it won’t get cool. What does get through will be weaker and warmer. Some manufacturers have “Service Bulletins” about updated repair procedures to cover this problem. 

-Clogged/Dirty Air Intake

If the air filter and intake system is borderline between mildly dirty and needs replacing, you may experience a drop off in efficiency as more dirty air is brought into the engine and cabin. There is one time of the year when this happens with regularity – pollen season. If the efficiency suddenly drops and your car is coated in pollen, check the filter. It may be time to swap it out.

Help – My AC Smells Like a Gym Locker!

Mold and mildew are the most common culprits when it comes to foul smelling air coming out of your vent. Do not mask the smell with an air freshener. Mildew and mold pose health risks for many people and should be taken care of immediately.

Swap between fresh and circulated air to help break it up if the smell is slight. Major problems will require that you have the system cleaned out. To avoid that problem, it is best to turn off the AC before you arrive at your destination to allow the ice to melt and run out of the car… you know that puddle of water under your car? That’s where it came from.

Dana Meyer to the Rescue!

Make an appointment today to have your car’s AC system checked by one of the finest automotive air conditioning experts in the Bay Area. Call us at 510-527-1938 today!

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