Summer Driving Tips
Check the Air Conditioning System
Let's face it: when it's 95 degrees and humid outside, and you've been stuck in the car for six hours with three rowdy kids, one slobbering canine and a grouchy in-law, having working AC might just be the only thing that keeps you from that one-way ticket to the funny farm.
There's nothing to really maintain, per se, on your air conditioning system. All you have to do is check to see that you're getting some cold air coming out of the vents when you turn on your AC. You might consider asking your mechanic to check to make sure that the AC system is fully charged with refrigerant. The bottom line, though, is this: If you're getting cold air out of the vents, it's not worth messing with the AC at all.
If you think you could rough it without the AC, remember this: A failing AC system can affect more than just the cool breeze blowing in your face. On many modern cars, the air-conditioner's belt drives other things, too.
If your compressor fails and seizes, the belt could break and you could also be stuck without an alternator or a water pump, which would bring your summer safari to a screeching halt faster than you can say, “Where's Rex? Didn't we leave him tied to the bumper?” Of course, if you read 1B, you already checked the condition of the belts.