Weather.com is showing the forecast for the summer. Looks like most of the country will be above average with warm temperatures. It’s still spring time here in the midwest and the weather is changing back and forth from warm days back to cool days. But, this is the time to discuss your A/C cooling. We have the products you need for A/C components on your Peterbilt, Kenworth, Freightliner, International, Volvo and other heavy duty over the road trucks.
Even though it’s still cool outside, this is the best time to check you A/C. Not in the middle of summer when it’s a scorcher outside, when you need relief from the heat.
Here is a checklist of check you A/C:
Note: Always be extremely careful any time while the engine is running. Stay away from all rotating components with your hands, clothing, and hair, and always wear eye protection around a running engine.
- Are AC component (Condenser, Drier, Compressor, etc..) mounting bolts in place and tightly secured?
- Are caps installed on the A/C system service ports? This keeps out dirt, and also provides a seal for refrigerant.
- With the engine running, does the compressor clutch engage when the A/C is switched on? If it doesn’t, this usually indicates a low (or empty) refrigerant condition, or an electrical problem. Also, listen for rapid clicking or cycling noises at the compressor when the A/C is switched on. If this is happening, it could also indicate low refrigerant or some other problems. Have it checked by your service technician.
- With the engine running and the A/C switched off, listen for knocking or rumbling sounds in the vicinity of the compressor. These could indicate a failing compressor clutch, and/or loose mounting hardware.
- Check all belts for cracks, wear, and glazing. Have them replaced at the first sign of any of these conditions. Also, check for belts that vibrate while the engine is running and the A/C is on. This may indicate a belt that needs to be tightened, or a defective automatic belt tensioner.
- Examine all A/C and cooling system hoses for cuts, abrasion, weak spots, and signs of leakage. Leakage from A/C system hoses is often indicated by an accumulation of dirt and oil, particularly at connections and fittings.
- Make sure the condenser (in front of the radiator) is free of any obstructions, such as leaves or insects. This could reduce airflow, resulting in reduced A/C performance. You can rinse the condenser clean with a garden hose.
Debris restricts the air-flow that keeps the condenser from working properly. As you know, just driving down the road is a huge contributor to this build up. Winter adds to it the salt and sludge from the road that could be another layer of coating to the bugs that ended up there from summer and fall.
Keeping the debris clear is the best way to keep your condenser ready for the heat of the spring and summer months coming up. Just be careful when removing that debris to not bend or damage the fins during the process that could lead to other issues later. The good news is that, relatively speaking, replacing your heavy duty condenser is one of the most economical parts to replace.
BHD Truck Parts carries a full line of A/C component parts along with condensers such as compressors, evaporators, accumulators, and driers. It may still be cool outside now, but summer heat is really just around the corner!