Summertime! For the past several weeks I have heard from my daughter how excited she is that summer is coming. Our weekends have already been filled with softball games and outside play while the sun stays in the sky longer and longer…and the interior of the car gets hotter and HOTTER! She says to me, “Mommy, I learned a tip today. Turn your steering wheel all the way around so that the bottom is up at the top. That way, when you get in to drive after your truck has been in the sun for a while, you don’t burn your hands!” Okay, first of all she is 8–smart kid. Secondly, it made me think of you, my Automotive Family, and other cool things your car might need to beat the heat this summer.
A helpful place to start would be to define how your car’s air condition system works. Refrigerant (current examples would be R134a and R1234y) circulates in a closed system. This closed system works under high and low pressures. Heat and humidity are removed from the passenger compartment. Remaining cooled air is then pushed back into the passenger compartment.
CHANGE YOUR CABIN AIR FILTER
Changing your cabin air filter has so many wonderful benefits. Just saying the words “Cabin Air Filter” should say enough–it filters the air you breathe in the cabin or passenger compartment. I am sure you have seen the pollen collecting on your car and I know I, for one, have had to “up” my allergy meds. Oh, and have you ever turned on the air and had that “what died in here” smell? Well, that is your cabin air filter and I am willing to wager it is at the end of its useful life. When it becomes clogged, air cannot efficiently pass through it, let alone return out of your vents. Changing this filter will not only help you breathe a little easier, the force–or flow of air improves too. For my friends with cooled seats (you lucky dogs) this is also one of the first trouble-shooting steps in diagnosing cooled seat malfunctions.
IS IT ALL IN YOUR HEAD
Your control head, that is. One of the first things my staff and I do is perform a preliminary check to verify where the problem actually lies. We are in the age of multiple “Comfort Zones,” manual HVAC systems, digital displays, ambient temperature sensors, knobs, buttons, switches, IN-CASE-OF-EMERGENCY BREAK GLASS (just kidding).
We actually like to verify that your AC system is being electronically requested by the control head. Then, we like to see what the vent temperature is and compare it to the ambient temperature. Next, we check your AC compressor to see if it is seized and perform a quick pressure test. Lastly, we look over your car’s major visual AC components for any noticeable damage or signs of leaks including using a UV light. If a dye has ever been put in your AC system, it will glow at the source of the leak. I would say “kind of cool, right,” but if you are having this test chances are you are a little sweaty–sorry.
The Farmer’s Almanac for Maryland this summer says we are in for a soggy and humid treat. The good news is you do not have to drive in the hot seat. I do have some of the “coolest” team members in the industry (I should stop with the cool puns, I know) and we would love to meet you. I did add some AC specials to my website so feel free to take a look around, get more information or reserve a custom service just for your car.
From my family to yours, have a safe and wonderful summer!