As the summer season approaches and temperatures rise, it’s crucial to ensure your car’s air conditioning (AC) system is in excellent working condition.

“If you maintain it, you’ll have it working well for you when you need it most,” said Matthews Tire Appleton West Manager Dave Flunker.

In this Matthews Tire blog post, we’ll share a collection of proven car AC maintenance techniques that will help you beat the heat and keep you cool on the road. From simple maintenance tips to professional advice, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in and make your driving experience refreshingly comfortable!

What Maintenance Does a Car AC Need?

Curious if your AC is low on freon? Dave suggested this simple check: “Take a thermometer and put it in your car vents with the AC air on max. The temperature should be in the 40- to 45-degree range with the right amount of freon. If it’s blowing warmer than that, your system might need some freon.”

From there, your vehicle may benefit from what’s called an evacuation and recharge. “For that service, we evacuate the system, pulling everything out. We then inspect the system and check for leaks. Then, we can recharge the system with freon, oil and dye. The purpose of the dye is to tell us where leaks are occurring should the system lose any cooling power in the future,” Dave said.

How Often Should a Car AC System Be Serviced?

Ideally, your car’s AC system should be serviced at Matthews Tire annually. But Dave admits most people don’t maintain their AC until there’s an issue. However, regular servicing allows our ASE-certified technicians to inspect and address any potential problems before they escalate into major issues.

If you notice any signs of trouble, such as reduced cooling performance or strange noises coming from your AC system, it’s important to have it inspected and serviced promptly, regardless of the scheduled maintenance interval.

How Often Should Car AC be Recharged?

The frequency of AC recharging depends on various factors such as the age of the vehicle, the condition of the AC system and any potential leaks. In general, car AC systems should not require frequent recharging if they are functioning properly.

“Running your AC a couple of times to check it in the off-season is a good idea,” Dave shared. “This helps lubricate all of your seals. Most freon leaks are due to damaged seals.”

How Do You Keep Your Car AC Fresh?

You can help maintain a fresh AC system by running the AC on a regular basis, using the recirculation mode sparingly, keeping the cabin clean and free from debris, regularly replacing the cabin air filter and using air fresheners or deodorizers specifically designed for car interiors.

“When people complain about a musky smell inside their vehicle, it’s generally caused by a plugged AC drain,” Dave said. “If you take a peek under the front passenger side of most cars, there will be water dripping when the AC is on in the summer. That’s good. If you don’t see any water, it could mean the line is plugged with dirt.”

Matthews Tire technicians can easily clear any dirt or debris to get the AC running smoothly again.

How Do You Cool Your Vehicle from Heat Buildup?

If your vehicle has been parked in direct sunlight for an extended period of time, the interior temperature rises significantly. Dave recommends parking your car so your windshield is not facing west, if possible. “Your car will be cooler and will cool down quicker,” he said.

Another tip is to open all the windows and the car door to get air movement inside the vehicle before you start the ignition. “This helps you drop the interior temperature, making it easier on your AC system,” Dave said.

Ready to Service Your Car’s AC?

When you need to ensure your car’s AC system is in optimal condition for the summer heat, turn to the experts at Matthews Tire to schedule a service appointment. We have everything you need to keep you rolling… and cool!