Heating and Air Conditioning


Have all your Heating and Air Conditioning Repairs done by

ASE Certified Auto Repair Technicians

at Mechanical Services, Inc.

 

We all enjoy the comfort that our vehicle’s air conditioning provides us during the warmer months, and our vehicle’s heater during the cold months.  Having your vehicle’s heating and air conditioning in top condition is important to the comfort we like to maintain in our car or truck.

Air Conditioning System

Though winter can linger, spring often comes before you know it. Be sure to maintain that level of comfort by keeping in mind these important facts about your car’s air conditioning.

1. Your air conditioning system needs to be serviced. This will most likely be a part of your regular service schedule, but just in case, make sure to get your air conditioning system serviced on a regular basis. This should be done at least every two years, but an annual service is certainly ideal. All systems will leak from time to time – such as refrigerant escaping from the pipes – so it is important to stay on top of this. It will also ensure overall performance of the system.

2. You can make its job easier before you turn it on. It’s important to know the best and most efficient way to cool your car. On a hot day, first lower the windows to allow the hot air to escape, and set the system to recirculate. This way the hot air escapes as you start to drive, and it is easier for the system to cool already cooled air. Also, because cool air falls, set the vents to face level to ensure that you optimize where the system is cooling.

3. You shouldn’t service the air conditioning system yourself. Automotive air conditioning can only be serviced by licensed and qualified car servicing experts. Therefore it is crucial that you shouldn’t try to service the system yourself. Letting refrigerant into the atmosphere through a process called “venting” can even be illegal. So avoid any issues and make sure you take it to a professional.

4. Using your air conditioning system does not cost you more. While using your system in certain older cars can use more gas, the alternative of opening your windows is also going to cost you. This is because it creates drag on the vehicle, resulting in increased gas consumption. Also, it is important to run your system at least once a week to ensure that it remains lubricated. If you don’t, it could result in additional costs for new parts, etc.

Remember these important facts about your automotive air conditioning system and you’ll be sure to remain comfortable when the heat comes back around.

Heating System

The morning commute can be stressful.  But if your car’s heater suddenly stops working in the middle of winter, it can make it downright miserable.  Not only would the inside of your car feel like an ice box, but a broken heater can prevent your defroster from blowing warm air to your windshield to eliminate ice and fog, which can pose a hazard while driving. Not having a working heater could even become a dire situation, if you end up stranded.

Causes of a breakdown

A heater can stop working for a number of reasons, including:

•A low antifreeze/water level in the radiator due to a leak in the cooling system.

•A bad thermostat that isn’t allowing the engine to properly warm up.

•A blower fan that isn’t working properly.

•Coolant that contains rust particles or becomes otherwise contaminated and is blocking the heating core from circulating air into the cabin properly.

Depending on the problem, different types of repairs could be required. There really isn’t a heater unit, like a furnace in your house, that you can just replace. It is more a combination of different things that provide heat into the vehicle. It’s very difficult to give a cost due to the wide variety of possible problems.

One of the most important components, the heater core, which acts like a small radiator, passes the hot air from under the dashboard into the vehicle. They can cost several hundred dollars to replace.  A heater core can be described as a part that is placed on a workbench, and the car is built around it.  To replace a heater core, it sometimes takes a day or more to repair.

Most heating-related repairs range from $300 to $1,000, but it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact number because of the variety of problems that exist.  A decrease in the coolant level or a leak in the coolant system is one of the more common problems. Coolant doesn’t evaporate on its own.  Topping it off may help in the short term, but it’s an indication of a deeper problem and should be checked out. You shouldn’t have to add anything at all if everything is working well. It can damage the motor if there is low heat from too little coolant.  A leak could be as simple as a loose hose clamp, or a major problem like a leaking engine cylinder head gasket, which can cause serious damage to the engine and cost several hundred dollars to replace.

Several components make up the heating system, so unless you have experience with car maintenance, it’s best to have a reputable auto mechanic diagnose the problem.

In general terms, a heating system works when the vehicle receives heat from the engine’s coolant system. Once the engine reaches its operating temperature — controlled by the thermostat — it heats up the coolant and water mixture, passes it through hoses and valves and into the heating core, which resembles a miniature radiator.  A blower fan then pushes the warm air from the heating core through the cabin filter and into the vehicle.

The No. 1 tip, professionals say, is to have a mechanic assess your heater regularly by checking the coolant level and the other components. However, coolant in newer vehicles may not need service until 60,000 to 100,000 miles, and heating problems usually don’t occur on newer vehicles.

Maintaining your vehicle’s cooling system helps prevent a heater failure. Checking hoses, belts and keeping the coolant clean and filled are simple basic maintenance that will help keep it working.

 

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Keeping your vehicle at it’s most operational and safe is our goal.  Safe driving and performance is dependent upon your heat and air conditioning system, stop down or give us a call to today to schedule your vehicle’s inspection or repairs.