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With a little regular maintenance, your Mercedes-Benz will continue to keep you comfortable no matter what the conditions are outside. From sweltering summer days to chilly winter mornings, from smog and dust to tailpipe emissions from other vehicles, a Mercedes-Benz is built to prevent any of that stuff from disturbing your commute. Below, we’ll tell you about six of the most important components of a modern gasoline vehicle’s HVAC system. We’ll also tell you which ones will require occasional regular maintenance to keep them working well for the long road ahead.
Most every vehicle on the road filtrates the air you breathe inside the cabin — protecting you from exhaust fumes from other vehicles. And, just like the filter in your furnace at home, the cabin air filter in your car must be regularly changed. Check your owner’s manual to find out how often the filter should be changed in your car. Or, simply leave this to the professionals at the Mercedes-Benz of Temecula service center. As part of your routine A and B scheduled maintenance services, your cabin air filter will be checked. If it needs to be replaced, we’ll let you know.
The latest Mercedes-Benz vehicles also have cabin air ionization and fragrance systems that can make driving around Southern California even more enjoyable. Together these systems can improve the quality of the air you breathe, removing harmful contaminants like smog and pollen, and even leave behind a subtle fresh scent. But none of them can do their job properly with a clogged cabin air filter.
Behind the dashboard, a blower fan pushes air through your vehicle’s climate vents. If you find that — whether you choose heat or air conditioning — air simply isn’t coming through the vents, your vehicle’s blower fan may be malfunctioning. A blower fan doesn’t need any regular maintenance, and should continue working for the whole life of the car. But they can become damaged by dust and debris getting into the system over time. If this happens, have a technician take a look at your vehicle’s blower fan. If it’s not an issue with the fan itself, the vehicle’s electrical system might be to blame.
When you turn up the heat on a chilly morning, it’s the heater core that makes it possible — and you might not realize that it’s intimately related to your vehicle’s cooling system. Coolant flows through the engine to draw heat away from its rapidly moving parts, keeping it cool and ensuring long-term reliability. When you turn the heater on, some of that coolant is then diverted to the heater core. The blower fan causes air to pass across the heater core, warming it before sending it through the climate vents. If you find that your heater isn’t working, you’ll want that repaired right away, and not just for your comfort. It could be an early warning sign that your vehicle’s engine cooling system is in need of service.
Where the heater on your vehicle is relatively simple, the air conditioning system is far more complex. The A/C compressor pumps a special refrigerant gas through the system. As this gas expands and contracts, it changes phase to a liquid. This helps to draw heat out of the cabin while allowing fresh, cool air to exit the climate vents. On most cars, the A/C compressor is belt-driven. The engine sends power to the compressor via the accessory belt (or “serpentine” belt). If this belt slips, the pulley becomes damaged or the compressor begins to leak refrigerant, the air conditioning in your car may stop working.
The A/C condenser is typically located right behind your vehicle’s front grille. This allows ambient air to flow across the condenser. As refrigerant flows to the condenser, airflow lowers the temperature of the refrigerant, allowing heat that was once inside the cabin to exit the vehicle.
This component typically doesn’t need service — but it can become damaged in an accident, due to its close proximity to the front bumper. If you’ve been in a collision, be sure to have your vehicle inspected by a factory-trained Mercedes-Benz technician. Even if there appears to be no damage to the vehicle’s exterior, the vehicle’s radiator or condenser may have suffered damage underneath.
In addition to replacing the cabin air filter regularly, you’ll eventually need to have the refrigerant in your vehicle’s A/C system exchanged. This is typically called A/C “recharging.” It’s a high-tech term for a fairly low-tech process: A technician will simply extract any remaining refrigerant from the system, then refill the system with the proper amount of fresh refrigerant gas.
Because everyone has different driving conditions, weather and temperature preferences, we can’t provide an estimate of how often you’ll need to have the refrigerant changed in your vehicle — though, it’s not a service you’ll need performed often. If you notice that the air coming from the vents isn’t as cool as you expect with the A/C on full blast, that’s a sign that you’re in need of A/C recharging. It’s important that this service only be carried out by certified Mercedes-Benz experts. We’ve got the right tools and the know-how to extract and recapture old refrigerant gas. Did you know refrigerant can be harmful to the environment? That’s why, by law, you must have any remaining refrigerant in your vehicle recaptured using sophisticated tools — the kind of sophisticated tools we use all the time here at Mercedes-Benz of Temecula.