Air conditioning tips to stay cool during high heat

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Keep your cooling system working properly by performing a few simple maintenance steps.

Greetings from the Hemet Car Guy,

It’s hotter than a $2 pistol out there! The AC went out in our house for a couple of days…and that was tough until the repairman got there. I called three companies and of course they were all slammed with service calls…this also means your car’s air conditioning system is going to be working overtime too.
Here’s some advice on keeping your vehicle’s cooling system operating properly.

Replace your cabin filter
A dirty filter prevents optimal airflow. In newer cars, these filters are relatively easy to inspect; if you see a lot of dirt accumulated on it, change it. You can save money if you can replace the filter yourself—in most cars the filter is accessible behind the glove compartment.

Don’t pre-cool
Bob Scott at VIP Autos has a remote start on his Chrysler 200. Lately he has been leaving his AC on and using his remote start to pre-cool his car. However, experts say that your car air conditioning works much better when you’re actually driving, because the faster the engine turns, the faster the air compressor runs, which lets the system cool more effectively. Don’t waste time and gas…sorry about that, Bob.
If the interior is really hot, crank up the fan when you start driving, and open just the rear windows for 10 to 20 seconds. This forces all the hot air out of the cabin. Don’t open the front windows—that only moves the heat out of the front of the car and it will leave the air in the back of the cabin hot and stagnant.
If you have automatic climate control, lowering the temp doesn’t make the car cool off faster. Most systems adjust the fan and temperature automatically.

Keep the setting low
Setting to the lowest temp and adjusting the fan makes the car air conditioning more efficient, will dry out the air less, and can actually save some fuel. Why’s that? In a typical A/C system, the air is cooled to 38 degrees. If you set the temp higher, you are actually forcing the system to re-heat your air, which takes more effort, burning more fuel.
If you have passengers in the back seat, turn off the recirculation mode. This takes air from the front of the cabin and pulls it back through the system, so even though everyone up front stays cool, the air in the back can get hot.

Turn off the auto start/stop system
I was driving a 2016 Mini Cooper home from a Chamber of Commerce event recently and noticed the AC didn’t work well when I came to a stop. If your car that has an auto start/stop system, although it is a great fuel saver, turn it off because it keeps the car air conditioning compressor from running when it shuts the engine off. In very hot weather, you can begin to notice the lack of cool air very quickly, especially if you’re stuck at a lengthy stoplight.

Hope this helps, and stay cool!

The Hemet Car Guy

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