What happened this year when you went to turn on your A/C system for the first time in months? Did you receive a nice refreshing blast of cool air in your face? Or did you sit there and melt into your leather seats like you were in Zima commercial? A lot of people out there had to replace parts in their A/C system this summer after months of inactivity. What’s worse is that a lot of people didn’t find out their A/C system wasn’t working until the inside of their car began to feel like a sweat shack. While this may sound like the secret to a homemade luxury spa treatment, the truth of the matter is that riding around in a car with a broken A/C is pretty miserable experience. That is why I want to offer you some tips on how to maintain your A/C system during the off months so that you can feel confident that cool air is waiting for you when the temperature begins to rise.
The air conditioning system in your car has oil in it that helps to lubricate the A/C compressor. During the winter, the seals in your A/C compressor have a tendency to become cracked or damaged because they are not being properly lubricated. When the seals begin to crack, that is when your compressor starts to leak oil. If you are doing any type of maintenance on your car during the winter months, it is a good idea just to take a quick peek into the A/C system and make sure that you are not losing oil. If you find that it is losing oil, then you know you are going to have to replace the seals in the A/C system and refill it. It is important that you make this repair as soon as possible because you want to be prepared when the hotter months return.
One great preventative measure for maintaining your A/C system during the winter is to turn it on and let it run every couple of weeks. This may sound insane, especially if its 20 degrees outside. However, most mechanics recommend that you run the A/C system about 5 to 10 minutes every 2 weeks during the off seasons. That doesn’t mean that you have to throw on an extra layer of clothing and go sit out in your car for 10 minutes until you can’t feel your face. Your A/C system can actually be used to suck moisture out of the air in your car and defrost your car windows. That means you can actually run your A/C compressor for good reason during the winter— it is practical and preventative. That’s a double whammy! By running your A/C system, you will keep the A/C compressor and all the seals nice and lubricated so that they don’t get damaged during the winter.
This isn’t a fool proof method, so don’t send me hate mail next summer if your A/C compressor locks up on you. I’m just here to help and offer advice. If you take these measures this winter, you might be able to stave off a lot of the common problems that people experience with their A/C compressor. But don’t worry-- if you DO have a problem, Buy Auto Parts will be waiting for your call, ready to send you all the A/C parts you need.
For more information on AC Compressors visit our Repair AC Parts page in our How To Section. Click Here