Back to Basics – know your A/C


Thankfully, it’s almost that time of year again.  Won’t be long now before we’re enjoying much warmer weather in Michigan, and there’s no better time than now to make sure the climate control in your vehicle is ready.  It may be counter-intuitive because you’re not running your air conditioning in the winter, or are you?  Actually, it’s likely you are, and more than you may realize.  Air conditioning comes into play each time you need to defrost your windshield.  Some of you may have noticed your A/C light comes on when you select defrost on your climate control dial/settings.  OK, so the point is you may be using some form of your vehicle’s A/C system year round.

Given your A/C endures a full workout, here are some of the more common things to look for that might indicate your system is due for service:

  • You’re noticing condensation on your vehicle’s interior floorboard
  • Fan motor is making more noise than you recall
  • An unfamiliar odor can be detected from the vent(s)
  • You notice the vehicle overheating, or at least running hotter than normal when the A/C is in operation
  • Interior windows are fogging badly with defrost setting
  • You notice some of the interior dash controls are not working as they should, may be related to faulty climate control system
  • Your vehicle’s engine idles high or actually stalls when the A/C is in operation
  • Your fan motor or blower will not work at all, or intermittently
  • Desired cooling temperature is not reached when A/C is in operation
  • You notice your vehicle’s engine making unusual noises when the A/C is in operation
  • No air is blowing from the interior vent(s)

The maintenance in some of these cases is rather minor, and often ends up being routine.  However, if you neglect these symptoms it may lead to potential damage of your climate control system, if not also your engine.  Technology has changed quite a bit, so please don’t assume all you need is a can of refrigerant to “recharge” your system.  That may, in fact, be the case but more than likely you’ll benefit from having an accurate diagnosis.  Most vehicles made within the past 10 years also have their systems connected to the vehicle’s computer.  This process requires proper tools and Air Conditioning Service Experts.
As with most things, when in doubt… feel free to give us a call with your questions.  We’re here to make sure this spring and summer are as pleasant as possible, at least from the standpoint of what we’re able to control.  After all, we don’t have dibs on what Mother Nature decides.

Written by cargrandrapids