woman plays with AC in hot car

We all know one of the most important parts of a road trip is having good snacks. But, equally as important is a nice, cold blast of air conditioning as you’re logging long miles on the road. Is your AC ready to get you through the summer?

If you haven’t yet checked your car’s AC to ensure it’s functioning properly, now is the time! Summer temperatures are steadily climbing, and rolling down the windows isn’t going to cut it when you find yourself stuck in traffic. Below are tips from the auto repair experts of Pocatello Master Muffler for maintaining and repairing your air conditioning.

Tips for Maintaining Your Car’s AC

Using your air conditioning regularly can actually help it work better. There’s a precise balance of gas pressure in the air conditioner compressor, and using the fan on the highest setting and coldest temperature can help maintain it. Here are some other tips for keeping your AC in good working order:

Use the Defroster

To prevent moisture buildup, run the heated defrost setting on occasion. 

Run the AC in Winter

Avoid letting your AC sit dormant all winter and use it to remove fog during the winter. Not only will it help clear your windows, but it’s good for the system to be in use year-round, even just for a few minutes.

Recharge the AC

Did you know you can recharge your AC? It’s recommended to perform this auto repair every two years or so. More on that later.

Signs There’s a Problem

Obviously, if your car’s AC is on, but the vents are blowing hot air, you have a problem. But what are the other warning signs there’s something wrong with your vehicle’s HVAC system?

Weird Noises

The longer you drive your car, the more familiar you become with its regular noises. So, if you hear something different when you turn on the AC, such as banging or rattling, it could be a problem with clogs in your HVAC. Or, a part could be loose and need tightening. When you hear a weird noise every time you fire up the AC, bring your car in before you’re stuck driving in July without reprieve from the heat.

Strange Smells

There should never be any smells coming from the vents of your vehicle, whether you’re blowing cold or hot air. If you get a whiff of something foul his summer, there might be mold growing in the HVAC system. Get it addressed right away to curb the problem and protect your lungs.

Water Puddles

Puddles under your vehicle are never a good sign, and neither are mysterious water stains inside your car. While it’s normal for water to drain out of your car after you’ve used the AC, it’s not normal for it to puddle inside on the floorboards. If your AC isn’t working well, take a look under the dash to see if there are stains, which could be evidence of a leak or an overflowing drain.

How to Recharge Your AC

Your HVAC system needs the right amount of refrigerant and pressure to work properly. Did you know you can recharge your AC system yourself? You can also bring your vehicle in to Master Muffler Pocatello if you’d rather leave this job to our professional auto repair team.

What You’ll Need

  • Protective eyewear
  • Gloves
  • AC Recharge Kit
  • Refrigerant Refill


Determine the air temperature using a charging hose with a gauge. If the ambient air temperature is at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or below, you don’t need to charge the AC.


Look for the low-side service port, usually connecting the accumulator and the compressor. This is where you’ll hook up the can of refrigerant with a hose.


Wipe away dust and attach the charging hose to the low-side service port.


Add refrigerant according to the instructions on the packaging.


Refer to the air pressure chart to monitor the pressure readings while you’re recharging the AC system.


Remove the charging hose from the low-side service port and check the seal beneath the port cap before replacing it.

If all your AC needed was a recharge, you should immediately notice the system working once you turn it back on. If it doesn’t, you may have a leak in the system that should be addressed. Let us know how we can help you keep your cool this summer; if you have AC issues, give us a call at (208) 254-5069 or contact us online HERE.

Categories: Automotive Info

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