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How To Prepare Your Automotive Air Conditioner For Summer

As we enjoy the onset of summer, one particular experience that might not be so enjoyable; is being trapped inside your car, driving around for hours. The inside compartment can become unbearably hot if you do not have an air conditioner in good working condition. The air conditioning technology was first introduced to automobile manufacturing back in 1940 after a lot of customers started complaining about the unforgiving temperatures inside the car.

Air Conditioner (A/C) serve two purpose; cleans up the air entering the car and removes excess moisture while dehumidifying the air. The regular A/C (A/C) is made up of the following components:


Technicians call it the heart of the A/C, it transfers and compresses refrigerant gas that let out the heat from the car.


Removes heat from the refrigerant thus cooling the high-pressure gasses.


Heats up the air conditioning system, removing heat from the inside of the car. While the refrigerant condenses the air, transforming it into water.

All automobile manufactured starting 1995 have the R-134A A/C. Touted to be more ozone-friendly compared to the earlier version of R-12. They do not contain CFCs that are toxic and inflammable. The most commonly used R-12 refrigerant was Freon. In those days, a car owner could simply fix his or her A/C problem for the car by just visiting a retail shop and buy a refrigerant recharge kit.

The R-12 refrigerant recharge kit was a can of Freon. Using just basic technical skills, the average car owner could fix the R-12 A/C by replacing the refrigerant kit. But later on, studies revealed that the R-12 A/Cs were contributing to the disintegration of the ozone layer. This revelation led to the banning of R-12 A/Cs across many countries including USA.

Common R-132 Air Conditioner Complaints

When the R-12 A/C was banned, the R-132 became the standard automotive air conditioning system. The R-132, albeit not polluting the ecosystem, if left unattended to for long permeates an appalling odor from the A/C vents. Experts have zeroed in on the source of this odor and discovered that accumulated bacteria and fungus in the evaporator core, cause this foul odor.

Under normal working conditions, the A/C system is loaded with moisture; and where there is moisture you can expect a lot of microbes. With time, the bacteria build up, leading to a stench oozing out from the A/C vents.

Motor makers addressed this problem by making the blower motor pump in dry air into the evaporator when the A/C has been turned off. This breakthrough came in the form of General Motors’ Electronic Evaporator Dryer. However, this solution is only for car owners that can afford the extra dollars charged for this type of A/C system.

Another inexpensive way of taking care of the A/C system odor problem is by using antibacterial chemicals like the Lysol. Car owners can buy the Lysol can and spray it inside the car and the car’s air intake at least once per week. It is a short-term solution, but at least it can keep the odor away if regularly done.

Alternatively, you can shut off your A/C unit while driving, and have about a mile to reach your destination. This will give enough time for the evaporator to dry up, thus doing away with the conducive environment for microbes build up. This method is perhaps the cheapest and equally an effective way of getting rid of A/C system odors.

How To Take Care Of Air Conditioner System

For maximum efficiency, recharge your A/C regularly, depending on the frequency of use. For direction on A/C system recharge look at your owner’s manual or consult competent mechanics like us at Super Suds Rockford.

If you see water leaking from the A/C system’s condenser, call your mechanic ASAP, as this could affect the refrigerant. You must have the system repaired before the next refill.

You should replace the filters at least once in three months. This is where dirt builds up while the A/C is running. It would also go a long way in improving the A/C’s performance.

Set the gauge at one particular temperature; this helps the A/C perform better. Regularly changing temperature from one point to another gives the A/C trouble in trying to adjust accordingly.

Having your A/C in optimum condition can make your experience and that of your passengers inside the car pleasurable. On the other hand, a bad A/C can lead up to not only heating up inside the car, but also bad odor building up. The situation can be more unbearable if you have to stay inside the car for long hours.

Drive to Super Suds Rockford and talk to our professional and experienced mechanics. We have the above and more tweaks that will make your car running like a breeze in the summer heat. While we are at it, we can also give you a great car wash deal.

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