Summertime is a great time to be driving around in your car with the windows down and the AC blasting. However, if you don’t take care of your car’s AC system, it will eventually break down and leave you hot and sweaty. With how hot our summers have been lately, that’s a problem that nobody wants to have.
What Components Are in a Car’s AC Unit?
A car’s AC unit is made up of several different parts that all work together to cool the air:
- The Compressor: This is responsible for circulating the refrigerant, while the condenser helps to remove heat from the air.
- The Evaporator: This is what actually cools the air before it enters the car.
- The Expansion Valve: This regulates the flow of refrigerant into the evaporator.
Each one of these components will wear down over time, causing the AC unit to have problems effectively cooling down the temperature within the car.
How to Recognize Problems with Your Car’s AC
If your car’s AC unit isn’t working as well as it used to, there are a few signs that you can look for:
- The air coming out of the vents is not as cold as it used to be.
- There is moisture collecting around the AC unit.
- There is a strange noise coming from the AC unit.
- The car is taking longer to cool down than it used to.
- There is a musty smell coming from the AC unit.
- You can see ice or frost around the AC unit.
If you notice any of these problems, it’s time to take your car in for maintenance. Even if you’re not having any of these issues, it’s still a good idea to get your car’s AC system checked out every few years to make sure that everything is in working order.
Common Reasons That Car AC Units Break Down
Like any system within your vehicle, there are a lot of moving parts and necessary components to ensure that everything is working properly. As such, there are a few reasons that car AC units break down.
Here are some of the most common reasons for AC failure:
- The compressor or condenser isn’t working properly.
- There is a leak in the AC unit.
- The evaporator is frozen.
- The expansion valve is not functioning properly.
- The filter is dirty.
- The Freon levels are low.
- There are electrical issues.
Any one of these issues can cause the effectiveness of your car’s AC to be reduced, or even cause it to be broken entirely.
How Often Should You Get It Maintained?
Proper maintenance by a professional mechanic can help prolong the life of your vehicle’s AC. Many carmakers recommend that you get your car’s AC system checked every 1-2 years. However, if you live in an area with extreme temperatures, as we do here in Utah, it’s a good idea to get it checked more often.
When Should You Replace Your Car’s AC Unit?
Unfortunately, eventually, all AC units will need to be replaced. The average lifespan of a car AC unit is about eight to ten years. However, this can vary depending on how often you use it and how well you maintain it. If your car is more than a decade old, or if you’ve been having issues with the AC unit that have been getting progressively worse, it’s probably time to replace it.
How to Find the Right Mechanic for the Job
Not all mechanics are created equal. When you’re looking for somebody to work on your car’s AC system, you want to find somebody who is qualified and has experience with this specific type of repair.
The best way to find a good mechanic is to ask around for recommendations from friends, family, or co-workers. Once you have a few names, you can look up reviews online to see what other customers have had to say about their experience.
Additionally, you can check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints filed against the mechanic or business.
Taking care of your car’s AC system doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By staying on top of the necessary maintenance and being aware of common issues, you can keep your car’s AC unit working properly for years to come. The team at Master Muffler Logan can help answer any AC-related questions that you may have with your vehicle. And when it is time for a replacement, you can rest assured knowing that you’ve found the right mechanic for the job.