Videos and articles designed to help you diagnose and maintain your vehicle.
Air Conditioning Category
Keep Your Cool In Apple Valley: Air Conditioning Service
Date: April 10, 2013 1:42 PM - Category: Air Conditioning
Most Apple Valley car owners don't even think about their car air conditioning system unless it fails. That’s because many Apple Valley and Burnsville motorists don't really understand that automotive air conditioners need periodic service. Let me share some of the reasons why they fail.
First, like every machine, the car air conditioner parts need - you guessed it - lubrication. The lubricant is actually mixed in with the refrigerant (that’s the stuff that makes the air cool). Remember that even if the air conditioner is still blowing out cool air, the oil that lubricates the parts may be used up: and unlubricated parts can fail in all Minnesota cars.
Now here’s a tip for Apple Valley car owners: Run your air conditioner every so often during Minnesota winters. This circulates the lubricant to help keep the seals from drying out.
The air conditioner actually removes some of the moisture in the air. So if you have trouble with fogging on your windshield during Minnesota winters or during a rain storm, running the A/C on the defrost setting should help. Now on some Apple Valley cars you can’t run the A/C at the same time as the defroster. Don’t ask me why, but I suspect lawyers were involved.
Also, air and water can get into the A/C system. That can reduce the efficiency of the system and also lead to corrosion that causes damage. Apple Valley car owners should periodically purge the system and replace the refrigerant to remove the air and water.
Apple Valley drivers would be wise to learn the early warning signs of A/C trouble: 1) The air’s not as cold as it used to be. 2) Unusual noises when the A/C cycles on. Those are signs to get your vehicle into Valley Auto Care in Apple Valley before the damage gets worse.
By following the recommended service intervals in your car owner’s manual, you can help prevent mechanical failure of your air conditioning system. Your A/C system contains some expensive components like the compressor, condenser, dryer, etc. Anything Apple Valley and Burnsville car owners can do to lengthen the life of their A/C is well worth it.
Air Conditioning Maintenance At Valley Auto Care In Apple Valley
Date: November 23, 2012 9:35 AM - Category: Air Conditioning
Warm weather or cold, Apple Valley drivers still need to think about their car’s air conditioning. Most Apple Valley people don’t service their air conditioning until after it fails. At Valley Auto Care, we can advise you on your vehicle manufacturer's preventive maintenance schedules for air conditioning service, just as we do for transmission service, oil changes and so on.
Maintaining your air conditioning system means that you always have enough refrigerant to properly do the job. Small leaks in the car's air conditioning system allow the refrigerant to escape and the system can’t cool the air as well. We see that a lot at Valley Auto Care in Apple Valley.
The refrigerant also contains a special oil that lubricates air conditioning components, and keeps the seals resilient. Low refrigerant and lubricating oil means that the air conditioning parts will wear out prematurely, and all Apple Valley car owners know that air conditioning repairs can be costly. At Valley Auto Care, we recommended that the air conditioner be run regularly, even during winter months, to keep the parts and seals lubricated.
Corrosion is what leads to many air conditioning system failures for Apple Valley motorists. The small leaks mentioned earlier also mean that air and water can leak into the air conditioning system. This can lead to rust and dirt in the internal workings of the air conditioning components. This greatly accelerates wear and, ultimately, failure.
Air conditioning service at Valley Auto Care starts with a visual inspection of the components for signs of damage or leaks. The compressor is driven by a belt from the engine, most often the serpentine belt, so it’s inspected for cracks or wear. The air conditioning compressor and other components are checked for proper operation. Then comes the leak test. If a leak is detected, often in a hose or connection, it’s repaired and the system is retested.
Then the old refrigerant is evacuated and the system is recharged with clean, fresh refrigerant. A final test insures that the car's air conditioner is working, and you’re on your way.
How often this should be done varies from vehicle to vehicle. Your car owner’s manual will have the manufacturer’s recommendation and, of course, your Valley Auto Care service advisor can tell you. It’s typically every two years.
If you’re not getting enough cool air you know something’s wrong. Also, if you hear strange sounds when you turn the air on, there might be a problem with the compressor and you should get it checked out at Valley Auto Care. Replacing a bad A/C clutch in a car is cheaper than waiting for it to ruin the compressor.
Apple Valley drivers need to be aware that there’s one more thing that isn’t directly related to air conditioning service, but does impact the quality of the air in your car. And that’s your cabin air filter. This filter cleans dust, pollen, pollution and other impurities in the air that comes from the heater and air conditioner. The cabin air filter needs to be replaced when it’s dirty. If you don’t it’ll start to smell. Not all vehicles have one, so ask your Valley Auto Care service advisor to check your cabin air filter at the same time they’re doing your air conditioning service.
Apple Valley Air Conditioning Service
Date: June 29, 2012 9:33 AM - Category: Air Conditioning
Working up a sweat is a great thing to do in a gym around Apple Valley, but not in your car. When your car's AC System has a problem, you'll often 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 Apple Valley has a lot of benefits, and keeping the AC System well maintained can help prevent expensive repairs.
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 A/C 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.
You 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 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 service advisor at Valley Auto Care can give you more information.
Valley Auto Care 7125 151st St. West, Suite 105 Apple Valley, Minnesota 55124 952-431-2700
Of course, if your AC currently isn't working right, then now is the time to get it checked. Many service centers such as Valley Auto Care can inspect and test your air conditioning and offer evacuation and recharge services. This goes a long way to avoiding having to bring your air conditioner in for major repairs.
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 steep. 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.
Breathe Deep With Your Cabin Air Filter
Date: April 26, 2012 11:43 AM - Category: Air Conditioning
Bad air quality while you're driving around Burnsville is nothing to sneeze at. But seriously, more and more vehicles these days come equipped with a cabin air filter. Since they're fairly new on the scene, a lot of folks don't know about them yet.
These filters clean the air in the passenger compartment, or cabin, of your car or truck. They do the same job as the furnace filter you have at home. They can filter out particles as small as thee microns. By contrast, a grain of sand is about 200 microns.
So your cabin air filer can clean out dust, pollution, pollen and spores, to keep the air in your car nice and clean. And just like your furnace filter, they need to be replaced when they get dirty. Check your owner's manual, but they typically need to be replaced at around twelve to fifteen thousand miles.
The filter is usually either under the hood or under the dashboard. Some are a little tricky to get to, so you'll want to have your Apple Valley Minnesota service center, Valley Auto Care, take care of replacing them.
As we said, many people don't realize they have a cabin air filter and go to their shop complaining about a funky smell in the ventilation system. It turned out to be a cabin air filter that was long overdue for replacement – really dirty and starting to smell. A quick replacement and they were on their way and smelling fine.
People who are allergy sensitive can really benefit from a cabin air filter, as it keeps allergens to a minimum. If you're one of them, you'll want to stay on top of your filter replacement schedule.
Of course if you do a lot of driving in dusty or polluted conditions, you'll need to change your cabin air filter more often.
Air Conditioning Service
Date: July 26, 2010 12:57 PM - Category: Air Conditioning
Do you hear loud noises under the hood when you turn on your air conditioner? Do you only get cool air sporadically? If so, it is time to get your air conditioner checked. It's real easy to take your car's air conditioner for granted. Just push the right buttons and out comes cool, dry, clean air. But your air conditioning system needs attention from time to time to help it keep its cool.
When most people hear the words "air conditioning problems", it sends a shiver up their spine. That is because the air conditioning system is fairly complex. It has a lot of parts and when it's broken, it's expensive to repair.
What things can we do to prevent air conditioning breakdowns?
A common cause of air conditioning failure is leaks. Water and air can leak into the system. The system doesn't work as well with air in it. And water can cause rust that leads to damage of the A/C components. Also, refrigerant, the stuff that makes the air cold, can leak out, reducing the efficiency of the system, making it work harder to cool the air. 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.
You should also run the air conditioner regularly, even during Minnesota winters, so that it lubricates itself and keeps the seals from drying out, which leads to leaks. Your owner's manual will have recommendations for how often to service your air conditioner. Of course, if it's not working right, now is the time to get it checked. Many Apple Valley service centers can inspect and test your air conditioning and offer evacuation and recharge services. We recommend Valley Auto Care in Apple Valley. See http://www.valleyautocare.com/contact.php for address and phone number. A quick inspection can help you avoid having to bring your air conditioner in for major repairs.
New 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 steep. 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 R134-A refrigerant. It will pay for itself in the long run. So, if your AC is just a lot of hot air, take it to a Rosemount automotive service center for an inspection.
Valley Auto Care in Apple Valley MN helps people and their vehicles throughout Apple Valley and along Cedar Ave, County Rd. 42, Galaxy Ave, and 160th St. We work on all vehicles including the following manufacturers: Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Ford, Mazda, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saturn, GMC, Cadillac, Mercury, Lincoln, Infiniti, Acura, Lexus, Buick, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and Plymouth with most auto service needs including: Tires, Wheels, Brakes, Transmission, Tune-Up, Computer Diagnostics, Engine Codes, Suspension, Shocks, Struts, Alignment, AC, Clutch & more.