It’s getting hot outside, and many of us rely on our car’s air conditioner to keep us cool on the road (especially if you’re a fleet vehicle driver). To help your car’s air conditioner get through the heat of the summer, perform regular maintenance on it. Here are some tips from our fleet fuel card experts:
Check your coolant level on a regular basis and make sure it’s at the proper level. If you’re not sure how to do this, refer to your owner’s manual. If you need to add coolant, use a type that your manual recommends and refer to the bottle to see how much water you need to mix it with.
Check your radiator hoses frequently and look for any signs of damage. If one is cracked or broken, your car’s coolant won’t circulate correctly. If you find damage, you may be able to buy a patch kit to repair it (depending on the extent of the damage).
If your air conditioning isn’t getting very cold, test your car’s pipes for refrigerant leaks. Buy some refrigerant with dye and add it to your system. Then, check the pipes/tubing around the engine for leaks. If you discover a leak, assess the damage to the pipe/tubing to see if you’ll have to repair or replace it.
If you’re having problems with your thermostat, refer to your owner’s manual to see where it’s located. If it’s easily accessible, you can test whether or not it’s opening properly. Simply remove the thermostat from its housing and place it in a cup of very hot water. If the aperture stays closed, you’ll need of a new thermostat.
Clean out the old coolant in your cooling system on a regular basis (also known as a radiator flush). In most cases, you’ll simply need to open the valve behind your radiator and drain out your car’s dirty coolant. Then just close the vale, add water, and run your engine for a few minutes before you add new coolant. Be sure to refer to your owner’s manual for instructions.
Vacuum out your vents to remove any debris or dust or dirt buildup. If your vents are clogged, it means less cold air that can reach the inside of your car.