In November of 1939, the first U.S. car with air conditioning was unveiled by the Packard Motor Car Company at the 40th Chicago Auto Show. While we may take this automotive comfort for granted today, car air conditioning was considered cutting-edge technology back then.
In fact, air conditioning didn't become widely available or affordable until well after the end of World War II. However, since 1969, the majority of new cars and trucks produced in the U.S. have been equipped with this now-common feature.
So there's a very good chance that your current car has an air-conditioning system. And it's important to keep this system maintained throughout the year, and not just during the summer months.
Keeping Your Car's Air-Conditioning System in Tip-Top Shape
You may not be giving your vehicle's air-conditioning system much thought right now. Instead, you're probably more concerned with keeping things warm and defrosted. But it will be helpful if you can spot and fix a problem with your air conditioning before you actually need it.
Also, employing the AC may yield surprising benefits for the rest of your vehicle.
- Use it or (potentially) lose it. It may seem like an odd thing to do in the winter, but you should be running you AC at least once a week for ten minutes. This should be at the highest fan speed and on the coolest setting. With regular system use, you will help to maintain the gas pressure and ensure that the compressor continues to run smoothly.
- Protect your interior. Your car's air-conditioning system can do more than keep you cool. If you run it in defrost mode for about 10 minutes, it will clear excessive moisture from your vehicle's interior. This will prevent mildew and the nasty odors that accompany it.
- Improve visibility. Does it drive you crazy when your windshield fogs up in the winter? The good news is that running the AC can eliminate the humidity that causes that fog. You may not be as toasty as you'd like to be during the process. But it will be worth it when you're able to see clearly out of your windshield.
- Mark your calendar. About every two years, you'll need to have your car's cooling system refreshed with gas and lubricant. This should be done by a professional. And while you're at the service center, the technician can fully inspect the system and fix any existing problems.When the dog days of summer hit, you'll be happy that you've gone the extra mile to maintain your AC.
How to "Keep Your Cool" when Buying a Car with Credit Issues
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