Air Conditioning

We are so fortunate to live in Southern California with our near perfect weather especially here in Huntington Beach.  Our winter season is nothing in comparison even with our Northern California neighbors; let alone what the rest of the country experiences in relation to weather.  Here at Mike’s Auto Repair we service  and repair vehicle air conditioners year round. It is probably the next most requested maintenance service we do besides the regular oil and filter change.   To keep your vehicle’s air conditioner in good working order I found some simple tips and preventative maintenance suggestions on To summarize:

1.)    If you notice an odd smell from your air conditioning vents that could be a sign of mildew and/or bacterial build-up in the AC system.  This can be simply and affordably addressed by using a special anti-bacterial treatment through the AC system that destroys the bacterial growth.  The results are almost immediate and depending on the severity of the bacterial odor can be done once every six months to a year.

2.)    The most common complaint and problem we hear at Mike’s Auto Repair when it comes to air conditioning is “the AC does not feel cold enough.”  This is a very common and usually a simple and an affordable fix.  The average vehicle looses (leaks) approximately15{344a993326af06352e84342ebdc778dc0d76031869f14c632928ca25d6287043} of R134 annually causing the compressor to stop working until the system is refilled with R134.  If the AC is not used regularly in the winter months at times we find other rubber AC components dry and cracked causing the R134 to leak from the system. Again this is usually a simple and affordable replacement of O-rings and topping the AC system with R134.  At times it is necessary to administer florescent dye to the system to pinpoint the exact location of the leak.

3.)    It is noted that running your vehicle’s air conditioner is actually good to keeping it maintained. This helps circulate the R-134 which lubricates the seals, hoses and O-rings from drying out and the system leak tight.

4.)    Noises suddenly coming from the AC compressor should be addressed immediately. This is usually a sign  the AC compressor is starting to fail.  Of all the AC components, this is the most expensive to replace. It is best to have a thorough inspection of the AC system to get an accurate estimate.

5.)    Clear water dripping or a puddle forming under the passenger side of the car is a normal occurrence of AC condensation especially on hot days.  There is really no need for concern, but know if you ever are in question you can come and have us check it at no charge.  Though I do not recommend this to anyone, Mike has actually “tasted” the water to prove to me that it was actual condensation coming from the AC. Now I believe him especially on hot and humid days!

6.)    Excess moisture inside the car is cause for concern.  The air conditioning drain tube from the evaporator could be plugged.  If addressed sooner rather than later, it can prevent further damage to the AC components.

Like your other scheduled maintenance services, your vehicle’s air conditioning should also be serviced on a regular basis approximately every 12 to 18 months even if there are no visible problems. Regular maintenance will help extend the life of the air conditioning parts and keep you cool for a very long time.