Extending Car Air Conditioners, Adding Lube to Antifreeze and Altering Catalytic Converters

Car repair tips from MOTHER's Mechanic column includes extending car air conditioners, adding lube to antifreeze, tight lug nuts and altering catalytic converters.


| June/July 1996



156-019-01

The single most important thing about all air conditioners is to use them every day.


ILLUSTRATION: DARREN THOMPSON

MOTHER's Mechanic Jon shares his thirty-five years of car repair tips and know-how. Learn about extending car air conditioners and adding lube to antifreeze, tight lug nuts and altering catalytic converters. 

Extending Car Air Conditioners, Adding Lube to Antifreeze and Altering Catalytic Converters

Let me get something off my chest before we get down to business. I'm not a "journalist." I'm a "wrench turner," and have been for the better part of 35 years. What gets me up in the morning after all that time, what has kept me clinking away in this field since Kennedy was president, is simply that the same things that mystify you about your cars mystify me. They are at once impossibly complex and mule-like simple, increasingly dependable, yet technologically incomprehensible to a seasoned NASA flight engineer. They're a source of our greatest joy, and most teeth-clenching rage. But we love them and need to care just as much for those solid blocks of whirring computer relays as we did for the simple straight sixes of a generation ago. So what can the novice owner do, beyond changing the oil and airing the tires, to extend the life of a car ? Volumes, my friends, volumes!  

I was recently told that after only three years, the air-conditioning unit needed to be basically replaced on my 1993 Ford F-100. The mechanic told me the internal seals were gone. Is he full of baloney or do I need an overhauled A/C?  

Dale Hartsman
Kansas City, MO
 

Your mechanic is probably right, but I'm still angry when I see letters like this because the whole problem could have been avoided. The single most important thing about all air conditioners is to use them every day. It takes less than two minutes of daily operation to wet the internal seals in an A/C pump, but this kind of information isn't exactly forthcoming from dealers or mechanics; in fact there was a time when I might have been fired for relating that information, because the garage would have lost out on the lovely "gravy job" that was going to come rolling in about a year later. It would take less time for a salesman to tell the simple truth than it takes to turn on the A/C for a minute. All most of us have to do is turn on the A/C for a few minutes every day to dramatically extend the life of A/C units that are not only hideously expensive to repair, but also worth at least $600 at trade-in time.

My dad used to swear by the addition of a little "lube" to his antifreeze, but I never hear anyone using it anymore. What's it for and has it been replaced by something else?  

alastairarchie
5/16/2014 11:01:57 PM

The issues you highlighted are greatly influenced in the use of http://creightonlaircey.net/air-conditioner-repair-augusta/. These also do not work well if are not used regularly.


kinney
5/9/2014 6:15:10 AM

In a car, you can get the ac problem when the anti freezer system or the ac pump not working properly. So for the better service or repair take the car to any authorized dealer for solve the problem, a well known mechanic only solve the problem. http://www.christensenperformance.com/audi-repair.html


abrahamdew
4/10/2014 9:06:44 AM

Air conditioner is a measure part of the car, sometimes people face the problem in the air conditioner. Ac not working due to many type of problems like the gas or compressor problem. Antifreeze is a measure part of the Ac and it work a vital role. http://jeffsmbz.com/


arcarro
2/11/2014 11:40:06 AM

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