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It's Hot! Know Your A/C system to stay cool

When your car’s air conditioning fails, it can be more than a nuisance—it can become a health and safety matter. Most of us first notice an air conditioning problem when the car gets hot and muggy. But those with allergies can be quickly exposed to irritants when the windows are rolled down. A cool passenger cabin has also been cited as a factor in keeping the driver alert. Beyond just cooling the car, the vehicle’s air conditioning system is also necessary for defogging the inside of the windows. Without it, the occupants are at risk in bad weather.

Your Car’s A/C System and the Environment

Few motorists know that the air conditioner in their vehicle has been a focus of worldwide environmental concerns and international efforts to address those concerns for several decades, or that they can play a major role in protecting the environment through their choices. The same refrigerant, CFC-12 or R-12, was used in mobile air conditioning for more than 50 years, through the mid-‘90s. Inexpensive and thought to be environmentally benign, R-12 refrigerant was routinely released to the atmosphere through leaking systems or simply vented prior to system service and repair.

Inventive ways to attach parts and accessories – the sky’s the limit

Automotive aftermarket manufacturers and OEM product designers are continually developing new and better products for cars. There are hundreds of items available to modify an automobile, from protective and functional to decorative and appearance. Many of these products require some method of attachment. A number use clips, screws or other mechanical fasteners, and many rely on an adhesive. Companies like 3M are constantly improving upon the technologies that make it easier and more reliable to attach parts and accessories to vehicles.

Causes and Cures of A/C Odor

Air conditioner odor complaints are a common consumer problem. Why? A/C system odors typically result from uncontrolled growth of bacteria and other microorganisms in the evaporator part. Nasty little beasts like aspergillus, cladesporium and penicillium grow on cooling coils and other areas. How do these beasts get there? They are naturally present in outdoor air and are drawn into the system through the evaporator during system operation. Moisture also contributes to A/C odor formation. Most of it that condenses on cold surfaces inside the system drains harmlessly over time.

Cabin Air Filters, a breath of fresh air

Check your owner’s manual to see if your car has a cabin air filter. If the answer is yes you may want to make a note to check with your service professional to see if it should be replaced. This is especially true if you suffer from asthma, allergies or live in a dry and dusty environment. There are two basic types of cabin air filters 1. The more popular particulate type, which is designed to remove particles above a certain size. 2. The dual-function which has an activated charcoal layer on one side to trap odors.

Eight service reasons your car may not be cooling fast enough

If your car’s A/C system is not cooling you off in a reasonable time frame to make you happy, take it to your service professional for an A/C check-up. Here’s what he or she will look at: • Is the compressor weak? It may build up pressure slowly, or require high rpm to produce normal pressures, so it takes a while to produce adequate cooling. A pressure test should indicate this problem. • Outside air flap not closing. When the system is in Max A/C, the flap should be closed. Unless the flap is closed, hot outside air dilutes the effect of A/C, producing slow cool down.

Today’s Vehicle Exhaust Systems Do More

Your car’s exhaust system has come a long way from the old days of exhaust pipes and mufflers. Today, the exhaust system is safety and emissions control rolled into one. Your vehicle’s exhaust system consists of one or more mufflers, one or more oxygen (O2) sensors, one or more catalytic converters, a tail pipe and an exhaust pipe. The exhaust system routes dangerous exhaust gas from the engine out and away from the car to keep from affecting the occupants. Next, the exhaust system reduces exhaust noise from the engine.

Caring for Your Car During Summer

Summer can be tough on cars, especially during high temperatures when heat can destroy batteries and stress the cooling system and tires. As a precaution, these vehicle components should be checked periodically during summer to help avoid breakdowns and car problems, according to the Car Care Council.

Gas Saving Tips for Memorial Day Weekend Driving

Motorists traveling on Memorial Day weekend can’t do much about the high price of gas, but they can pay less at the pump by making sure their vehicles get maximum fuel economy. According to the Car Care Council, fuel economy is directly related to vehicle care and driver behavior and both can have a significant impact on how much motorists pay at the pump.

Under-inflated tires can impact the vehicle’s fuel economy. When tires aren’t inflated properly, it’s similar to driving with the parking brake on and can cost a mile or two per gallon.

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