Wait one second! Stop right there! Unlike most components under your hood, an air conditioning system does not require a regular service or maintenance charging schedule. In fact, your vehicle’s A/C might NEVER need to be recharged unless you’ve been in a collision and damaged its metal components, or if its tiny rubber components have degraded over time and caused a small leak. An A/C system is a closed loop, and it is designed to keep the refrigerant it contains moving continuously within that loop ad infinitum. The refrigerant is not something which depletes over time. With that said…..things can certainly happen.
Keeping that in mind, it IS important to pay attention to your automotive A/C—learn how your vehicle’s system behaves, and what is “normal” for it. In that way it will become easier to determine when there IS an issue which requires your attention.
If your vehicle is new (or new for you), it may be helpful to read your owner’s manual to ensure you understand the proper use of the system and how its controls work. Systems can vary from manufacture to manufacturer, from model to model, and from model year to model year. Become “in tune” with your system so you can quickly respond to changes in its performance.
When your automotive A/C doesn’t work, or when it performs noticeably differently than usual, consider the following points to keep it in good working order:
Are Issues With Heating and A/C Common?
No, not really. With newer vehicles unless there is a manufacturing defect there are very rarely issues with AC function. With older vehicles, it is more common to have issues with the systems.
What Causes the A/C to Stop Working?
There are several components in an A/C system which could be the cause should it stop functioning: the blower, the thermostat, compressor issues, or a problem with a heater core might be at fault. Or, there could be a leak in the system which requires repair/sealing/charging.
You want to be as comfortable as possible when you are driving, and a huge part of that is having a well-functioning air conditioning system. It is important to pay close attention to the performance of your vehicle and to keep up with scheduled maintenance tasks so it provides you will many miles of comfortable driving.