What You Need To Know About Auto A/C Compressor Maintenance

Auto A/C compressor maintenance is essential for those who want their air conditioner to remain in tip top condition for many years to come. Keeping it in an optimal state will not only ensure you enjoy cold air on the hottest summer days, but will also save you lots of money on repair and replacement costs.

How Does The Compressor Operate?

The compressor is the primary device that keeps the car cool. Sure, there are other components, like the evaporator, condenser and accumulator, and all these are important, but it is the compressor that plays the most important role. The reason for this is because it is tasked with the pumping of gas that is refrigerated (usually Freon) which is then sent to a condenser. Here it will compress and expand, traveling throughout the entire A/C unit and then into the cabin where the driver and passengers enjoy the cool air. However, like any car part, the compressor is subject to malfunction.

Compressors Can Sometimes Lock Up

Compressors are subject to lock ups, which can result from failures involving the tension of their drive belt. It can also be the consequence of air flow blockage, a service port cap that is missing, or oil stains. The good news is that each of these issues is quite easy to detect, but depending on your knowledge or skill, you might need to hire a qualified mechanic to resolve them.

What Is the Best Way To Maintain The Compressor?

To prevent lock ups and the myriad other issues that can damage a compressor; there are a number of steps you’ll need to take. First, you should turn on the air conditioner for at least 10 minutes each week, especially during winter. Most drivers use their A/C frequently during summer, but when the weather turns cold they leave off their A/C system for weeks or even months.

The problem with doing this is that if the A/C is not used for months at a time, the hoses might harden, which can cause problems. Running the air conditioner for at least ten minutes a week during winter will keep pressure inside its gas chambers, which in turn will prevent the hardening of the hoses.

You also want to remove moisture from the ducts periodically. The best way to do this is by using your A/C unit’s “defrost” option. This function reduces moisture which in turn blocks the development of mildew, and the terrible smell which is associated with it.

Finally, it is important to get your A/C inspected every so often, at least every 24 months. An inspection is best done before summer, since the last thing you want is for the A/C to break down when temperatures are at their highest. Additionally, do not assume that mechanics will inspect the A/C during a general automobile inspection; many will not. You will need to inform them that you want to have your air conditioning looked at.