Car service guide: 7 tips for better air con
Summer is here and the heat has come with it. For most drivers that means one thing, scrambling for your air con switch in an effort to keep as cool as possible. In this article we're going to share a few tips to get the best out of your air con system.
1. Open the windows.
When you first jump into your car, it's natural instinct to go straight for the air con dial and crank it all the way up. This is in fact not the best way to initially cool your cabin and will leave you sweating for longer than is comfortable.
The best way to cool your cabin when you first get into your car is to forget about air con altogether and drop the windows. No matter how hot it gets outside, the temperature will always be higher in your car. Dropping the windows allows for the excess heat to escape to the atmosphere and the temperature to drop without putting unnecessary strain on the air con system having to circulate hot air.
2. Close the windows!
When you set off roll up your front windows first and leave the rear windows down for 30 seconds in order to force any remaining hot air out of the vehicle. Once you get going you can roll all of the windows up to keep the cabin cool.
By doing this you aren't wasting fuel by pumping cold air outside through the open windows. This means that your air con system only has to cool the air in the cabin and can work much more efficiently than with the windows down.
For clarification, open your windows when you first enter the car and close them once the excess heat has escaped and you get going.
3. Don't pre cool your car.
Following on from our first tips, pre cooling your car is simply a waste of both fuel and time. There is no need to leave the engine running with the air con struggling to cool a roasting hot cabin.
The reason being that the air con system is linked to the engine and as the engine speed increases so does the systems ability to cool your car. When your car is sitting idle the air con won't be working at peak performance and will find itself overworked.
With the car in motion you will find that the cabin temperature drops fairly quickly negating the need to pre cool your vehicle.
4. Use your air con in the winter.
While your air conditioning certainly gets put to good use in the summer, it's often left alone for months at a time over the winter period. We recommended running your air con for at least 10 minutes once a month to keep the system in good health.
The air con system contains both refrigerant and oil and it's good practice to keep these fluids flowing in order to lubricate the system. This is basic air con maintenance and will help to prevent the systems components either seizing or perishing through inactivity.
Also keep in mind that the air con system comes in very handy during the winter months by helping to reduce moisture and clear steamed up windows.
5. Top up your air con.
Air con runs on gasses which over time will need to be recharged. If you notice that your air con is no longer blowing cold, your first port of call should be to book the vehicle in for an air con recharge. We would recommend having your system recharged every two years in order to keep your air con as cold as possible.
If a recharge doesn't fix the problem, you may have a leak or other problem. This could be anything from a simple split pipe to a failed compressor - either way our mechanics will be able to diagnose and fix the problem at our workshop.
Our machine is able to perform a vacuum test on your air con system which helps to determine if any leaks are present. If leaks are detected we will be unable to recharge the air con until we have fixed the problem for environmental and safety reasons.
6. Don't leave your air con on.
With modern cars, the ECU will cut power to all support systems and lights sending increased battery power to the engine on start up. This is observable when you see your dash lights dip or radio cut out temporarily when you start your car.
On older cars however this may not be the case and the car may be difficult to start in some instances if the air con system is drawing power on start up. It could be the difference between getting going and staying put in the winter.
Furthermore turning your air con off for a few minutes at the end of a drive allows the system to dry out and reduce moisture and mold from building up, which is often the cause of bad smelling air con.
7. Tilt those vents.
When travelling with passengers it's best practice to have your vents facing towards the roof of the vehicle. This allows for an increased and more even air flow and means all passengers are cooled rather than just the two in the front. This also cools the cabin faster than directing the vents at passengers.
8. Bonus life hack: More power from your air con
If you're like me you will ignore the advice given in the previous tip and be blasting the air con at yourself until you feel like Mr Freeze. You could do this by simply turning the fans to the max however you can achieve an even stronger breeze by turning unused passenger fans off and allowing the full force of your fans to be directed through just one or two vents.
We hope you've been able to learn a thing or two from us today and if you have suddenly remembered that you're air con needs recharging you can book by following the link below: