6 Easy Ways To Keep Your Car’s Air Cold

by | Jan 22, 2021

Being a company based out of St. Petersburg, Florida, we know a thing or two about suffering in the summer heat. Nothing is worse than getting into your car on a hot day and just feeling the sweat pour out of you as you wait for the hot vehicle to cool down. There are many ways that you can cool down the car quickly, some practical and some mechanical fixes. Here they are:

Fast Maintenance Items To Help Your Car Cool Down More Quickly

  1. Replace the air filter in your cab
  2. Recharge your air conditioning

Replace The Air Filter To The Cab Of Your Vehicle

The air filter is responsible for keeping outside particles, from bugs and leaves to dust and road debris outside of the cab of your car. Over time, like all filters, the air filter will become clogged as it serves it’s intended purpose.

When this clogging takes place, the air that your air conditioning is pushing out, the cold air that you are craving may not be able to penetrate the filter. Changing out an air filter is a very simple repair for most car brands. Check your owners manual to see the process of replacing the cabin air filter in your vehicle to see if it is simple enough that you can do this repair yourself. 

Recharge Your Air Conditioning

Without getting too technical, your vehicle’s air conditioning unit uses a chemical refrigerant to cool the air, if you want more detailed information on this, check out our section below on how your car’s AC works. Over time with minor leaks the air conditioning system will no longer have enough refrigerant to accomplish this. Generally this is a gradual leak and the car’s air conditioning will blow steadily warmer air over months or years. A recharge is simply adding more refrigerant to your air conditioning system. If your car all of a sudden stopped blowing cold air you likely have a more serious issue on your hands. For more info, see our section on air conditioning anatomy below. 

Other Ways To Keep your Car Cold

  1. Park in the shade
  2. Blow the hot air out
  3. Don’t put it on max right away
  4. Keep it on cold

Park In The Shade

If you are trying to cool your car down quickly, one method is to prevent it from getting as hot in the first place. Park in a covered area whenever possible and utilize the shade provided by trees in the parking lots you use. You can also use things like sunshades to keep the car from getting excessively hot.

Blow The Hot Air Out

When your car sits for a long time in the sun, the air within it becomes superheated and gets hotter and hotter as your car functions like a giant oven. If you can, roll down the windows 15 minutes before you plan on leaving. If this isn’t possible, use the doors to the car to fan out the hot air from the interior and replace it with outside air before driving the vehicle. 

Don’t Put It On Max Right Away

Put your vehicle on cold but don’t use the max A/C function just yet. When employed the max A/C setting stops pulling in outside air and instead recirculates the air already in your vehicle. In some cases the outside air will still be cooler than the air in your cab, so hold off on using this setting for about 5 minutes until the air is really starting to feel cold. 

Keep It On Cold

You want to put the air conditioning on cold. If you put it somewhere in the middle you will burn more fuel as that air that was cooled will also be partially heated. 

Helpful Videos

Want more information on keeping your car’s air conditioning blowing ice cold? Check out this YouTube video by Scotty Kilmer

The Anatomy Of Air Conditioning

The best way to keep your car cool is to have the air conditioning in the vehicle working in tip top shape. The air conditioning units found in cars don’t differ that greatly from those found in homes and buildings, in fact they have a few variations in how they draw power. They are the compressor, condenser, cooling fans, expansion valve, orifice tubes and the accumulator. To keep the car cool all parts must be functioning properly, so make yourself comfortable with them! Here is a quick anatomy of these parts found in a car air conditioning unit:

Compressor

The compressor is step one for the air conditioning system process. The compressor takes a gaseous refrigerant and compresses it into a liquid. The compressor uses power supplied by the engine accessed using the compressor clutch.  The process of compressing a gas results in quite a bit of heat. The liquid is then transported to the condenser where it becomes a gas once more.

Condenser

Once reaching the condenser, this part then takes the hot gas and cools it quickly using a radiator like system of small coils and air flow to remove the heat. Your car uses a cooling fan paired with the airflow from your moving car to cool the refrigerant rapidly. As it cools, it condenses into a liquid once more. 

Cooling Fans

The cooling fan is responsible for providing extra airflow over the condenser. This is in addition to the air supplied by the moving car however there are times where the vehicle is at a standstill and in these scenarios the air conditioning would not work without the cooling fan. 

Expansion Valve Or Orifice Tubes

The expansion valve transfers the refrigerant from the condenser to the receiver. In the process the refrigerant returns to its natural gaseous state. 

Receiver AKA Drier or Accumulator

The receiver is the final step in the air conditioning system, here the refrigerant is dried or dehydrated. There can be small openings where moisture finds its way in and if that moisture were not being removed the entire system would freeze. It is the job of the receiver to remove that outside moisture contamination. This is the final step before being sent into the evaporator where the coolant is actually exposed to the air,  chilling it before sending it into the cab of the vehicle.  

Refrigerant

Refrigerant is the chemical that is compressed and cooled to provide cold air to the cab of the vehicle. The refrigerant, while not a mechanical part, is a crucial component to the air conditioning system of any vehicle. Without it, your vehicle would not be able to put out cold air. 

With time, the refrigerant will slowly “leak” out of your vehicle, but it takes many years. This happens with all cars whether they have what is considered to be an actual refrigerant leak or not. If your mechanic tells you that you have a leak in the air conditioning system this isn’t what they are referring to. A leak will be much more aggressive and will need to be repaired before the car is recharged with refrigerant. 

If your car isn’t blowing cold, it could be a number of issues with any of the components listed above or you could have a leak in one or multiple components.  If your car stopped blowing cold at once, you likely have a serious repair on your hands which could cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Not to be the bearer of bad news, but AC is an expensive repair in most scenarios. Come to terms with the idea that your car may be totaled. Get your car to a mechanic for a full diagnosis.

Need Help Fixing Your Repairs?

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As you probably noticed, Protect My Car covers a ton of major repairs for your suspension and air conditioning and many other vehicle components.

In fact, suspension repairs are some of the most common repairs you’ll deal with on a regular basis, due in part to the declining quality of US roads.

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For less that the cost of a cup of coffee each day, you can get coverage for:

  • Steering
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  • A/C and Heating
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  • …and so much more.

When you walk into the repair shop with a coverage plan from PMC, you can rest assured that you will never pay for these repairs listed here. You pay a $100 deductible, just like insurance and we pay the rest.

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We hope this article has answered all of your questions regarding new car smell, and that you feel more prepared to take control of the scent of your vehicle both now and in the future. Consider protecting your vehicle with an extended warranty plan from Protect My Car. In addition to warranties, Protect My Car also offers insurance and maintenance plans and can negotiate the best prices on repairs with mechanics.

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About Protect My Car

Protect My Car is an extended auto warranty company. Our goal here at Protect My Car is to eliminate your worry of being financially responsible for an expensive mechanical breakdown. With our extended auto warranty, you don’t have to worry about being fully burdened with the cost of a covered repair.

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