How to stay cool if your air-con breaks

By David Sholicar

Forty years ago, only luxury cars had air conditioning. Even as late as the 1990s, it tended to be something that you found only on executive models. In the last 20 years or so, however, it has become a feature we expect to have in all but the most basic budget models.

Air Con breaks down

Not only does air con help you to keep your cool in the summer months, but because it delivers dry air, it is great for demisting the car in wet or wintry conditions too. In fact, in our experience using your air con all year round is a good way of ensuring that it stays in good condition. If you use it for at least 20 minutes a week all year round, you help to keep the refrigerant circulating and that, in turn, stops the seals from drying out and the gas escaping.
Even so, air con becomes less efficient over time and you will usually need to have the system re-gassed every two or three years to keep it working at its best. But what do you do if you are caught in a hot spell with air con that’s only delivering a feeble flow of cool air, or worse still is not working at all?

Keeping your cool

Firstly, if you can, try to avoid sitting in traffic. At least if you’re moving you can get a flow of air into the car through the vents and by having the windows open. If you don’t have to travel during the hottest part of the day then avoid doing so; mornings and evenings will be cooler than driving in the middle of the day.
Also dress appropriately. You may have to wear a suit and tie for work but there’s nothing to stop you travelling in shorts and a T-shirt and getting changed when you arrive at the office.

Problems with your air-con?

Protyre offer an air-con regas and lube service at many of our garages. Click the button below to book your vehicle in.

Book Air-Con Regas & Lube

Cars can get really hot when parked and that makes them uncomfortable when you return to them. If you can, try to park in the shade or if that’s not an option set up a shade inside the windscreen. When you return to a hot car there are some handy tips that you can use to cool it down quickly.
If you have a sunroof open it, hot air rises so this is one of the fastest ways of letting it escape. Open the windows too. If you don’t have a sunroof, open the windows on one side of the car and swing the door on the opposite side in a fanning motion - you might feel a bit daft standing in a car park doing this but it’s remarkably effective in encouraging the hot air out.
When you’re on the move, it’s tempting to have windows open the fan on and air rushing out of the dash vents. It’s actually more effective to use the footwell vents with the windows open as this, again, encourages the hot air to rise.
Of course, the best option is to have your air con fixed. At Protyre we don’t just fit tyres from leading brands such as; Pirelli and Falken; you can book a free vehicle check online and we’ll check your car over and recommend any fixes to keep you cool.

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About the author

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By David Sholicar
David is the National Retail Operations Manager for Protyre. One of David’s areas of responsibility and expertise is dealing with the DVSA and MOT’s for Protyre. As the Authorised Examiner Designate Manager ( AEDM ) David deals with applications for changes to the many Vehicle Testing Stations ( VTS’s) including managing the growth of the Number of MOT testing stations that Protyre operate, allocating MOT tester roles, and monitoring the MOT Test logs to ensure that Protyre MOT standards are maintained as the best in the industry.
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