How to Maintain Your RV Air Conditioner Unit

An air conditioner unit plays a crucial part in a home, office and even vehicles, particularly during summer months. Maintaining its first-class condition should be one of your top concerns. This is especially true if your unit is an RV air conditioner. This type of air conditioner unit should be maintained regularly and consistently since it has several complicated parts including a compressor, motor, and evaporator coil. As an owner, it is your responsibility to provide maintenance to your appliances. Improper management will only result in costly repairs and possibly even breakdowns while on your summer vacation.

Split-system AC units can be installed as an RV air conditioner. Both have condensers as well as compressor units. They can be installed on the outside roof while the air-cooling unit can be installed on the interior ceiling. If your RV is longer than 35 feet, you need to use two units if you want to cool the RV.

Tips to Maintain Your RV air conditioners

• Make sure that you change your air filter every month.

• If you are using reusable filters, make sure that you wash it using warm water and let it dry before you reinstall it.

• Make sure that your filters are not clogged. A clogged filter will be inefficient, and it will cost you dearly in higher operation cost. If your filter is clogged, it will also affect other parts and components of your unit.

• Use a damp cloth to clean the outside of the unit.

• Make sure that you clean your evaporator coil on your rooftop. You can put a shield to protect your coil.

• Check the gasket seal of your RV air conditioner on a regular basis. This is located at the bottom of your unit on the ceiling. In addition, make sure that you clean your drainage holes, and you remove all the debris to prevent an outflow of the condensate.

• Check out your unit before going on a summer break. Make certain that the fan and temperature controls are working properly. Aside from that, make sure that your unit has a sufficient power source.

• Install a proper and adequate circuit breaker. Remember that an inadequate power supply can result in serious damage and risk to the unit. If you want to enjoy your summer vacation, make sure that your RV air conditioner is working at its best. To do this, make sure that you do regular and consistent maintenance.

It’s All About Maintenance! Especially for Winter

Everyone is excited for the holidays come December, and, while, Southern California isn’t known for its distinct seasons, we tend to look forward to the colder weather as well. There is one part of the family that doesn’t always look forward to winter, however… your trusty car.

Once Halloween and Thanksgiving come around, the weather starts cooling down, and you should be paying a bit more attention to your car’s maintenance so that you are protected during the winter.

Keep the End Game in Mind

How long do you want your car to last? Most of us can’t easily afford to buy a new car when our old one starts showing signs of wear and tear. Regular, routine maintenance can help improve your gas mileage, reduce pollution (did you get your smog check?), and catch minor problems before they become major disasters for you and your bank account.

Know Your Car

Have you been sticking to your car’s service schedule? If “What service schedule?” just went through your head, you may want to read through your owner’s manual to see what is recommended. You may have missed a lot of regular maintenance, which means your car might not be in as good a shape as you think it is.

Some people are more into cars than others, but it is important that we have at least a basic knowledge of how a car and its various parts work. You never know when this information will be useful. When you are familiar with your car, you can tell when something is off, whether it is how it sounds, how it accelerates, brakes, or steers. Can you tell if your car isn’t braking well because of your brake pads or your tires? You should be able to, for safety. Bald tires are no laughing matter.

Your Auto Holiday Checklist

Cold weather makes existing problems worse. Just because we have a more temperate climate in California, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take winter car maintenance seriously. To help you keep your car happy and functioning during the winter season, here are some tips:

  • Replace dirty filters to make your engine more efficient. A dirty engine burns more gasoline.
  • Make sure the heater and defroster are in good working condition.
  • If there is anything wrong with driveability or engine performance, get it repaired before driving in rain or snow. Remember that the most dangerous time to drive on the road is that first rain.
  • In below-freezing temperatures, add a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Keeping the gas tank full also helps prevent moisture formation.
  • Replace old wiper blades regularly and stock up on windshield washer fluid.
  • Change your oil and oil filter regularly, and more often if your driving routine involves frequent short trips or a lot of stop-and-go.
  • The cooling system should be flushed and refilled (even if you don’t plan on using it during the winter).
  • Have your battery checked. No one wants to be stuck in the rain with a dead battery.
  • Check and, if necessary, clean, or replace, all lights and bulbs.
  • Have your brakes checked. Just because you think they’re fine doesn’t mean they are.
  • Make sure the exhaust system is examined for leaks and problems while the vehicle is on a lift.
  • TIRES! Make sure the tread is in good shape and check tire pressure once a month.
  • Pay attention to the transmission. Have it checked regularly.
  • Always carry an emergency kit in your car: gloves, boots, blankets, flares, a small shovel, tire chains, a flashlight and extra batteries, a cell phone and extra car charger, water, and some energy bars.

At Least You’re Car Is Clean!

We know that’s a long list, but if you take good care of your car, it will take good care of you, so don’t neglect it on the inside or outside!

Tips for Knowing It’s Time for an Oil Change

Delaying routine vehicle maintenance can lead to expensive repairs. A discerning eye should enable you to notice signs that will tell you when it’s time for an oil change.

Appearance

Brand new oil has a caramel color when you first pour it into the reservoir. The color will change gradually over the miles and weeks that elapse. When the lubricant begins to look black in color and you see small particles mixed into it, it’s time for an oil change.

Sounds

Oil is crucial for engine lubrication. Without this lubricant present and doing its job, engine parts will begin to grind on each other. This friction will produce noises that you will be able to hear when the engine is running. You might hear a knocking sound. Some people also hear a growling or rumbling sound that continues to build as time goes on.

Dashboard Lights

When the dashboard begins to illuminate with warning lights, it’s time to take steps to resolve these issues. Depending on the age of the vehicle, you might see the check engine light or another gauge that illuminates to tell you that something is amiss with the lubricant.

Diminished Levels

A car consumes lubricant as is runs. Gradually, the oil level will fall. This occurs because the lubricant is not working effectively, so the car uses more of it to ensure smooth operation. Low levels of lubricant indicate that’s it’s time to change it. Do not just pour more lubricant to restore the engine to the recommended level.

Exhaust Smoke

Cold temperatures cause vapors to exit the system through the tailpipe. However, anytime you see actual smoke exiting the tailpipe, this indicates a problem. An oil change would be an easy fix. More difficult solutions could require work to the head gasket or a cylinder.

Mileage

Most manufacturers recommend an oil change every 3,000 miles. Although controversy abounds regarding this mileage recommendation, it’s important to set a regular schedule for this maintenance. Even if the lubricant still looks clean at 3,000 miles, it’s beneficial to change it on a regular schedule.

Skipping oil changes can result in serious issues. Without this lubrication, parts will rub on other parts. This friction can cause the vehicle to overheat. Left unresolved, overheating can even lead to the melding of parts to each other. A clean filter also provides the important service of filtering dirt away from the engine where it could cause damage. Without this regular maintenance, car parts will wear prematurely. The worst case scenario would be total engine failure.

This type of maintenance is probably one of the easiest things for owners to perform themselves. If you don’t want to do the work yourself, a mechanic can take care of it for you in just a few minutes.

Common Car Air Conditioning Repair Issues

A broken air conditioner can make driving unbearable during the sultry summer months. A minor inconvenience the rest of the year, an inoperable A/C is most certainly an emergency situation when the mercury rises. Here are the most likely reasons your unit is on the fritz.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant is the substance that is responsible for cooling the air that comes out of your A/C vents. When properly pressurized in a closed-loop system, refrigerant evaporates into a gas that is later used to cool an interior space. But when there is a leak in this closed system, refrigerant levels may fall, inhibiting operation. In other words, the fan will only blow hot. A fairly common car air conditioning repair issue in older vehicles, the challenge is actually locating the leak. The reason? Unlike oil or antifreeze leaks, drivers will not find puddles of fluid under their vehicles when refrigerant escapes. More often than not, an oily residue is the only sign that something is wrong. We should also note that a leak can occur almost anywhere in the system, including in the compressor, condenser, or the evaporator. As such, the entire unit must often be examined to properly diagnose and correct the issue.

Electrical Problems

If your A/C unit isn’t working at all, the problem could be electrical. Fuses, relays, pressure switches, and other electrical components can fail at any time because of age or defect. When this happens, the system is designed to shut itself down for safety reasons. The inevitable result is an air conditioner that will not respond when switched on-not even the lights will work. Only an experienced mechanic has the knowledge and tools to isolate the problem with diagnostic testing.

Bad compressor

Another common car air conditioning repair problem in older vehicles is a worn-out compressor. The heart of the unit, the compressor is responsible for circulating refrigerant throughout the entire system. When it breaks down, the vents will only blow warm. Although age is the most common culprit for compressor failures, the vital component can also fail because of contamination or other faulty parts. A visual inspection of the part is often all a mechanic needs to diagnose the problem. If it cannot be repaired, the compressor must be replaced.

Clogged Air Filters

Attached to the outside intake of your car’s ventilation system, the cabin air filter removes dirt, dust, and pollution from the outside environment before it is pumped inside. When this filter gets clogged with all the debris it collects, airflow may be adversely affected. If your A/C vents are sputtering or barely blowing, there’s a good chance that an obstruction in the filter is to blame. Simply removing and cleaning this component is often enough to get things blowing again. Because it is an inexpensive, automotive part, it may be a good idea to simply replace it with a new one.

These common car air conditioning repair jobs can be completed by any qualified mechanic.

Troubleshooting Guide for Your Car

1-495x400

Many vehicle problems can be solved with a basic understanding of auto maintenance and repair. The key to good auto repair lies in troubleshooting the problem. Find out what’s wrong with your car using this step by step troubleshooting guide.

Have a Good Auto Repair Manual on Hand

Auto repair manuals are extremely important to get the job done right and quickly. To troubleshoot, repair and maintain your vehicle, you’ll need diagnostic and repair information that is specific to your car or truck.

Gather All Details of Your Car Problem

Test drive your car and listen carefully for any problems, especially during starting and stopping. Write down every detail that comes up during troubleshooting. Look for similar symptoms listed in your repair manual and online auto forums. Even if you can’t figure out the problem, the details will help your mechanic when you take it down for repairs.

Seek Automotive Troubleshooting Advice Online

If you’re unable to pinpoint the problem, then you should consider asking a qualified mechanic online. Make sure that the site you choose has qualified auto mechanics and not just general technicians.

Take Your Vehicle Down to a Repair Shop

The key is finding a good auto repair shop that won’t rip you off. It is a good idea to build a working relationship with a repair shop that you trust so that when your vehicle breaks down, you will have someone dependable to turn to.

VinAudit is a startup offering a low-cost alternative to Car fax. We believe the days are numbered for paying $35-$40 to see the basic VIN number check data for a vehicle– in fact, it should really be free.

Ask for Cost Estimates on Repair

Before you arrange to have any work performed, ask how the shop prices its work. Some shops charge a flat rate for labor on auto repairs. This published rate is based on an independent or manufacturer’s estimate of the time required to complete repairs. Others charge on the basis of the actual time the technician worked on the repair.

The most inexpensive and easiest way to keep your vehicle operating properly is simply to check it over on a regular basis. This is the best to way spot individual problems before other component problems occur and compound the symptoms. When maintenance is ignored, over a period of time, multiple repairs usually become necessary. This makes diagnosing the symptoms more difficult than if they had been discovered individually during periodic checks.

The more you know about your vehicle, the more likely you’ll be able to head off repair problems. You can detect many common vehicle problems by using your senses: eyeballing the area around your vehicle, listening for strange noises, sensing a difference in the way your vehicle handles, or even noticing unusual odors.