When you’re driving in your car and the air conditioning suddenly stops working, it can be pretty frustrating. You can’t focus on the road because you’re too busy wondering what happened to your air conditioning, and everyone else in the car feels just as uncomfortable as you do. If this happens to you, don’t panic! There are plenty of ways to get your AC back up and running. So your drive can go back to being comfortable again.
Run Defrost Mode For About 5 To 10 Minutes
If your car is still warm, drive around for five minutes to cool down. Turn on your air conditioner and let it run on defrost or its lowest setting for about five minutes. This will help clear out any debris that might be clogging up your vents. You should also check your air filter periodically and replace it as needed; do so every three months if you have a lot of trees nearby, as leaves can clog up an air filter quickly. To replace your air filter, consult your owner’s manual for instructions; in most cases, you’ll need a socket wrench and a simple screwdriver to remove it from its housing.
Clean the Condenser
First, wash your car’s condenser (the silver box on your vehicle’s radiator) with a gentle detergent and warm water. Use an old toothbrush or plastic-bristle brush to scrub it down. Don’t use metal brushes, as they can damage or scratch it—and don’t use bleach. It can erode your cooling system and permanently harm other parts of your car. The general rule is that if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t use it in your car! Rinse off any residue after you’re done.
Change the Air Conditioning Filter
A dirty air filter can result in problems with your car’s engine. Your vehicle’s air filter should be changed every year or at least every 15,000 miles. Dirty filters let more dirt into your engine, which causes more work for your engine and can cause damage over time. If you wait too long between changing your air filter, it could end up breaking on you while you are driving. If that happens, you could end up needing expensive repairs or even putting yourself and others at risk of getting hurt in an accident caused by mechanical failure.
Get a Tune-Up
A tune-up may sound like an unnecessary expense, but it’s one of those expenses that will keep your car running longer. There are several reasons why you should get your car tuned up: you’ll prolong its life, decrease emissions and save on gas. But what exactly does a tune-up entail? If you have regular oil changes and drive in eco-mode most of the time, don’t worry about doing extra work for now. Your next tune-up is only needed after 50k miles or when your mileage exceeds 15 mpg. To be sure, take your car to a mechanic for an inspection and ask them if any repairs need to be made at that time.
It may be tempting to try and stretch your car’s air conditioning by doing things like adding ice cubes, but that can damage your system over time. The best way to keep cool while you’re driving is by having all of your air conditioning parts in good working order. For example, replacing or cleaning out dirty or clogged vents on a regular basis will help keep airflow moving freely through your car. This will help ensure that you stay comfortable even as temperatures start to rise. Proper upkeep—like replacing old filters and hoses every year—will go a long way towards keeping you cool throughout spring and summer.