AC Tips to Keep You Cool
When you’re driving in the hot Northeast Florida or Southern Georgia weather, one of the worst things to have break is your AC system. While it’s never a bad time to check your system, summer is a particularly good time to give your system a close look. We sat down with Bo Whitehead, service manager at Tom Nehl Lake City, to get his best tips for making sure your AC system is in good working order.
We're going to start with the AC condenser. With the hood on there it's going to make it a little bit harder to get to so you can get a good look at it. You can do it, you're just going to have to climb up and over to get to it.
What you're going to be looking for is dings, bugs, straw, hay, dirt, anything that can get in there and obstruct the flow of air through there because that's going to affect the AC system. Basically, what you can do is use air or water and blow it through there. This could actually take care of several issues at one time including cleaning out the charge air cooler and the radiator as well. This simple preventative measure just might solve your problem right away!
AC Charge Ports
Something else you can check right now is your charge ports for the AC. You want to make sure that this cap is actually in place. If these caps aren't on, you can get a lot of debris in there. This can cause an issue of a contaminated system. Also, these caps seal the charge port completely, which allows no refrigerant to escape. So, you want to make sure these port caps are in place. Again, a simple thing to check that might save you a major headache later.
Another thing that’s pretty easy to check are the actual AC lines themselves. You're going to want to make sure there's no obstruction, that they're not touching each other, and that there’s nothing they're able to rub against. Anytime that happens, the abrasion can actually cause them to rupture, and it can happen pretty fast and when you don't expect it. So, you want to make sure everything's tight, make sure there's no leaks, just check everything. It’s also worth noting that the AC lines can actually be moved during repair in order to get at something else. At Tom Nehl we’re very conscientious to put AC lines back right where they belong, but we have seen other shops not be so careful. So that would be something worth checking as you inspect your system.
An important thing to check is your fan hub. It's going to be a little bit difficult to get to, but you really want to listen more than anything. If it’s starting to fail you're going to hear some air leaks. Get in there and listen as best you can, look for an air leaks, listen for air leaks, look for anything maybe possibly broken, loose, anything that looks like maybe a wobble. And while you're in there, check the fan blade itself. You're going to be looking for cracks, dings, chips out of the blades, because all of this affects the AC performance as well.
Don’t forget to check your belts. They're very important. They're really the heart of the system. They tie the power steering, the alternator, and the AC compressor together. What you're going to be looking for is uneven wear, rips that are hanging, maybe one has shifted over and wearing one of the edges off, tears, anything that looks out of the ordinary. This could affect everything in that system, so keep in mind, really look at your belts.
This one can be surprisingly easy to forget about. You want to be sure to regularly check the AC filters themselves. There are going to be some inside the truck, and some outside the truck. If you have lack of air flow on the inside, possibly the first thing to look for is a clogged filter. Depending on the environment inside your truck, you may need to be replacing these more often than you might think - dog hair, dusty conditions, all that affects these filters. There are also some other filters inside the cab, so be sure to check those as well.
If you're having issues with your AC system, or anything else on your truck, give us a call at Tom Nehl. We'll be glad to help you out.