Get Your Car's A/C System Ready For Summer With These Helpful Tips

Winter is almost over, which means it's time to crank up the air conditioning in anticipation of a long, hot summer ahead. But before you do just that, it's important to first make sure your car's A/C is up to the tough task ahead of it. Here are a few things you'll want to do to get your A/C system ready for the summer.

Always Run Your A/C at Least Once Every Week

One of the biggest mistakes people make is leaving their car's A/C system dormant throughout the winter and early spring. You should operate your air conditioning for a few minutes on a weekly basis, otherwise the pipes, valves and hoses will be starved of lubricant and eventually harden and crack with disuse. Running your A/C at least once a week not only keeps these components lubricated, but it also keeps the compressor in relatively good shape.

Do a Little Spring Cleaning

On some vehicles, leaves and debris can get stuck between the condenser and radiator. This can inadvertently block airflow to the condenser, slowly robbing it of its effectiveness. It's a good idea to remove this debris carefully by hand or with the help of some compressed air. Be sure to avoid damaging the delicate coil fins on the condenser and radiator.

It's not just the outside of the condenser that can get dirty. Inside, the condenser can collect debris, sludge and other contaminants, leading to blockages elsewhere in the A/C system. Your best course of action is to have the condenser flushed by a professional as part of your regularly scheduled maintenance.

Have a Pro Check Your Refrigerant Levels

Another thing you should do to get your car's air conditioner ready for spring is have the refrigerant level checked by a professional. If you don't use your A/C system during the winter, then there's a good chance it may be leaking refrigerant through a cracked hose or failed O-ring. Refrigerant can also leak through pinholes created in the evaporator or condenser due to corrosion or physical damage.

So why have a professional do all of this instead of doing it yourself? Not only will your technician have the proper tools on hand to check and recharge your refrigerant, but they'll also have the expertise to get the job done correctly the first time.

With these tips, you can have your vehicle ready to tackle the summer heat without breaking a sweat.