We all know how important parked air conditioning is to truck drivers. But air conditioning doesn't always work at its best, and we need to take care of it when we use it on a daily basis. You don't have to be a technician to monitor your truck's air conditioning system, and here has a few things you can do to help keep your truck's A/C away from the store.
Air Conditioning Components
Drive Belt: The drive belt turns the truck's A/C compressor, which circulates the cooling refrigerant through the system. When the belt wears, stretches or breaks, it can slip or break, stopping the compressor and shutting off the air conditioner. Inspect the belt regularly to ensure it is in good condition.
A/C Condenser: Your truck's A/C condenser is located in front of the radiator, which is actually similar to a radiator. As the refrigerant circulates through the condenser, the air flowing over the radiator removes heat from the refrigerant.
If the condenser fins are damaged or clogged with debris, the airflow is restricted and the refrigerant does not cool. Check the fins regularly to make sure they are clean and in good condition.
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Signs that air conditioner goes wrong
On hot, humid days, wet carpet can indicate a clogged air conditioning drain. When the drains are working properly, you may see large amounts of water dripping onto the sidewalk underneath the vehicle after stopping.
Vibration or unusual noise when the fan is turned on may indicate debris in the blower.
A decrease in the amount of air coming out of the vents, especially if it happens after a period of driving, may mean that the air conditioner's evaporator is freezing.
A musty or moldy smell when the fan is first turned on or when the system has been running may indicate mold or mildew growth in the evaporator box. When you park your truck, turn off the A/C recirculation switch to reduce mold and mildew buildup. If your vehicle does not have a recirculation switch, turn the A/C switch from the "Max Air" position each time you turn off the engine.
Some air conditioners will still produce a musty odor, but many service departments offer evaporator cleaning procedures to eliminate this odor.
When you enter a hot truck, roll down the windows a bit for the first few blocks. If you have a recirculation button, make sure it is turned off. Once the hot air is gone, turn on recirculation.
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