Most of us in we don’t think about our air conditioning until the Augusta, GA heat is full upon us or it stops making cold air. Your vehicle’s A/C unit is a complex system, but not for your certified maintenance and repair specialists at [atc] Auto Center.
Stop by before your A/C starts blowing hot air!
How do I know if I need my A/C serviced?
- No cool air is coming out of the vents when it should be.
- You turn on the A/C, and hear any noises other than the gentle click of the compressor turning on and off every so often. (Screeching is especially bad.)
- Air is blowing cool but not cold.
- Cold air is coming out, but it is weak even at the highest fan speed.
- Or you can’t put your finger on it, but something is just not “right.”
How does A/C work?
All cars are different, but the air conditioner systems are basically the same. They are a closed circuit made up of a compressor, condenser, evaporator, expansion valve or orifice tube, dryer or accumulator, lubricating oil, tracer dye, and refrigerant. They have a “high side” and a “low side.”
The refrigerant (commonly called “Freon”, even though that’s just one brand name) starts on the “low side” in a gaseous state under low pressure. It gets drawn into a compressor connected to your car’s engine. The gas then compressed and becomes a high pressure gas and is pushed from there into a condenser where it is cooled down quickly and becomes a liquid. Next, it is forced through a small hole into the “low side” where it transforms again into a low-pressure gas, creating coldness in the evaporator. A fan blows this cold air around the evaporator in your face, and you say “ahhh” while the gas gets pulled back into the “high side” and the cycle repeats.
Why should I get my A/C checked?
Why would you want to wait until a hot day to find it isn’t working? Better to make sure the serviced and working properly before you need them!
- Over time, the refrigerant will become less and less effective. Like a tire under pressure, it may slowly go “flat” and need to be recharged.
- Your cabin air filter will eventually get too dirty to function properly.
- And thanks to nearly everything on a modern car being computerized, any number of things can go wrong there!
- Left unchecked, any of these will end up costing you a lot more in the long run.
What do we do in a typical A/C service?
When you bring your car in to [atc] Auto Center for A/C service, our Technicians will pay careful attention to your description of any concerns. We’ll be able to pinpoint the source of the issue based on your information. After investigating and successfully resolving the issue, we will thoroughly check your entire A/C system to make sure everything is running like it should.
A typical A/C checklist includes:
- Checking for airflow obstructions.
- Inspecting the belt that operates the compressor to make sure it is properly tightened.
- Checking that the compressor and its clutch are smoothly engaging.
- Listening for any unusual noises related to the compressor.
- Evacuate and recharge the system with the appropriate amount of refrigerant.
Augusta heat can be brutal! Don’t let a broken A/C system ruin your day. We are committed to keeping your drive cool and comfortable.
Click here to set up an appointment. Or call one of our locations today:
atc Auto Center, Augusta
atc Auto Center, Grovetown
Tips for Optimal A/C Performance
- Whenever possible, vent the car first. Lower all the windows for a few minutes to get a lot of that “oven heat” out before you get in. Hatchback cars have an added secret weapon: with the windows down, raise and lower the hatch several times and be amazed and how quickly the hot air is pushed out. Well, it works but not something your likely to do.
- Just get in and go. Your A/C works better when the car is moving. Starting your car early on a hot day to cool it off forces the compressor to do a lot with very little power. It works much more efficiently when the engine speed is higher.
- A better way to cool down quickly. Turn the fan speed all the way up, and roll the windows down for a minute as you drive. This will draw the hot air out of the car. (Pro maneuver: At low speeds, make several 90-degree turns. The pressure from one side will force hot air out the other!) After you roll the windows back up, turn the A/C on. At normal driving speeds, the A/C will quickly be able to give you that cool sweet air you’re looking for.
- Use “recirculation” mode. By keeping the hot outside air from ever entering your car as you drive, the A/C system won’t have to work as hard to maintain a cool cabin temperature. You’ll also be helping to keep air inside the car cleaner by not constantly bringing in outside allergens.
- Use the “4/40” setting. Who says you have to use the A/C at all? Below 40-or-so miles per hour, roll down the windows if the weather is nice and enjoy some fresh air. You’ll reduce wear and tear on your A/C components. And since most in-town driving is done at lower speeds, this can really help extend your system’s lifespan.
If you want it done right, call [atc]! I wish I had known about them years ago before using other mechanic shops that delivered very disappointing results.
Jenahin | Augusta, GA
First time customer–I went to the new facility in Grovetown and had a wonderful experience. Customer service is top notch.
Jeannette Peterson | Grovetown, GA
As always the men and woman at ATC have done their job with excellence and I do appreciate it!