Signs That Your Air Conditioning May Need Service

Air ConditioningThe hottest days of the year are upon us! Many people unfortunately wait until the A/C stops working before having it serviced. It is extremely unpleasant to discover that your air conditioning is broken on your way to the beach on a 100-degree day (or while you sweat buckets through your business suit on the way to an important meeting)! Also, waiting too long to service your A/C system can make repairs more costly.

If you have noticed any of the following symptoms, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible to have your A/C diagnosed.

  • The air takes longer than usual to cool down (or takes longer on some days than others)
  • Cabin air temperature significantly fluctuates over the course of a trip
  • There is a significant difference in temperature between the air coming out of different vents (this may be normal if your car has dual climate zones)
  • You notice unusual noises or odors when the A/C is running

How Often Does Air Conditioning Need Service?

The answer to this question can vary a lot from one model of vehicle to the next, and it also can vary based on the specific type of air conditioning system in your vehicle. Vehicle manufacturers typically recommend air conditioning service at specified mileage intervals. If you bring your vehicle to our shop for regular oil changes, we’ll let you know about manufacturer-recommended maintenance based on your current mileage.

Do I Need a “Recharge”?

Vehicle air conditioning systems all use refrigerant (Freon) to cool hot air. Older vehicles used R-12 refrigerant, but this type of refrigerant has not been used in vehicles since the 1990’s when it was banned due to environmental reasons. Most passenger vehicles use either R-134a or the newer HFO-1234yf. Refrigerant sometimes needs to be replaced if it becomes contaminated or if there is a leak in the system.

Under ideal conditions, your vehicle can go an indefinite period of time without needing to recharge the refrigerant. In reality, however, A/C systems wear over time just like any other system. It is common for problems to develop that create the necessity to replace the refrigerant, especially for older vehicles.

If you have not had your air conditioning system serviced recently, don’t wait until it stops working on a blazing hot day. Give us a call today, and let us make sure you stay cool all summer long.