San Jose area: Car AC servicing


#1

My 1999 Integra is done 55k and bought from a Dealer after a lease return.



I am wondering if I should do a AC service? Previously, I spent (on another Car) $100 and not sure what I got in return.



It is cool, now.


#2

The A/C blows cold? Then there’s no reason to service it. Air conditioning systems do not require regular maintenance. If you notice a lack/drop in cooling ability then the most likely culprit is a low charge. Pickup a pressure gauge for about ten bucks at an auto parts store and check the pressure. That’s a basic test. All R134a gauges (the non professional set types) that you can buy at wal mart, autozone, etc. are color coded. All use a blue range for GOOD and it opens at 25psi and caps at 45psi. If the needle is not in that range with the A/C operating (check that the compressor pulley is turning) then you have a problem. If it’s low, recharge it. An 8 year old car could be a little low on refrigerant without being broken, refrigerant is tricky stuff and can deplete itself over time as minute amounts slip past seals and o-rings every time the system cycles off and on.

But an A/C that is cooling adequately should be left alone.

-Matt


#3

PS:

If the gauge is a little into the yellow range (no higher than 55psi) it’s ususally okay. But if it’s abornally high then you may be interested in having an A/C shop put it on a manifold gauge set for diagnosis.

-Matt (again)


#4

A/C that is cooling adequately should be left alone.

I would generally agree with that, but I will suggest that if your car has a cabin air filter, and I don’t know if yours does, it should be replaced as recommended in the owner’s manual.

I suggest you check your owner's manual for a list of everything that should be checked or serviced on a regular basis.  It is the manufacturer, not the dealer that is the authority.  If a dealer wants to do more at your expense, ask to see the notice from the manufacturer on the change, other wise you can assume it is an ADP (Additional Dealer Profit) service. 

I might make an exception for a automatic transmission fluid change at 40,000 - 100,000 miles.  Most cars can benefit from this one.

#5

Well yes. Any filter that has an interval should be replaced on that interval.

I was reffering to the A/C system as in the compressor, the other components, and the lines and juice and oil.

=)

-Matt