Proper A/C Operation

circulation buttonWell here we are, smack dab in the middle of summer! It’s hot and you want to know why you’re A/C isn’t cooling as well as it should. It may be nothing more than just making sure you are using it to it’s full potential. Here are some tips for maximum air conditioning:

  1. When you enter your vehicle after it’s been sitting in the hot sun. Purge all the hot air from the vehicle. Roll down all the windows, put your mode control on “Vent” and turn the blower on full blast. This gets all the super heated hot air out and gives the A/C system an easier time of cooling you down faster.
  2. Make sure you have your recirculation (REC) button pushed in (see photo at right). Recirculating already cooled air makes less work for the A/C system. When you use the fresh air button or have REC off, the A/C has to work harder as new (hot) air is always being introduced into the vehicle.
  3. Make sure your air mix knob/lever is all the way over to Cold.
  4. And, as silly as it sounds, make sure you’re A/C button is on. Your A/C button should be pushed to the On position and left that way. Year round A/C operation is actually more beneficial to both you and your A/C system. We’ll cover winter A/C operation in a later article.

Winterizing Your Car

snow roadWinter is just around the corner. It’s getting dark earlier and the rain isn’t far behind. Before you head off to Grandma’s house for the holidays, or up to the mountains to hit the slopes, make sure your car is ready.

Some things to consider to make sure you’re ready:

  1. Make sure you can see. Do your wiper inserts need to be replaced? Do you have plenty of washer fluid to help keep your windshield clean? Does your heater and defroster work properly? Lastly, do all of your lights work properly so you can not only see, but be seen.
  2. What are the condition of your tires, including your spare?
  3. What is the condition of your battery? The colder it is, the more strain that is put on your battery to start your vehicle.
  4. What are the condition of your belts and hoses? Like your battery, the cold weather can have an adverse affect on them.
  5. Prepare an emergency kit with basic essentials and keep it in your trunk. Especially if a road trip is in your future.
o   First-aid kit

o   Blanket

o   Extra boots and gloves

o   Extra set of warm clothes

o   Extra water and food

o   Ice scraper

o   Small shovel

o   Flashlight

o   Extra windshield washer fluid

o   Flares

o   Jumper cables

o   Tool kit

o   Tire chains (unless you have 4WD/AWD)

o   Spare tire (with air in it)

o   Tire-changing equipment

o   Paper towels

o   Bag of abrasive material such as sand, salt or non-clumping kitty litter, which can provide additional traction if a tire gets stuck in the snow

  1. Know what to do if you get stranded. Don’t wander away from your car unless you’re completely sure about where you are and how far away help is. Light two flares and situate them at each end of your vehicle to call attention to your plight. Put on the extra clothes and use the blanket to stay warm. If you have enough gas in the tank, run the engine (at 1500 RPMs or higher, idling the engine will eventually kill the battery), and heater for about 10 minutes for each hour you’re waiting for help. Leave at least one window open a little bit so that snow and ice don’t seal the car shut. Stay hydrated.

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