Even though it’s September, it’s still pretty warm. So, for many of us, our vehicle’s air conditioning system is still working in high gear.
We’re working on an E-350 van with a rear ac system.
Most of these vehicles – whether it’s a minivan or a full sized van, like this one – have air conditioning lines and heater lines going to the back. This van has a heater core, an evaporator, and a separate blower motor to help cool it down.
Fixing the rear ac system
With the way they pack these vehicles in – to keep the interior room open – the rear ac system is normally on the side or back of the van. We generally have to pull the seats out and the side panels off to reach the components.
These ac systems can stop working if there is a leak in the rear evaporator. In that case, we need to evacuate the system to remove the freon. Then, the evaporator and expansion valve are replaced and a recharge is performed on the a/c system. Our technicians also conduct a re-test to make sure everything is working correctly.
Air conditioning problems can also occur if the air conditioning condenser is blocked or if the Electronic Climate Control System, which impacts the temperature in the front of the car, is failing.
If the ac problem is happening sporadically, it can be more difficult to pinpoint the cause. The vehicle might need to be left at an auto repair shop for a few days, so it can be looked into or a deeper level.
Make sure that when you drop your car off to explain what you are noticing. Is cold air not blowing out of the vents? Are you not feeling any airflow? Does it seem like the air isn’t blowing as strongly? These details and other relevant information helps our Woodbridge mechanics narrow down their search.
Replacing and maintaining the cabin air filter
When you’re working in this part of the vehicle it can be a good time to check the air intake to see if there’s a bunch of trash or dust. Sometimes, they have a filter – this van didn’t – that needs to be changed, just like a cabin air filter. If you have kids or pets, the hair, dirt and dust can collect in the filter and clogs everything up.
It’s also a good idea to use the BG Frigi-Clean, especially if you have an older van that’s used to transport children and pets. This product is a foaming agent that goes in and helps wash the dirt out of the evaporator. Another cleaner we use – BG Frigi Fresh – kills germs and microbes.
Even though the front a/c system is working fine, we recommend getting that cabin air filter checked, as well.
Cabin air filters should be changed every 10,000 to 20,000 miles. This frequency depends on what kind of vehicle you drive and where. A musty smell is a sign that it may be time to replace them. It’s also important to clean the cowling area once or twice a year, which keeps the filter clean.
HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Automotive repair services are performed on all makes and models, including oil changes, brakes, alignments, inspections, and computer engine diagnostics.