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A/C Service

Air Conditioning

Did you know?

The Federal Environmental Protection Agency regulates the type of refrigerant you can use in your air conditioner. Your service technicians are current on EPA rules for properly removing and disposing of used refrigerant, protecting the environment while keeping you cool. At DOWNEY Car Care Center in we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at and let us help keep you safely and economically on the road.

Overview

Let’s talk about air conditioning service and repair issues for the area. Most of us in we don’t give our air conditioning a second thought as long as it’s making cold air. But it’s a complex and expensive system that we should think about before it starts blowing hot air.

The refrigerant in the air conditioner contains a special oil that lubricates and cools the A/C parts. When enough refrigerant leaks out, your air conditioner still makes cold air, but the parts don’t have enough oil to protect them and they wear out faster than they should so it’s important to service the air conditioner as recommended by your service center.

Replacing old refrigerant has another benefit: refrigerant tends to gather moisture and become corrosive. That causes leaks in the system which can be expensive to repair. Fresh refrigerant protects the air conditioning components and keeps the system operating at peak efficiency so it doesn’t have to work as hard to keep you cool.

Even with regular service A/C parts can just wear out. Normal wear and tear eventually gets to all moving parts.

Addressing early problems can save on more extensive repairs down the road. For instance, a common failure is the clutch that turns the compressor on and off. If you can take care of a bad A/C clutch when it first starts having problems, you may be able to save the compressor. Wait too long and you’ll have to replace both.

Check your owner’s manual or ask your service advisor at DOWNEY Car Care Center for service recommendations. And if you’re hearing strange sounds when your air conditioning turns on, or if it just isn’t as cold as it used to be, have us give it the once over and see what it’ll take to keep you cool.

Cooling System

Did you know?

Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure. The results can range from inconvenient to extremely expensive. You can head off most cooling system problems with regular coolant replacement and cooling system inspections. If you see green, amber or yellow fluid under your vehicle, bring it in for an inspection. At DOWNEY Car Care Center in , we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at and let us help keep you safely and economically on the road.

Overview

We’re often asked questions in , about the cooling system – the system that cools your engine and keeps it at the proper operating temperature. Let’s examine the topic in two areas: first the coolant itself and, second, the parts that make up the cooling system.

The coolant in you vehicle is the mix of water and antifreeze that circulates through the engine to draw off heat. First, you need to have the proper amount. If you don’t have enough coolant it can’t keep your engine cool.

You also need the right kind of coolant. Different makes of vehicles require different coolant formulation to protect against corrosion.

Finally, your coolant needs to be fresh. Over time and miles, the anti-corrosion additives in the coolant are depleted and the coolant can actually start to eat away at the cooling system parts. Your owner’s manual and your DOWNEY Car Care Center service adviser in , can help you with the recommended coolant replacement schedule and make sure you’re getting the right type of coolant.

Now let’s talk about the cooling system components. These will all eventually wear out and need to be replaced.

Starting with the radiator, we see them coming into the shop with leaks or clogged with deposits. Depending on the damage, we will clean, repair or replace. We also see radiator pressure caps that can no longer hold the proper pressure. We recommend replacing pressure caps when you change your coolant to avoid this problem.

We see leaky water pumps and hoses in that need to be replaced, too. There’s also a part called the thermostat that opens and closes to regulate the flow of coolant. Sometimes they stick open or closed and the cooling system won’t work properly.

Engine damage from overheating can be very expensive to fix so it’s important to maintain your cooling system properly with scheduled coolant replacement and periodic inspections of the cooling system. Certainly come in if you suspect a leak and have us take a look.

Water Pump

Did you know?

The water pump’s like the heart of your cooling system, circulating the fluid throughout. It’s a small pump that’s driven by the engine: usually by belt, but sometimes by a chain or gear. The water pump only operates when the engine’s running. Water pump failure is pretty routine for . Some start failing at around 40,000 miles, but most fail by 100,000 miles. Consult your owners’ manual or DOWNEY Car Care Center to see what’s recommended.

Since a water pump either works or it doesn’t, you need to change it when it fails. Water pumps fail in one of two ways: the bearings fail or they begin to leak. It’s possible to have a leak from a cracked water pump, but it usually leaks at the gasket where it attaches to the engine. For a cooling system inspection, call DOWNEY Car Care Center.

Overview

Let’s talk water pumps for autos in , . The engine is cooled by coolant/antifreeze mixed with water. This mixture circulates around the engine, absorbing some of the heat. The coolant then flows through the radiator where air cools it down for the return trip back through the engine. Your vehicles’s water pump is what drives this process.

Cooling system problems are the number-one mechanical failure in . So the water pump plays a pretty important role. You can’t get very far in without a water pump.

After all those miles and years of pumping coolant, water pumps just wear out. You might notice a whining or grinding sound coming from the water pump. Or maybe see coolant leaking from the pump itself.

The precise location of the water pump varies depending on the vehicle. Some have the water pump attached to the outside of the engine where you can see it. With these, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt.

Some have the water pump driven by the timing belt. The timing belt cover often hides the water pump with this setup, so you can’t see the pump without removing the cover.

When you have DOWNEY Car Care Center replace the water pump on one of these, you really should replace the timing belt at the same time. We’ve already gotten things taken apart and besides, the belt’s likely been contaminated by coolant. And timing belts usually need to be replaced every 60 to 90,000 miles anyway so it just makes sense to do both jobs at once.

The opposite is true too; when you change the timing belt on this type of engine, replace the water pump while you’re at it. The water pump will eventually fail and getting to it is an expensive project. For not that much more you can take care of both the timing belt and the water pump at the same time.

Cabin Air Filter

Did you know?

The air inside your vehicle may actually be more polluted than the air outside. Pollen, mold, dust, etc. can be trapped inside your vehicle. The cabin air filter stops these pollutants before they even get inside and filters out odors and smoke. People who suffer from seasonal allergies really appreciate a clean cabin air filter. At DOWNEY Car Care Center in we install quality NAPA replacement parts. Give us a call at and let us help keep you safely and economically on the road.

Overview

Let’s talk about cabin air filters. There seems to be some confusion about them in that we should be able to clear up. Much of the confusion starts because cabin air filters are relatively new. Not all vehicles in have them, so some people confuse their cabin air filter with the engine air filter.

Every vehicle in has an engine air filter that cleans the air going into the engine, but not all have a cabin air filter that cleans the air going into the passenger compartment. Easy to get mixed up.

The cabin air filter cleans out dust, pollen, spores and other pollutants. To give a point of comparison, a grain of sand is about 200 microns across. A cabin air filter can stop particles that are just 3 microns in size. It really does make the passenger cabin a much more pleasant environment.

When the cabin air filter gets dirty, you just need to replace it. Your owner’s manual may have a recommended interval for changing it. If not we can inspect it. You know, it’s ironic that many people who don’t realize they even have a cabin air filter first find out they do when it starts to get smelly.

Some cabin air filters are very easy to access when it’s time to replace them. Others, not so much. We may have to get behind the dashboard and it takes some time.

A clean cabin air filter keeps out smog, allergens and other harmful pollutants. If it’s time, get it changed right away.

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