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Car Care Articles
Car Care: Maintenance & Repair

Air Conditioning Service

Air Conditioning Service

Your car’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning system (HVAC) keeps your car interior comfortable in any season by providing the right temperature and humidity level. The HVAC system also helps improve defroster operation.

Why Do I Need This Service?

Proper heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and for safety reasons such as defrosting. The HVAC system will work as designed when you need it if you perform this service.

Typical Service

  • A thorough inspection of your car’s HVAC system should be performed annually.
  • A service technician checks pressures to test operation, refrigerant charge and outlet temperatures.
  • If the system is found to be low on refrigerant, a leak test is performed to find the source of the leak.
  • Refrigerant may be added if necessary to “top off” the system (some states do not allow “topping off”).
  • A technician may also check for evidence of refrigerant cross-contamination, which is the mixing of refrigerants.
  • A/C service should also include a check of the compressor’s drive belt and tension.

Questions To Ask

  • What happens if I continue to use my car’s A/C system, even though it’s not cooling properly?
  • Water drips underneath my car when I use the A/C system. Is this normal?
  • A musty odor comes out of the A/C vents at times. Can anything be done about this?
  • My car’s A/C system seems to cool intermittently and I hear a clicking on and off from underneath the hood. What does this mean?
  • I have an older car that still uses R-12 or Freon refrigerant. Does it make sense to switch it over to R-134a?

Are You Aware?

Having your car’s HVAC system serviced regularly can help save you money on more expensive repairs.

Car Care AwareReprinted with permission from the Car Care Council:


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