Air conditioning is like iced tea. Nobody ever said, “Wow, this lukewarm iced tea is awesome!” Same goes for your car’s AC system – it has to be cold. Tepid simply won’t cut it. With this in mind, we’ll review some ways to keep that AC air freezing (not quite see-your-breath cold, but darn close).
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In order to ensure your cabin air gives the average ice cube a run for its money on the temperature scale, the first thing you have to do is monitor the AC system. And since every car’s air conditioning system has both high-pressure and low-pressure areas, you’ll want to grab a pair manifold gauges to get a glimpse of what’s going on inside.
With manifold gauges in place, you just have to make regular checks on each range. Under the ambient temperature of 86-95 degrees Fahrenheit, you want to be above 150 psi on the high side, and over 30 psi on the low side. But check out some things you should do, just in case you’re not in the “sweet spot” for cold air output. You’ll note some usual suspects – refrigerant, the compressor & expansion valve – and possible actions to take. Please note that all the temperature listed in the graphic are under one ambient air and humidity range; readings vary based on temperature, humidity and even altitude.
There are plenty of things that can go wrong with your AC, and we’ve complied 9 different pressure reading combinations below to help pinpoint probable issues. With your two manifold gauges, at least you’ll have a better idea of what’s ailing your AC – and what can be done to get that cold air flowing again!
Written By Dara Greaney