Signs Your Central Air Conditioning Needs Recharging

Air Conditioning

Signs Your Central Air Conditioning Needs Recharging

If your Air Conditioning suddenly stops giving you the cold air you expect, it is a very good sign that your central air conditioner needs to be charged. Regardless of the model you have, air conditioners cannot run faultlessly for life. Sooner or later, one part or the other becomes affected. When this happens, it is highly advisable to let a professional get the Freon charged and conduct maintenance to save you money in the long run.

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How to Tell Your Air Conditioning Needs Recharging

Because there are several things that can go wrong with Air Conditioning, it is important to make sure that a low charge is an actual problem. When the central air conditioner needs to be charged, the first thing it does is blow out warm or room temperature air. Simply place your hand in front of the vent that releases air into your home and feels its temperature for a few minutes.

Checking thermostat readings is also a great way to detect charging problems. If your thermostat seems to be broken or malfunctioning, try to reset it and turn on the conditioner to check for any temperature changes. Broken thermostats are not necessarily a sign that you need recharging. When in doubt, it is better to call a specialist to diagnose the problem properly.

How to Conduct an Inspection At Home

Some maintenance tasks can be done at home while others require professional help. Learning the difference between the two can help you save money, time and prevent you from causing further damage to the system.

Fan

Apart from checking the thermostat and the temperature of the air coming out of air vents, you can do a visual inspection of the fan. When you turn your air conditioner, the fan should automatically start moving. If not, it might indicate a problem with the motor. Placing your hands inside can be very dangerous. This is a problem only professionals should fix.

Filters

It is quite easy for air filters to get clogged with dirt and debris. If you know how to check filters safely, make sure they are clean and unblocked. Sometimes all a cooling system needs to get up and running again is a thorough clean.

Frost

Leaking coolants tend to cause malfunctions in many air conditioners. Fortunately, leaks are easier to detect because they cause frost to build up on tubes, motors and other parts of the system. Should you notice a leak or frost build up, contact us immediately to help you fix the problem. Coolants are gaseous in nature and might cause harm when handled inappropriately.

If you manage to clean and sort out minor maintenance tasks without getting your air conditioner back in shape, most often than not, it means you need your Freon charged.

DIY vs. Professionals

Recharging the cooler at home seems like a great way to save money, but it is dangerous and should never be done yourself.  Owners lack the professional knowledge to do it properly, not to mention the licensing.

Professionals are the correct option here. Not only can they charge your system properly, you can also score other maintenance checks during the service appointment. By checking your entire system, they can diagnose and recommend the right solutions for your problem. You can easily avoid costly mistakes and prolong the life of your cooler at the same time.

How to Get Your Car Ready for Summer

There’s no time of the year like summer. And there’s no time better to own a car than when the sun comes out and the summer months roll around.

For some people, summer is the time for road trips, beach getaways, and driving backroads just for the heck of it. For others, it’s the time to let the top down and turn the tunes up. And for still others, it’s the busy time of the year, when kids and their friends need chauffeuring to sports games, movies, and day trips. Whatever you use your car for, it’s important to make sure that it’s completely ready for the summer.

Part 1 of 3: Get the car ready for the sunny days

Step 1: Purchase a sun shade. Buy a sunshade for your vehicle.

Bright sun can easily damage the interior of your car. The strength of the summer sun can fade the color of your dashboard and your front seats. This not only hurts the aesthetic of your interior but can also greatly diminish the resale value of your car.

To protect against this sun damage, purchase a sunshade, and keep it in your car at all times. Unfold the sunshade anytime you’re parked in direct sunlight.

  • Tip: When driving in the summer, try to park your car in the shade as much as is possible. Also crack your windows slightly when you leave your car in a hot environment.

close up of person turning on their air conditioning

Step 2: Check your air conditioning. Make sure your air conditioning is running well.

Chances are, you’ll need to be using your air conditioner a fair amount during the summer, which means you should make sure it’s working well. Even if your air conditioner appears to be working, it may not be working at full speed, which could be a problem during the hottest days of the summer.

Before the heat comes, have your air conditioner inspected by a reputable mechanic, such as one from Lofton Motorsports.

Part 2 of 3: Get the car safe before the summer driving

person hand checking their tires

Step 1: Check your tires Check to make sure your tires are in good shape.

By the time summer rolls around, your tires may be in poor shape. Driving in adverse road conditions during the winter, or driving with chains on, can sometimes cause unnatural wear and tear on your tires. You also may have winter tires and may be switching back to your summer tires.

Be sure to give your tires a visual inspection, to make sure they’re in good shape. If they’re not, purchase some quality tires before hitting the road this summer.

  • Tip: While checking your tires for wear and tear, make sure that they are properly inflated as well.

Step 2: Check your brakes. Make sure your brakes are in good pads.

It’s common for your brake pads to get worn out during the winter. This occurs for a number of reasons, mainly that there’s more traffic, a greater disparity between the resting temperature of the brakes and the operating temperature, and because you’re more likely to ride your brakes in adverse weather conditions.

When the summer comes, it’s a good idea to inspect your brake pads to make sure they’re in working condition. If you feel comfortable, you can check the pads yourself, or you can hire a trustworthy mechanic to perform a brake inspection.

Step 3: Get a comprehensive inspection. Get a comprehensive inspection for your vehicle.

While brakes and tires are the most important elements of your car to have inspected summer, a comprehensive safety inspection is also a good idea.

As you’re likely to drive your car more in the summer, you want to make sure that your oil is clean, your fluid levels are all sufficient, and all the electrical components of your car are operating properly.

Part 3 of 3: Get your car fun for the summer

person washing car

Step 1: Wash and detail your car. Get your car washed and thoroughly detailed.

Whether you have a second-hand sedan with a bunch of miles or a hot new convertible, you should get your car looking good for the summer.

Take your vehicle to a trusted auto detailer, and have it washed, waxed, and detailed, so it looks, feels, and smells like new.

  • Tip: The start of summer is also the best time to go through your car and clean it out.

Step 2: Add some fun to the interior. Add a little fun personality to the cabin of your car.

Since it’s summer, you’ll likely have a lot of people in your car, so it’s a good time to put a touch of your personality inside it.

Add a fun air freshener to your car, and maybe even some new seat covers. Stock your glove compartment with good CDs and you’ll be ready for the summer.

trunk with items in it

Step 3: Keep some summer essentials. Stock your trunk with summer essentials.

When the summer comes, it’s a good time to keep some essentials in your trunk; you never know when you might need them.

Put some water bottles or sports drinks in the trunk, along with some sunblock. If you’re going to spend the summer driving around your kids, fill the trunk with spare clothes, snacks, and maybe some emergency toys.

  • Tip: It’s a good idea to always keep a spare pair of sunglasses in your car during the summer. Sunglasses not only protect your eyes but can be an important safety measure when you are driving in bright conditions.

With just a few preparations, you can have your vehicle ready for whatever the summer throws at you. Summer is the best time of the year, so you want to make sure that your car is never holding you back from enjoying it to the fullest. Have one of Lofton Motorsport’s certified technicians inspect your battery and get it replaced if it is not holding a charge or giving you problems on a regular basis and be sure to have routine maintenance performed to keep your car in top shape.

Finding a Quality Auto Repair Shop

Finding A Quality Auto Repair Shop

by Tony Molla ASE

New to your town or city? Looking for a good auto repair shop?

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), the non-profit organization that tests and certifies the competence of individual automotive repair technicians, knows a thing or two about selecting a vehicle repair facility.

Whether you are new in town or you are just looking for a new shop, the experts at ASE offer some guidelines to help take some of the anxiety out of your search:

  • Look for a repair facility before you need one; you can make better decisions when you are not rushed.
  • Ask friends, co-workers and associates for recommendations.
  • Consult local consumer organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and chambers of commerce, about the reputation of the shop. Inquire about the number, nature and resolution of complaints.
  • Search online for business reviews and visit the shop’s Facebook page if one is available. You can learn a lot about a business and its team by reading social media.
  • Look for a tidy, well-organized facility, with vehicles in the parking lot equal in value to your own and modern equipment in the service bays. You likely won’t find hospital-clean conditions, but consider whether the facility’s image and level of professionalism meet your needs.
  • Don’t make your selection based solely on location convenience.
  • Determine if the shop works on your vehicle make and model or performs the types of repairs you need. Some facilities specialize.
  • Look for signs of technician competence. The customer area should display trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced coursework and ASE certifications — a nationally recognized standard of technician competence — for all the employees.
  • Does the business have a sense of community? Service awards, plaques for civic involvement, customer service awards, membership in the Better Business Bureau and other consumer groups is a good indicator.
  • Professionally run establishments will have a courteous, helpful staff. The manager, service writer, or technician should be willing to answer your questions thoroughly.
  • Labor rates, fees for testing and diagnostic work, guarantees, methods of payment, etc. should be posted in the front office/waiting room.
  • Ask for the names of a few customers as references. Call them.
  • Start with a small or minor job, such as an oil change or tire rotation. Reward good service with repeat business and more complex work.

Look for the Blue Seal

ASE also recognizes some of the best automotive repair shops through its Blue Seal of Excellence program.

How To Find a Great Auto Service Shop

How to Find a Great Auto Service Shop

What you should look for in finding a great car mechanic

by Consumer Reports: October 2014

Whether you moved, changed car brands, had a bad experience, or your preferred car dealership closed, there are many options for tending to your car maintenance and repair needs.

Based on annual surveys, we find consumers generally have a higher level of satisfaction with independent shops over car dealerships.

If your car is under warranty, you will still need to go to a dealership for warranty repairs, but you won’t need to go to the dealership for routine maintenance. Under federal law you have the right to have repairs performed anywhere you like without voiding the warranty.

But identifying a mechanic you can trust for your car takes a lot more than letting your fingers do the walking. You have to do a little old-fashioned sleuthing. There’s no single clue to what makes a good repair shop, but here are some things you should look for.

Find a shop for your brand of car

Many garages specialize in certain makes. Those that focus on your type are more likely to have the latest training and equipment to fix your vehicle.

Ask your family and friends

Especially seek recommendations from those who have a vehicle similar to yours.

Search the Internet

Look for information about local mechanics on Angie’s List, the Consumer Reports car repair estimator, and the Mechanics Files at Cartalk.com. Cartalk.com provides those services free, Angie’s List requires a subscription, the car repair estimator is free for Consumer Reports’ online subscribers.

Check for certifications

Your mechanic and shop should be certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, or ASE.

Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Auto repair shops rank 12th on the bureau’s list of common complaints. Go to www.bbb.org; the information you find might help you figure out which shops you should avoid.

Give the shop a tryout

Before your car needs a big repair, you might want to try out some local shops with smaller repairs or maintenance items, such as oil and filter changes.

Ask about warranties

What kind of guarantees does the shop give on repair work? Warranties can vary greatly among shops, so ask about them ahead of time. Use a common repair, such as brake work, as your guide.

Make sure the shop is convenient

Even the best shop might not be worth the effort if its hours conflict with your schedule or you have few transportation options after you drop off the car.

Finding A Quality Repair Shop

Finding A Quality Auto Repair Shop

by Tony Molla ASE

New to your town or city? Looking for a good auto repair shop?

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), the non-profit organization that tests and certifies the competence of individual automotive repair technicians, knows a thing or two about selecting a vehicle repair facility.

Whether you are new in town or you are just looking for a new shop, the experts at ASE offer some guidelines to help take some of the anxiety out of your search:

  • Look for a repair facility before you need one; you can make better decisions when you are not rushed.
  • Ask friends, co-workers and associates for recommendations.
  • Consult local consumer organizations, such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and chambers of commerce, about the reputation of the shop. Inquire about the number, nature and resolution of complaints.
  • Search online for business reviews and visit the shop’s Facebook page if one is available. You can learn a lot about a business and its team by reading social media.
  • Look for a tidy, well-organized facility, with vehicles in the parking lot equal in value to your own and modern equipment in the service bays. You likely won’t find hospital-clean conditions, but consider whether the facility’s image and level of professionalism meet your needs.
  • Don’t make your selection based solely on location convenience.
  • Determine if the shop works on your vehicle make and model or performs the types of repairs you need. Some facilities specialize.
  • Look for signs of technician competence. The customer area should display trade school diplomas, certificates of advanced coursework and ASE certifications — a nationally recognized standard of technician competence — for all the employees.
  • Does the business have a sense of community? Service awards, plaques for civic involvement, customer service awards, membership in the Better Business Bureau and other consumer groups is a good indicator.
  • Professionally run establishments will have a courteous, helpful staff. The manager, service writer, or technician should be willing to answer your questions thoroughly.
  • Labor rates, fees for testing and diagnostic work, guarantees, methods of payment, etc. should be posted in the front office/waiting room.
  • Ask for the names of a few customers as references. Call them.
  • Start with a small or minor job, such as an oil change or tire rotation. Reward good service with repeat business and more complex work.