If your vehicle’s air conditioning isn’t working properly, it can mean a long summer of hot, uncomfortable driving. While some people don’t mind cruising with the windows down all season, others prefer the cool, quiet comfort that an A/C system provides.
While it can be very obvious when your A/C system needs a service, sometimes the signs are more subtle. Typically, the first sign that your air conditioning system needs to be serviced is your air not blowing quite as cold as it used to. The temperature of your air will gradually increase as your A/C system works less efficiently, eventually leaving you with no A/C at all.
It is important to have your A/C serviced as soon as you notice an issue, as the refrigerant in your A/C system also works as a lubricant. Running your A/C when it is low can cause issues similar to what an engine will experience if you let it run low on oil; the internal components will rub against each other, causing wear to the parts. Eventually this wear can lead to serious damage that may require replacing your compressor, which is a costly process. Read on to learn more about how your A/C system works, as well as what an A/C service does to help avoid costly repairs.
How Does An A/C System Work?
Your vehicle’s air conditioning system, or A/C, cools and removes moisture from the air inside of your vehicle using three main components: the compressor, the condenser and the evaporator.
The compressor, driven by the vehicle’s drive belt, pumps the refrigerant through the A/C system. Inside this closed system, the refrigerant is exposed to high and low pressure, forcing it to change states between gas and liquid in order to capture and then release heat. While in a gas state, the refrigerant passes through the evaporator, capturing heat. The refrigerant then moves through the A/C lines and into the condenser, where the refrigerant cools as heat is released outside of the passenger compartment, and the refrigerant returns to a liquid.
Why Does my Vehicle Need an A/C Service?
For a vehicle’s air conditioning system to work properly, it must have the right amount of refrigerant, which should be free of contaminants like dust, dirt, or water. Over time, your refrigerant can become contaminated with these things due to regular use or harsh driving conditions, which makes it work less efficiently. An A/C service replaces this dirty refrigerant with clean, new refrigerant, allowing your system to keep your cabin air as cold as you would like.
What Happens During an A/C Service?
During an A/C service, your highly trained Jiffy Lube® technician will visually inspect the air conditioning compressor drive belt, serpentine belt, and all accessible components for cracks, leaks and damage. Then the technician will check the operation of the air conditioning compressor. If no damage is found, they remove the refrigerant from the system, vacuum test it for leaks, and recharge the air conditioning system using the appropriate refrigerant according to your vehicle manufacturer’s specification. If a leak is detected, your Jiffy Lube® technician will recommend the next steps that need to be taken before they can service your A/C system.
So don’t let the heat of summer catch you in a hot vehicle. Stop by your nearest Jiffy Lube® location anytime for an A/C system service!
Jiffy Lube® recommends following manufacturer recommendations, where applicable, for maintenance schedules and service intervals.
Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube® location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube® service center for specific services offered.
Go to ChicagolandJiffyLube.com for services and locations in Chicagoland, Rockford, Northwest Indiana and Southeast Wisconsin.
Jiffy Lube® Service Centers are owned and operated by independent franchisees.