There are a few specific things that can go wrong with your vehicle’s air conditioning. The biggest reason for a routine AC check is refrigerant; your vehicle will use up around 15 percent of its refrigerant each year, so eventually you’ll need to get that replaced. Also, each individual part of the air conditioner can sustain damage through everyday use, but a routine AC service check can help you identify problems and get minor repairs made before they snowball into big issues. How Often Do You Need an AC Recharge? Generally speaking, you’ll only need to get an AC recharge when you notice that the air isn’t as cool or as refreshing as it used to be. With that said, make sure you’re getting the unit inspected at least once a year, just to make sure there aren’t any underlying problems that need to be addressed.
There are a couple of main reasons why it’s smart to get air conditioning service work done. The first is that you’re going to run out of refrigerant eventually, and will need to have it replaced. (You use roughly 15 percent of your refrigerant each year.) In addition, wear and tear to each individual piece of your AC unit can cause long-term problems, but routine maintenance prevents minor problems from turning into larger, more expensive ones. It’s ultimately in your best interest as a vehicle owner to make preventative maintenance a priority, and that includes getting a regular AC check.
Most of us assume we know how the auto air conditioning system works. You press the button and your car’s air vents produce cool, refreshing air—right? Well, actually, it’s a bit more complicated than that. The quick synopsis: Your air conditioning unit produces air that’s actually quite hot, but through a multi-step system it’s both cooled down and also cleared of moisture and contaminants. This is a process that begins with your vehicle’s refrigerant and ends with cool air coming through the vents—providing you with a comfortable ride no matter the weather.
As for when it’s necessary to get your AC looked at, the short answer is: Any time you find that you’re not getting cool air like you used to. Additionally, it’s typically smart to have an AC check once or twice a year, as part of your preventative maintenance. This helps you keep ahead of any potential problems, resolving them before they turn into bigger or more expensive repair needs.
A lot of drivers have the auto air conditioning system all wrong. They assume it’s pretty straightforward, creating and then disseminating cool air. Actually, it’s quite a bit more complicated than that. In a multi-step process that begins at the compressor and ends at your air vents, the auto air conditioning actually creates warm air, then strips out all the moisture and contaminants—cooling and depressurizing it all the while. Obviously, this requires a lot of work, so it stands to reason that the auto air conditioning system might need to be inspected and repaired from time to time.
How well do you understand the workings of your auto air conditioning system? Many drivers are surprised when they learn that their auto AC doesn’t simply push out cool air, but rather it starts with warm air, cools and depressurizes it, filters out its contaminants, and then—at the end of a multi-stage process—it finally pushes that cool air into the cabin of the vehicle. If that sounds like a laborious undertaking, well, it is. The auto air conditioning takes on a lot of wear and tear. It goes without saying, then, that regular maintenance is a must.
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