A/C Pro

How to Keep Your Car A/C from Going Bad Over the Winter


Fall is on its way, and for many people it’s a welcome break from the heat and misery of summer. For some people, the air conditioners are already turned off for the season; others still have several more weeks before they can give the old A/C a break.

But should you give your car’s A/C a break?

Winter A/C Maintenance

As we’ve mentioned before, car air conditioners often break down over the winter. Clearly, they’re not breaking down due to overuse, since the A/C is rarely even on during the cold winter months. Instead, the problem is usually caused by lack of use. Without refrigerant and oil flowing through the system, rubber seals or hoses can become dry and brittle. When that happens, the refrigerant can leak out, leaving you with no cooling power when the summer rolls around again.

Luckily, the main way to prevent this problem is really very simple: just run your air conditioner during the winter.

Sure, that might seem counter-intuitive, not to mention uncomfortable. Run the A/C when it’s already cold outside? Are you nuts? However, we’re not talking about having it on all winter, or in a way that will leave you cold. Turning the A/C on for just a couple of minutes every couple of weeks will circulate the system and help keep it from drying out.

Plus the A/C does more than just cool the air. It also serves to dehumidify the air, which can be handy when your windows fog up with moisture on a cold winter day. In fact, many cars automatically run the A/C system when you turn on the defrost for that very reason—which means you may already be running the A/C periodically without realizing it. If your car doesn’t do this automatically, you can still manually turn the A/C on when defrosting to accomplish the same purpose, without freezing yourself in the process.

Of course, we can’t guarantee that this simple trick will keep your A/C from going bad over the winter. There are other things that can go wrong, and sometimes the rubber components just get old and dry out, even if you’re running the A/C consistently (and even during the summer). But if you do find that your car’s A/C is low on refrigerant, you can always use A/C Pro to get it running cold again. Plus, A/C Pro includes the lubricants and conditioners needed to rejuvenate old rubber components, to keep the refrigerant from leaking back out (and keep you from having to replace any seals or o-rings).

If you have any questions, please contact us at A/C Pro.