Air conditioning has become standard equipment because there’s no longer an alternative way to cool off the passenger cabin. Cars used to come standard with under-dash vents you could open up to get airflow – and, of course, wing vent windows. This made a car without AC livable and even comfortable as well as less expensive, since you could go without the cost of the then-optional AC and the higher cost of feeding the car, since AC is a power accessory that results in more fuel being used as well as a heavier car, which will also burn more fuel.
As Inspector Clouseau used to say, not anymore.
AC is both unavoidable – and essential.
We’re utterly dependent on the now-standard AC to keep things cool. If the AC isn’t working – or not working well – the car becomes a mobile Turkish steam bath.
It can also be needlessly expensive to return it to proper operation. With AC, small things – like a small leak, the gradual loss of refrigerant and the lubricant inside the system – can lead to big things, such as a ruined compressor.
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And that can ruin your day.
But what can you do to avoid problems like that – and keep things cool? Several things. The first thing being – and it’s too late now – to regularly turn the AC on in the winter. This will circulate the lubricant within the system, which will help prevent leaks of refrigerant by keeping seals (O-rings and such) pliable. You do not have to freeze, either. You can run the AC without turning down the temperature. Adjust the temperature to as you like; just be sure the AC light is on. That means refrigerant – and lubricant – are circulating….