Category Archives: Air Conditioning

How to Diagnose Broken Air Conditioning in Your Car

How to Diagnose Broken Air Conditioning in Your Car

Your car’s air conditioning unit has had a rough summer. Record high temperatures in San Diego means that you car’s A/C has been working overtime for weeks and months at a time. That kind of wear and tear makes it much more likely that your A/C unit might run into a problem, so you always have to check to make sure you aren’t missing the warning signs of broken air conditioning (it can be harder than you think!). Here is how you can diagnose broken air conditioning, so you’re not stuck in a hot and stuffy car. Step 1: Turn On Your Car and Air Conditioning The first, and most obvious, step in seeing if your air conditioning is broken is to turn on both your car and your air conditioning. While any setting will work, it’ll make your job much easier if you roll up all your windows, ensuring that the air is coming from outside (by having the recycled air setting turned off), and turning your AC onto it’s ”MAX AC” (or it’s highest) sett ... read more

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Air Conditioning

Hot San Diego Summer Road Trip Destinations

Hot San Diego Summer Road Trip Destinations

Most San Diego schools only have a few weeks before classes start up again, and that makes August the perfect time to fit in some last minute road trips before you have to get back to the grind! But even if you aren't in school (or don't have kids who are), there's something about August that just screams road trip season - we think it has a lot to do with the heat! But in San Diego, the real heat doesn't begin until September. If you're looking to heat up the summer before it ends, you'll delight in taking a trip to a hot destination during the hottest season. The desert in the heat of summer offers a dramatic experience for the more determined traveler, and a stunning road trip from San Diego. And if you're looking for a hot summer road trip destination, we have some places in mind - in the most literal sense! Image ... read more

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Air Conditioning

How Much Fuel Does the AC REALLY Use?

How Much Fuel Does the AC REALLY Use?

Ever since air conditioning became a standard feature on cars, there has been passionate debate about its effect on fuel consumption. Is it negligible? Is it worth the discomfort? What about rolling down the window? How much fuel does AC really use in a modern car? There are so many conflicting reports and rumors that’s almost impossible to determine a real answer. Here, we'll go over the basics of AC and driving with the windows down (hello physics!), but at the end of the day you may make your decision based on your personal preference on any particular day. (For example, no matter how much money your car might save by not using AC, no one is driving through the desert without it!) Does using the AC use more fuel? Of course. While the quantity can change depending on the aerodynamics of the car, using the AC does use more fuel than driving with the windows closed. This might be an obvious an ... read more

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Air Conditioning

AC Troubleshooting: How to Tell if Your AC Needs Replacing

AC Troubleshooting: How to Tell if Your AC Needs Replacing

When the AC in your car stops working, it can be hard to quickly identify the problem. Is it the condenser? The compressor? Does it just need a recharge? Does the belt need adjusted? The surest way to know is to grab a friend, pop the hood, and start AC troubleshooting your car's AC problems! (Or, barring that, bring it in and we’ll do the troubleshooting for you.)   Image: Pixabay   Step 1: Determine the exact problem your AC is having. Is your AC blowing hot air? Blowing cooler air, but not cold air on max AC? Now blowing air at all? Not engaging at the motor? All of these problems have a different fix, and it’s important to know which issue you’re looking at. Step 2: Check for leaks - Leaks are the number one pro ... read more

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Air Conditioning

How To Prep Your Car's Air Conditioning For Summer

How To Prep Your Car's Air Conditioning For Summer

It’s summer time in southern California and San Diego is having a scorcher of a week - and that means it’s peak season for car air conditioning. When temperatures go up, the load on your car’s AC unit is higher, especially if you need to run the AC over a long drive (such as a summer road trip!). Here are some tips to keep your car AC in tip top shape!  Image: Flickr How to ensure your AC stays in great condition Maintenance, Maintenance, Maintenance We go over this in more detail in our post about the topic, What You Need to Know about Car AC Maintenance, but there are some basic steps you can take that will keep your AC blowing cold, including changing your air filter and recharging your system as appropriate. Visual Inspection This is especi ... read more

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Air Conditioning

Warm Weather Driving Tips

Warm Weather Driving Tips

The summer solstice is one week away and temperatures outside just keep getting warmer. We decided that we should compile a top ten list of warm weather driving tips for any conscientious and safe driver (and that's you, right?). As summer is a time when many families embark on road trips in their car, truck, SUV or minivan we figured that the notion of staying safe on the road would be paramount. We know that when all our loved ones are in the car the last thing we want is a total mechanical breakdown with no functioning air conditioning. (Mainly we worry about the air conditioning, we won’t lie.) Keep Your Eye on Your Engine Temperature Gauge: When the temperatures rise outside the likelihood of the temperature rising in your engine compartment rises, too, and with that comes danger of a hefty repair ... read more

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Air Conditioning

What You Need to Know About Car AC Maintenance

Driving around in your speedy road machine is pure pleasure in the summer: you've got the air conditioner to keep you cool and your favorite tunes to keep you company. The only thing worse than running out of songs to play is having the AC break down on you. That comfortable drive quickly turns into an unhappy, sweaty ordeal. The best way to tell if your car air conditioner is not working well is when it doesn’t produce cabin temperatures that are 5 degrees Fahrenheit below the outdoor air temperature, but if it's not working at all temperatures within the car can reach staggering numbers. Even if your car air conditioner is working fine, it’s always best to have it serviced by an auto tech if you’re heading out for a long drive this summer and the forecast is sunny. A car’s air conditioning system - still one of the greatest improvements to cars in auto history - is complex, and there are a variety of reasons why i ... read more

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Air Conditioning

A Brief History of Auto Air Conditioning

A Brief History of Auto Air Conditioning

  Any driver today simply turns a dial to cool themselves in the car, and auto air conditioning systems come standard. However, that wasn’t always the case – there used to be a day when that system was simply a luxury. In fact, modern cars aren't even advertised to come with air conditioning because it's expected: a car that is advertised to have an AC unit will sound like a car that is advertised to have tires to new drivers. Have you ever wondered how this cooling device got its start and became so popular? The History of Auto Air Conditioning The earliest forms of air conditioning began in the 1830s. A Florida hospital created a system that blew air over a bucket of ice to cool patients. In 1902, Willis Carrier created the “Apparatus for Treating Air” which is the closest mechanism to the modern day air conditioner. Also in that year, Alfred Wolff designed a system using ref ... read more

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Air Conditioning

Understanding Auto Air Conditioning Maintenance Needs

Understanding Auto Air Conditioning Maintenance Needs

Because many areas on an automobile need maintenance, the air-conditioning system can often get overlooked. To avoid a neglected A/C giving out on you, especially in the middle of a heat wave, regular checkups are necessary. The first step to maintain your car’s A/C system is by understanding how it works. An auto air conditioning system is made up of five parts: a compressor, condenser, receiver dryer, expansion valve and evaporator. Put simply, air is cooled by a change in pressure through the system, which results in a lower temperature. When you turn on the A/C in your car, the compressor applies pressure to the system’s refrigerant (Freon), which raises its temperature. By doing so, air loses heat while it flows through the condenser; air then passes through the dryer to remove moisture and to the expansion valve where the refrigerant slows down even more, which causes the tempe ... read more

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Air Conditioning

How To Cool Down Without Auto Air Conditioning

How To Cool Down Without Auto Air Conditioning

It may be fall in San Diego, but it's still as hot as summer. Unfortunately, not every car has air conditioning, making getting in a hot car near unbearable. Perhaps the A/C system is too costly to repair, or maybe the car is just too old. Regardless of the issue, cars without an interior cool-down can be brutal during a heatwave. Here are some ideas of how to cool down your vehicle sans air conditioning. Park in the shade: If it’s sizing up to be a hot day, try to find a covered spot to park your car. This will keep the sun from beating down on it, which leads to a cooler car inside. Buy a sunshade: If you must park in the sun, which is a more likely scenario, have your sunshade ready. The reflective piece placed over your windshield will reflect the light – and heat – from your car. Windows down: If you feel safe to do so, keep your windows c ... read more

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Air Conditioning
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