A car’s AC system is the foundation of the luxury package offered to you by your car. In countries where the climate usually remains warm or hot, there’s a need for a proper AC system in the car. Most people believe that when the car gets old, the AC system doesn’t remain reliable enough to work properly. But let me tell you that’s not true. It all depends on your maintenance. If you keep following some precautionary steps listed below, you will feel that your AC system’s life has been extended for longer periods. Read the complete article to make your AC system long-lasting and effective.

Key takeaways

  • Tips for the long-lasting AC system.
  • Tips for the best cooling performance of the AC system.
  • Tips for maintenance of the AC system.

 Tips for maintaining car AC system

1.    Frequent inspection of the AC gas:

The AC gas, or the refrigerant used by the AC system for cooling, is just like blood in human arteries. Without blood you can’t function properly, the same is the case with the AC system. Ensure regular inspection of the AC gas. It’s not a complicated process at all. You just need to monitor the cooling performance of the system.

If you feel that cooling has reduced, it means the refrigerant levels are low in the system. Moreover, you can check this by lifting the hood and seeing the receiver dryer as shown in the picture. There’s a small glass at the top of this receiver. If you notice any bubbles forming on this glass, it means your refrigerant levels are low. Don’t ignore low refrigerant levels, as running your system on low levels will lead to permanent compressor damage. 

2.   Regular AC service:

AC service is the process that involves cleaning the entire AC system from debris. Cleaning results in the elimination of debris from the system, thereby reducing the load on AC components. In case of debris collection, the AC components especially the compressor have to work hard to ensure proper cooling. This puts strain on the compressor, causing it to fail before its due time.

By book, you must plan for the service once a year. But practically, in the case of new cars, there’s a cabin air filter. This filter filters out the air coming inside the cabin leading to clean air inside. You should replace this filter once a year and that would be enough to enhance your cooling. Because this filter gets clogged by debris itself thereby preventing the debris collection in the remaining system. So that’s very much beneficial and convenient.

But in the case of old cars, there is no cabin air filter available. Because of this, the cooling coil is directly exposed to the debris from outside air, which makes it choke more quickly and leads to reduced cooling. Therefore in the case of old cars, you must plan AC service once a year as it’s crucial. 

The process of AC service involves replacing the clogged cabin filter with a new one, recharging the refrigerant levels in the system, and cleaning the cooling coil. All these steps play a vital role in improving the performance of the AC system and reducing the strain levels on the components.

3.   Keep an eye on the compressor:

The compressor is the heart of the entire AC system. Compressor failure will lead to entire system failure. There are certain ways through which you can keep an eye on your compressor’s health. Firstly, don’t ignore the unusual sounds coming from the compressor. These sounds can be grinding sounds which can be heard from the hood.

These sounds indicate that the compressor doesn’t have proper lubrication because of low compressor oil. Compressor oil serves as a means of lubrication for the internal components of the compressor. Low lubrication leads to more wear and tear of the components, thereby leading to the compressor failure. So when you hear any strange noise, don’t hesitate to go to the workshop and have an inspection.

4.    Run the system in winter:

Most people don’t turn on the AC system in winter. This practice results in the drying of the compressor oil from its components. As discussed above, the compressor oil ensures proper working of the compressor without unnecessary wear and tear. So not turning on the AC system for long will result in the drying of oil from the compressor’s internal components.

So when you turn on the AC after 2 to 3 months, you are going to put considerable strain on your compressor, which might lead to compressor failure. Moreover, besides this rusting can also take place which further reduces the life of the components. So make sure to turn on the AC system even in winter. Just turning it on for a few seconds daily is the best practice.

5.    Ensure seasonal inspection:

Seasonal inspection involves the checking of your AC system especially after the winter season. During winter, you aren’t familiar with the cooling performance of your AC system. Because even if you turn it on, the environment is already cold. So you won’t be able to catch up with whether your system is cooling properly. As discussed above, if the cooling level drops, it means your refrigerant levels are low, or you have a choked cooling coil.

In both these cases, your system needs an inspection before the winter season to stay on the safe side. Don’t take risks in the matter of AC system. Ensure proper inspection and timely fault detection to avoid further damage.

6.    Give your system rest:

It’s a good practice to allow your system to rest during severe weather conditions. If you are on a long journey in extremely hot weather, it’s essential to give rest to your system. You can do this by turning off the AC system for a few minutes, or you can stop and take a rest at the rest area. This would also allow your car to take a rest.

This practice allows the system’s components to cool down and provides them protection from continuous strains. Exposing your components to continuous strains will result in continuous wear and tear, resulting in reduced life of the system.  


Maintaining your car’s AC system is necessary for its longevity and efficiency. By carrying out the outlined tips, such as regular inspection of AC gas, scheduling routine servicing, monitoring the compressor’s health, and running the system even in winter months, you can prevent premature failure and ensure optimal performance.

Additionally, seasonal inspections and allowing the system periodic rests during extreme conditions are essential practices to preserve the system’s components and extend its lifespan. By prioritizing maintenance and being proactive in addressing any issues, you can enjoy reliable and effective cooling from your car’s AC system for years to come.

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