Car Air Conditioning – Tech Tips

Motormouth here,

I have a number of air conditioning “Tech Tips” to share with you in this article. I hope you decide to implement them and take advantage of saving money! I have been servicing vehicle air conditioning systems for over 30 years and have enjoyed every minute for the most part! I have had some moments though when I questioned what I was doing!



Over the years on our Car Connection radio broadcasts I have shared with the listeners a number of air conditioning tips that when put to use will help the A/C system to work the way it is designed to and will help the system last longer with fewer problems! I have used these A/C maintenance tips for years myself and give most of the credit to the dedicated instructors that I have had the privilege and the opportunity to learn from through their A/C tech training courses.



Keeping it Kooooler one Tip at a time



Here are a few things you should know about a vehicle air conditioning system before reading this A/C user tips article. Air conditioning on any vehicle reduces engine horsepower dramatically anywhere from 15 to 25%. With such a large horsepower drain there is no doubt that fuel economy ends up taking a big hit! So remember when you use your vehicle’s A/C you’re giving up some serious fuel economy.


Vehicle air conditioning systems also place additional stress on your vehicle’s cooling system. Your vehicle’s cooling system needs to be in tip top condition in order to prevent an engine overheat situation while operating your vehicles air conditioning. From the paragraph above A/C creates a serious load on the engine which in turn works the engine harder generating a lot more heat not only under the hood but in the cooling system.

Cabin Air filters are a reality in most vehicles on our roadways today, it is critical to find out if your vehicle is equipped with a cabin filter if so have it inspected to verify that it is clean and not restricted with debris ( eg, human hair , dust, lint, pet hair, leaves etc)

A restricted cabin filter will limit the air flow from the dash vents not allowing that cold A/C system air to cool off the vehicle interior rapidly. Even though the A/C system may be fully capable of creating frigid cold air a restricted cabin filter will not allow that air to get to the vehicle occupants. It will seem as though it takes for ever to get the inside of the vehicle cooled down.

Air conditioning systems contain refrigerant and refrigerant oil along with many hard working moving components that can suffer normal wear and tear internally. Normal wear and tear in a vehicle A/C system tends to create many metal particles that begin to float through all of the A/C hoses and metal lines. There are many areas in the system where these metal particles can become trapped restricting the flow of the refrigerant through the A/C system lines and other system components. Once again any restriction in the A/C system will end up reducing the ability of the system to perform well and keep you KOOOOL.

Here’s what can be done to help your vehicles A/C system to work well while reducing premature system failures. Most manufacturers do not have a maintenance program for your vehicles A/C system here’s what I recommend and it has worked very well for many of the vehicles that I have serviced for over 30 years including my own personal vehicles.

Even if the A/C system appears to be working well as a preventative measure and a way of servicing the system from the inside an A/C tech I suggest having the entire system evacuated and recharged with new clean refrigerant. Having the evacuated will remove metal particles and any moisture that ends up getting trapped in the system.

I highly recommend a complete evacuation and recharge of your vehicles A/C system every 2 to 3 years. The service may vary a little from shop to shop so be certain to ask and obtain a detailed written estimate. This way you will know exactly what the A/C system service will end up costing you!

We have a number of qualified A/C system specialists available to you through our recommended auto repair facilities on our web site take a moment to locate one of our recommended shops nearest you in the US as well as Canada your be in good hands my friends! Motormouth…..

Something to keep in mind an average A/C system repair costs aprox $500.00

An open A/C system means: the system has not been functioning for a length of time due to the refrigerant leaking out. The longer the system has been left open allowing moisture to enter the more costly the repair can be to get the system up and running! Many times serious complications caused by corrosion in the lines and other system components can prevent the A/C tech from getting the system back up and running properly if at all!

The only way to know if the system is capable of working again will end up costing you good money to find out! The longer the system has been empty and open to moisture the greater the risk will be that the system has suffered too much internal damage! Quite often it can become a 50 / 50 chance of getting the system running again properly.

In closing this is the main reason why it is so important to have the A/C system repaired no matter when the system fails! Many leave the system down and wait till spring if the system ends up failing late in the summer whether you live in sunny Florida or where old man winter hits every year if you want to enjoy your vehicles A/C you need to have it diagnosed and repaired right away!

One last closing comment, something to keep in mind when trading or private selling your vehicle equipped with A/C. If the system does not work expect less money for your vehicle it’s that simple!

Till next time, keep it under 100 drive safe and Happy Motoring my friends Nile Motormouth Jenkins & Axel out…….

Check our CCBN web site often for new feature articles that will save you time and money when owning and operating any motor vehicle.

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