Summer is officially here. The scorching heat should be a reminder for car owners to check if their vehicle’s air conditioning (AC) system is in good status. After all, you wouldn’t want to ride on a long road trip with a weak AC or smelly cabin.
But before you head straight to the nearest authorized service center and maybe shell out a few thousand pesos in the process, you might want to try and do-it-yourself. Here’s a handy guide on how you can clean your car’s AC by yourself.
Wipe the vents clean
Wiping the vents isn’t as easy as it sounds. The small slit makes it hard to reach the inner parts of the vents where dirt accumulates. Experts suggest using a foam paint brush because of its elastic properties, while the relatively thin yet sturdy brush handle allows its users to insert it further to clean hard-to-reach areas. Do note that using this will push some of the dirt down the ducts and into the AC filter, which is okay since you’ll be cleaning it at a later time.
Clean the cabin filter
Cleaning the cabin’s filter is a bit tricky since it is different from one car to another. But generally, it is located behind the glove compartment.
First thing’s first, remove all the items in the glove compartment. You’ll then have to locate all the pegs connecting the glove compartment to the dashboard, carefully disconnect it, and only then will you have full access to the cabin filter.
It’s recommended that the car owners replace the air filter every 12,000 to 15,000 km or at least once a year. But in the event that the budget doesn’t permit the purchase of a new cabin air filter, this can be pulled out and cleaned using an air compressor to blow off the dust. Make sure to spray it with a car deodorizer and/or disinfectant afterwards, then put it all back together.
That ends the easy part of cleaning your car’s air conditioning system.
Brush/wipe the fans
Now here comes the hard part. Make sure your car’s engine has been turned off for some time. Pop the hood and look for the car’s air conditioning condenser fan which is usually located just behind the condenser itself (perpendicular to the bumper). If you can easily reach it, simply wipe the fan blades. If you can remove it from the engine bay, then that would be better. Just make sure you remember how to put it all back together.
Spray the condenser
Another challenge is cleaning your car’s condenser, which is the mesh-like part just behind the grille/front bumper. And yes, some cars may require you to remove the bumper itself to access it. The good thing about this is that once you get the access to it, you may simply spray it with water to clean off the dirt and air-dry it. Be careful not to wet the other wires in the engine bay as it may cause a short circuit.
After doing all this cleaning, you can expect to feel the improvement in performance of your car’s air conditioning system. But before dismantling any, don’t forget to read your car’s manual and research about it to avoid any inconvenience.