My car’s AC just stopped working! What should I do?

Air conditioner systems require regular maintenance and monitoring, especially during the summer months when we rely on them almost daily. And with the June heat ramping up, it can be tempting to use a cheap, store-bought fix if your AC needs some work. But one-size-fits-all solutions, like self-repair kits, usually do more harm than good. Here’s why:

They’re a Band-Aid fix.

The biggest issue with these products is that they don’t address the root of the problem. The canisters are full of freon and other coolants, along with compressed air to blast those contents into your AC system. While this may temporarily allow your car to generate cool air, it won’t fix the broken part that’s causing the system to malfunction; it can’t repair a broken compressor clutch, for instance, or replace a bad condenser coil. If it doesn’t work, it can also void any warranty you had on the cooling system.

They contain harmful chemicals.

In addition to regular AC coolants, most self-repair kits also contain rubber sealant. The substance is designed to fill in any cracks or leaks in rubber A/C components, such as o-rings, gaskets, and hoses, that might cause a system to become low on refrigerant. If there isn’t a leak, however, the sticky silicon substance can clog valves, tubes, or your air conditioning compressor, creating a more extensive problem.

Many self-repair kits also contain compressor oil designed for regular, belt driven AC systems. This means that they can’t be used on many hybrid and all-electric vehicles, which have an electric compressor and require a different kind of oil. Injecting the wrong kind of oil into the system could damage the entire system and require a costly replacement.

Don’t worry. We have a better solution.

Getting your AC examined and recharged now– in the early summer before the heat gets unbearable– is the best way to ensure it will work properly all season long. And, if a problem should arise, it’s better to call your local mechanic. Conveniently located in Agawam, V&F Auto offers heating and air conditioner repair, including:

  • Heating & Cooling System Diagnostics
  • Auto Air Conditioning Repair and Service
  • Heating System Repair and Service
  • Belt Repair and Replacement
  • Compressor Repair and Replacement
  • Evaporator Repair and Replacement
  • Refrigerant Replacement

Our experienced mechanics can detect and repair the root cause of your AC problem, perform seasonal maintenance, and provide advice for efficient use and care. Call us at (413)314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.

Written by Nicole Palange

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