Do you hear loud noises under the hood when you turn on your air conditioner? Do you only get cool air sporadically? If so, it is time to bring it into Bob at Ashton Auto Center to get your air conditioner checked. It’s real easy to take your car’s air conditioner for granted. Just push the right buttons and out comes cool, dry, clean air. But your air conditioning system needs attention from time to time to help it keep its cool. When most people hear the words “air conditioning problems”, it sends a shiver up their spine. That is because the air conditioning system is fairly complex. It has a lot of parts and when it’s broken, it’s expensive to repair. What things can we do to prevent air conditioning breakdowns? A common cause of air conditioning failure is leaks. Water and air can leak into the system. The system doesn’t work as well with air in it. And water can cause rust that leads to damage of the A/C components. Also, refrigerant, the stuff that makes the air cold, can leak out, reducing the efficiency of the system, making it work harder to cool the air. Periodically evacuating the air conditioning system and recharging it keeps the proper amount of clean refrigerant in the system so it cools better and lasts longer. You should also run the air conditioner regularly, even in the winter, so that it lubricates itself and keeps the seals from drying out, which leads to leaks. Your owner’s manual will have recommendations for how often to service your air conditioner. Of course, if it’s not working right, now is the time to get it checked. Many service centers can inspect and test your air conditioning and offer evacuation and recharge services. This goes a long way to avoiding having to bring your air conditioner in for major repairs. New environmental laws have stopped the manufacture of Freon, a refrigerant that was common in cars made before 1993. There is a very limited supply of Freon so the price is very steep. It may not be worth its weight in gold, but it probably is worth its weight in silver. If you have an older vehicle that uses Freon, you may want to consider having it retrofitted to use the new R134-A refrigerant. It will pay for itself in the long run. So, if your AC is just a lot of hot air, it's time that you take it to the A/C specialists at Ashton Auto Center to have it checked out.