If you're like most Southern California drivers, your vehicle's air conditioner is a critical part of your daily summertime driving experience. So, how do you ensure your air conditioner runs optimally and predictably day in and day out? Here are a few quick tips!
Maximizing Your A/C Performance
You can optimize our vehicle’s air conditioner in several ways to help provide reliable cool air, save on gas (or battery power in EVs), decrease CO2 emissions, and help keep you and your passengers comfortable on hot days as you travel.
Regular maintenance is one of the best ways to keep your air conditioner in top shape over time. Have a skilled technician check over your system to ensure all is working well and replace components like cabin air filters on schedule to avoid clogged vents and diminished air quality.
Know the signs of trouble
Knowledge is power. Understanding how your vehicle's A/C system works and signs of trouble can save you from a future of uncomfortable, sweaty rides with potentially costly repairs.
- Bad or earthy smell
- Blowing warm air
- Altered, stopped, or slow airflow
- Unusual sounds when running
- Feeling of moisture/ excessive condensation
There can be several reasons why your A/C may stop working. Don’t ignore signs of a problem that could result in a non-functioning unit. Not only is having no A/C in hot weather a health hazard, but it can also significantly impact your ride's health and running costs.
Have a qualified technician look at your A/C system when something seems off with your air conditioning.
Don’t pre-cool! Open windows and start driving first
Is turning on the A/C the first thing you do when turning on your vehicle? Instead, open all the windows to let the hot air out and drive a few minutes before turning your A/C on to cool off quicker. When your vehicle moves, your A/C runs more efficiently due to increased airflow. Close the windows again once your A/C is on and blowing cold to contain cool air.
Use the recirculate setting
Once your vehicle is nice and cool, set the air to recirculate. This setting circulates air in the cabin instead of allowing outside air to come in. Your A/C will continue to cool already cooled air instead of the hot air outside. This will reduce the load on your air conditioning unit and increase fuel economy or reduce battery drain, enabling the compressor to relax a bit.
Be aware that this may not be beneficial if you have rear passengers. Backseat air can become stagnant, so use it intermittently to circulate fresh air periodically.
The lower, the better
Your vehicle’s air conditioner works best and most efficiently at its lowest setting. Why? Most A/C systems cool to 38 degrees. If you set the temperature higher, your A/C must reheat that cooled air, which takes more effort and fuel.
Mind your parking
Parking in a shaded spot, a garage, or blocking the ability for the sun to shine onto or in your vehicle can help keep your vehicle cooler and reduce the strain on your A/C when you start it back up. Use a window shield or even crack the window a sliver to allow hot air to escape.
Be the Coolest
If you notice any A/C issues or don’t remember the last time a technician looked over your A/C system, the best thing to do is contact a Southern California AAMCO Center near you. Your air conditioner needs to keep up with the daily heat, and we can help you stay comfortable all summer long—no matter the weather!
AAMCO has more than 50 years of experience diagnosing, servicing, and repairing more than 20 million vehicles. Customers rely on us for:
- Quality repairs
- Expert technicians
- Superior customer experience
- Trustworthy, honest service
- Best warranty coverage available
AAMCO Centers of Southern California and surrounding areas represent trust, quality, and value. Call us today!