How to improve the longevity of the air conditioner in your Ford

A vehicle’s air conditioner is not typically a component we think about maintaining or servicing… until it completely stops working on a hot summer day. Now that the warmer months are upon us, our vehicle’s air conditioner is a necessity! Keep reading to learn about how to prolong the life of your car’s air conditioner.

Air conditioning

Keep up with regular service

Did you know that maintaining your Ford vehicle with regular service includes inspecting the heating and air conditioning system? Typically, your auto repair technician will:

  • Check if the refrigerant is low and top up if necessary
  • Inspect the hoses, lines, seals, and other components for leaks
  • Identify the source of the leak, if any
  • Inspect the compressor’s drive belt and tension
  • Check for refrigerant cross-contamination
  • Change the cabin filter if necessary to make sure air is flowing properly

Give your air conditioner a rest

If you are driving for a length of time, be sure to plan some stops in-between where you can let your car and air conditioner rest. If you’re not on the highway or are cruising at a low speed, consider opening your windows to let the natural breeze in. When the air conditioner is constantly running at the highest setting, it could reduce the lifespan of the system.

Clear any obstruction from the air vents

The air conditioning system works to pump cold air into your vehicle and needs proper airflow to operate efficiently. Some vehicles have vents in the back passenger’s side close to the floor of the cabin. Be sure not to block these vents with equipment, grocery bags, or other items that can obstruct airflow.

Change the cabin filter regularly

When cabin filters are dirty, the air flowing into the vehicle’s ventilation system is restricted and reduces your car’s air quality. Much like a household’s HVAC system, the filter needs to be changed on a regular basis. The good news is, the cabin filter is easy to change and you can complete this step yourself. Keep in mind that cabin air filters are vehicle-specific, so you’ll want to refer to your car owner’s manual for the right product.

To change your car’s cabin air filter:

  • Empty out the glove box and locate the pin on the outside edge of the box
  • Using a screwdriver, take the screw out and slip the pinout of the hole
  • Lower the glove box by gently pressing in on both sides
  • You’ll see a black cover where your cabin air filter is located
  • Remove the old filter and clean the filter housing of any dirt or debris
  • Slide the new filter in and make sure it’s placed securely
  • Snap the cover back into place and put the glove box back

When you schedule routine maintenance on your Ford vehicle, your technician will typically ask if you’d like your cabin filter to be changed. Most car owners opt for changing their cabin filters along with their regular maintenance service.