How To Care for Your Car’s AC System

Blog | Aug 18, 2023

Maintaining proper care of your vehicle’s air conditioning (AC) system is crucial, especially during the summer months. In Arizona, temperatures can climb to over 115 degrees Fahrenheit outside—and that’s not considering the temperature inside your car!

Why is it important to maintain your car’s AC system? For starters, it ensures that the vehicle’s system operates at peak efficiency and provides consistent cooling. Routine check ins on the AC system in your car can also improve air quality and help prevent costly repairs by extending the system’s lifespan.

Here are a few key points to keep in mind when preserving your car’s air conditioning system:

• Service the AC system at least once per year. It is recommended to take your car in for an air conditioning service at least once a year to cycle in and cycle out the freon, which keeps the system running smoothly. This process also can determine any signs which may indicate your car’s AC system requires professional inspection. These symptoms may include a funky smell, warm air or low air pressure.

• Check for freon leaks. By routinely checking for leaks in the AC system, you will be able to determine if an issue exists sooner rather than later. We recommend particularly inspecting the Schrader valves as they are a common point of failure when the air conditioning system is not effectively cooling. A well-maintained AC system does not leak or lose freon, so early detection of leaks can prevent potentially extensive repairs.

• Monitor weather conditions. Weather can play a role in how well your vehicle’s AC system operates. Air conditioning systems work by pulling moisture out of the air, so if you notice a puddle under your car during the summer, don’t fret. It’s likely due to moisture that the AC system is pulling out from the air as opposed to a leak. Humidity of any kind can impact the efficiency of your car’s AC system as it works harder to pull moisture out of the air. Similarly, extreme heat may prolong the cooling process.

• Replace the cabin air filters. Depending on driving conditions in your area (hello, Arizona monsoon season) replacing your vehicle’s air filters helps the AC system operate as efficiently as possible. Like the air conditioning systems in your home, keeping dirty filters installed for too long not only leads the system to not cool as efficiently, but can potentially lead to clogs or other costly repairs.

• Use a sunshade. When covered parking is not an option, using a windshield sunshade can help beat the heat during summer months. Not only do these shades protect against ultraviolet (UV) rays which have damaging effects on your car’s dash, but it will help shade the interior of your car and keep it cooler. With a sunshade, you will be more comfortable getting back in your vehicle and your car’s AC system won’t need to work overtime to cool the hot air.

Curious about Cobblestone’s air conditioning services? Learn more:

• How can I get my AC system checked at Cobblestone? Cobblestone offers a free AC inspection where technicians look for any buildup or pressure issues that could signal a leak. We recommend our customers get an AC inspection at one of our locations or at another facility equipped to check for leaks prior the summer months.

• What does Cobblestone’s AC service include? Our air conditioning services start with the technician evacuating and cleaning the system, replacing any old or rotting valves if necessary, and topping off the freon (up to one full pound) according to your vehicle’s required amount.

• How long does the AC service take? On average, this service takes around 30 minutes or less. Cobblestone operates on a first come, first serve basis.

• What kind of freon does Cobblestone offer? Cobblestone uses R134A Refrigerant, as the R12 freon was deemed harmful to the ozone and environment by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, newer vehicles like Chrysler, Dodge and Rams from 2017 onward use R1234YF Refrigerant, for which this specific freon is not currently available at Cobblestone.

• What’s the price point for a standard service? A standard air conditioning service at Cobblestone starts at $139.99 plus any additional freon over one pound.

Schedule your next air conditioning service at Cobblestone, available only at oil change locations here.