We hear you. There is nothing quite as annoying as a noisy aircon. Squealing, buzzing and creaking sounds are certainly not pleasant and can significantly affect your concentration level, particularly when driving.
Not only does excessive noise decrease your comfort level and ability to concentrate, but it is a legal offence in many states, including Queensland. Although minor noises come with the general wear and tear of a vehicle, this doesn’t mean they aren’t to be taken seriously.
While it can be tempting to turn up the car radio and drown out any unwelcome sounds, this is nothing but a temporary solution bound to leave you with more issues later on. So rather than avoiding the inevitable, it is important to stay on top of your car’s AC and diminish any unnecessary distractions.
Car air conditioning has come a long way since the first system was installed in a 1939 vehicle. They are now designed to improve fuel efficiency, accommodate new car designs, enhance passenger comfort, and even provide health benefits. However, as optimal as modern car AC’s may be, faults and issues can still arise.
To help understand what your vehicle is trying to tell you with any bumps, creaks, or squeals it may be making, we have compiled a list of maintenance tips to help you keep your car in tip-top condition and AC running silently.
Why Do Car AC’s Make Noise?
As your vehicle’s AC is essentially a small piece of machinery, it will innately make noise. However, as aircon technology is now so advanced, you should not hear any distracting or discomforting noises besides the general breeze of the AC fan.
If you hear any unexpected noises, you can generally and safely say there is a problem.
Cars can make strange noises for a variety of reasons. While some could be completely normal, others can indicate serious signs of trouble.
Minor noises such as low hums can indicate loose parts, dust buildup, or faulty fan blades within the AC system. However, larger, louder squealing, grinding, or grating sounds could indicate more serious and concerning issues that certainly require immediate professional attention.
Common issues associated with a noisy aircon are a worn clutch, bad compressor, faulty hoses, and loose components. While all these issues warrant immediate attention and maintenance, some are certainly more drastic than others and will all need to be repaired accordingly.
Car AC Maintenance Tips
Have it professionally cleaned regularly
There is nothing quite as underrated as the feeling of a squeaky clean car. After a deep vacuum, wash, and clean, hopping into the driver’s seat is often just as euphoric as climbing into a bed with fresh sheets.
Although a clean car aircon is an essential part of the car maintenance process, it is often overlooked. This is because our aircon run so efficiently and independently that it can be easy to take them for granted. However, just as we scrub the windows and dust the dash, we must ensure our AC’s get the same treatment.
Not only does a clean aircon ensure the air within your vehicle stays fresh and cool, but it will get rid of any dust and dirt that can build up in the system and cause problems and annoying noises—ultimately extending the life of your care components.
DIY aircon cleaning is certainly possible. However, having it professionally cleaned is certainly recommended, as experts have the proper equipment and experience to do a thorough job. Aircons are small and tedious pieces of machinery, and they must require the same level of care.
During a professional clean, the experts will also be able to identify first-hand whether there are any underlying problems so they can be fixed before they can do more harm.
Don’t rely on DIY jobs or temporary solutions
While we are all for taking the initiative when caring for our own vehicle, some tasks should be left to professionals.
While DIY solutions can often be cheaper and faster, they can result in more damage and additional costs down the track if not done perfectly. Temporary solutions are exactly the same. Essentially, it’s as simple as identifying an issue and properly having it fixed from the get-go.
Even if you have experience tweaking or fixing your car’s AC elements, it is always best to let a professional take care of the repairs. While it is one thing to identify the noise, it will require a proper diagnosis to be fixed correctly without compromising your vehicle further.
Address problems immediately
We don’t mean to sound like a cracked record, but the importance of fixing any problems with your vehicle immediately cannot be stressed enough.
This means the moment you notice any signs that your AC is acting up, take it for a service immediately. Ignoring any sounds or warning signs of damaged air conditioning is not only detrimental to the aircon itself. Still, it can have detrimental effects on other vehicle components, such as the wiring.
Let the AC run at least every week
Although we’re currently in the midst of summer, and it’s likely your car’s AC is not being neglected, if you don’t use your vehicle regularly, it is important to ensure you run the AC at least once a week.
If your vehicle hasn’t been getting much road time, take it for a quick spin around the block. Running the aircon for just ten minutes a week at the coolest and highest speed setting can help keep its gas pressure at an optimal level and ensure the compressor continues to work properly. During the winter months, it is still important to do the same and will help clean out any moisture and mildew that could be building up.
While this is a relatively simple maintenance task to complete, it’s important not to blast the aircon if your car is scorching. Allowing your vehicle to cool down gradually is vital to preventing any stress cracks after leaving your car parked in the summer sun all day.
Recirculate the air from within
Another vehicle function that often goes under the radar is the AC’s recirculation mode. This little button is easy to forget. However, its use can provide inexplicable benefits for your vehicle.
Switching to the recirculation mode will help keep the vehicle’s interior cool even when it is hot outside, helping maximise the aircon operating power and maintaining its lifespan.
Keep the car interior clean
Not only is it important to keep the actual air conditioning system clean, but the entire car’s interior. For not only does it make it a comfortable environment for passengers and you as the driver to be in, but it provides additional benefits that go beyond appearances.
Cleanliness will save you money in the long run as it will keep the internal parts of your car in quality condition, promoting longevity and reducing the chance they will require repairs or replacements.
Park under the shade
We understand that it is certainly not always possible to park in shady, optimal environments. However, when you can access shady parking spots, it is highly recommended to do so.
When your car is parked under the harsh rays of the Australian sun for too long, the interior can become considerably hot. Anyone who has touched the seat belt buckle after hopping into a hot car will know this to be true. However, the sun also affects the car’s AC, making it have to work twice as hard just to get the temperature down, straining its capacities and putting it at higher risk of damage.
Ultimately, car maintenance doesn’t have to be a bore. In fact, the majority of these tips can be implemented into daily tasks you already do and don’t have to cost you any excessive time or money.
No one likes a noisy vehicle, and if all it takes to drive in comfort is a little extra love and attention, we certainly think it makes taking care of your vehicle worth it. Not to mention, a healthy AC makes a healthy car and reduces the potential for any pesky windscreen damage.
For more information regarding vehicle maintenance and the subsequent effects on your vehicle’s windscreen, contact Novus Autoglass today.