Working up a sweat is a great thing to do in a gym around Washington DC, but not in your car. When there’s a problem with a car’s air conditioning system, most Washington DC drivers will feel it right away. The question is, how long do you put up with it?
You know the old comfort versus cost dilemma, but a more comfortable drive around Washington DC has a lot of benefits. Keeping the AC system well maintained can help prevent pricey repairs.
Keep Air and Water Out of the System
A common cause for AC failure is water and air in the system. The system does not work as well with air in it. And water can cause rust that leads to damage of the AC components. Also refrigerant, the stuff that makes the air cold, can leak out, reducing the efficiency of the system, making it work harder to try to cool the air. That is why periodically evacuating the air conditioning system and recharging it keeps the proper amount of clean refrigerant in the system so it cools better and lasts longer.
Run the System for Year-Round Lubrication
Washington DC motorists should also run the air conditioner regularly, even in the winter, so that it lubricates itself and keeps the seals from drying out. The seals can crack and that leads to leaks. Your car maker’s owner’s manual will have recommendations for how often to service your air conditioner. Some service centers also have this information as part of their computer databases. Your dedicated Capitol Hill Exxon tech can give you more information.
Get Your Cooling System Serviced
Of course, if your AC currently isn’t working right, then now is the time to get it checked. Many service centers in Washington DC such as Metro Motor can inspect and test your system and offer evacuation and recharge services. This goes a long way to avoiding having to bring your car in for costly repairs.
What’s the Deal With Freon?
Recent environmental laws have stopped the manufacture of Freon, a refrigerant that was common in cars made before 1993. There is a very limited supply of Freon so the price is very costly in DC. It may not be worth its weight in gold, but it probably is worth its weight in silver. If you have an older vehicle that uses Freon, you may want to consider having it retrofitted to use the new EPA-approved R134a refrigerant. It will pay for itself in the long run.