The hot and humid weather of Singapore forces drivers to crank up their air-conditioning system the moment they get behind the wheel. It is definitely one of the perks of having a car, but it is also one of the things that we often take for granted. Many of us carelessly use our car’s AC system, then complain when it breaks down.
Since you of course wouldn’t want that to happen, you should be on the lookout for signs of problems in your AC. To educate you on issues that deserve a trip to a car servicing shop, here are the most common AC warning signs. Likewise, we listed down some tips to prolong the life of your car’s AC system.
Common Air-Conditioning Problems
• Air-Conditioning Leakage
Low-pressure in your car’s AC system can be a sign of leakage, as can the coolant draining around your car. Unfortunately, most leaks are hard to locate. The smartest solution you can do is to use a dye so you can more easily see where it leaks out with the Freon or water, and thus you trace the source of the leak. However, note that this can be done much more easily by a Singapore reliable car service professional mechanic. So if you suspect any leak, drive your car to a car repair shop for a proper evaluation.
• Water Stains or Pools Under the Dashboard
After turning on your air conditioning system for a while, the water drains out from the bottom of your vehicle. This is normal, in fact a good sign that your AC is in perfect condition. However, if you don’t see that water draining, but rather water stains under the dashboard, your AC water drainage could be having some issues. Sometimes, the drain located at the bottom of the car becomes clogged, causing the water drive back up, creating leakage beneath the dashboard. If you experience such a case, bring your vehicle to a car repair shop as soon as possible.
• Unusual Noises
Besides leakages, the next easiest way to spot an AC problem are unusual noises. For example, you start your AC and then you hear rattling and banging noises. What could be the problem? It could be that the AC system is clogged with debris or the core part of the system is worn out. Once you start hearing unusual noises when using your air-conditioning system, have it checked by a professional car technician.
• Pungent Smell
A strong or pungent odour is a warning sign that there’s an accumulation of mildew in your AC system or that something is wrong with one of its major components. An unpleasant odour should be taken care of as soon as possible since the presence of moulds can cause health problems. An additional sign is quick-fogging windows. This coupled with bad smelling vent means that the AC is in serious trouble, and should be brought to a car maintenance company soon.
• Fluctuating Temperature
When your car’s air-conditioning unit blows out air with sporadic temperatures, it’s likely that there’s a build-up of moisture in one of the assemblies or hoses in the unit, causing ice to accumulate and clog the system. Removing ice from your car’s AC is a quick and easy procedure. However, we still recommend having it done by a professional just in case you got the wrong diagnosis.
Maintaining Your Car’s AC System
• Recharge Regularly
Like the engine oil and other fluids in your car, the coolant needs to be regularly topped up as well. If the coolant level gets too low, the coolant needs to be drained and refilled. Most car manufacturers in Singapore recommend a top up every two years; however, refer to your car’s manual to be sure.
• Keep It Clean
Liquid and dust accumulate in your AC system over time, clogging its parts and creating a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria. To avoid this from happening, have your AC system checked and cleaned every time you bring your vehicle to a car servicing shop for regular maintenance works.
• Run It Weekly
The worst thing you can do for your car’s AC unit is not using it. In case you don’t regularly drive your car, run your air-conditioning system at least once a week for 15 minutes to keep the compressor lubricated and the hoses from breaking.
• Read the User’s Manual
The manual includes information about proper handling of your car’s AC system, so make sure that you read it. It includes information about the necessary requirements and services for the upkeep of your car’s AC unit. If there are steps to follow for the maintenance, it’s best to just follow them.
• Leave Windows Slightly Open
When you park your car, leave the windows slightly open, especially on hot days, to reduce heat build up from the inside of the car. An AC system works by eliminating the heat, so the cooler the environment is to start with, the easier it is for your AC to do its job.
• Seek Professional Service
It’s good to save, but self-maintenance is not always advisable for your car’s air-conditioning system. Go to a certified dealer or a trusted car maintenance shop to have your AC properly checked. The former provides specialized service suitable for your car model, while the latter enables you to save more money.
A car’s air-conditioning unit makes long drives much more pleasurable. Don’t take your AC for granted; make sure to have it checked by a reputable car repair company.