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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.
The auto air conditioning is an important part of your vehicle, without question—but not just for the obvious reason. Sure, it helps you and your passengers remain cool during the summer months. In addition, your air conditioning system allows you to demystify your steamy windows during the cold months of winter. And don’t forget that the auto air conditioning maintains air quality within your cabin, stripping the air of pollutants and contaminants. All told: It’s an important system, and worth taking care of with regular air conditioning service.
The good news is that most vehicle owners don’t have very frequent auto air conditioning problems—and you can minimize the risk further still by investing in a routine AC check. Having an AC recharge every year or so is likely enough.
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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