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Your truck can run without AC, but can you? Inefficient air conditioning in the cabin can be more than uncomfortable, it can affect your driving performance and safety. That’s why it is so important to make sure your air-conditioning system is operating efficiently all summer long.

Maintenance, Maintenance, Maintenance

The most important thing you can do to ensure your AC is in peak condition is to stick to the recommended maintenance schedule. Even if your AC appears to be working fine, it loses about five percent of its efficiency every year without proper maintenance. And while it can seem like a hassle to take your truck in when it doesn’t feel necessary, a couple hours of preventative maintenance (PM) sure beats being down for a day or more to have your air-conditioning system repaired or replaced.

Aside from keeping up with the PM schedule, there are other actions you can take to ensure you are maximizing the efficiency of your air-conditioning system:

Listen to the Blower

At least once a trip, take a quiet moment to listen hard. Is there any noise coming from the blower motor? If you notice any buzzing or grinding noises, that’s a good indication that the blower is working at less-than-optimal efficiency, putting more stress on the rest of the system and maybe, a sign that it could be on its way out. If you hear any odd noise, have a mechanic look at it as soon as possible.

Sniff and Look

While the AC is running, give the air a strong sniff. If you detect an old, musty smell coming from your vents, there could be dirt or mold in your system that needs to be removed ASAP. Also, look at your freon level. A low level means you simply don’t have enough refrigerant to adequately cool your cabin. It could also indicate you have a leak. When checking for leaks, examine the hoses and fittings for wetness or cracks, especially at bends, flex points and hose connections.

Shut it Down

If you ever feel warm air coming out when you’re running the AC, shut down the entire system and turn off your engine. Give your truck time to cool down to a normal temperature, then check your fluids. If you’re low on fluids and you keep pushing it, you could bring your truck dangerously close to overheating.

Protect Your AC

You don’t need AC to keep your truck running, but it is a valuable component to keep you running. That’s why you should consider a warranty to cover cooling and heating issues that can crop up at the worst time. Talk to your sales rep about NTP’s Comfort Package, which is available with any 12- or 24-month warranty. Aside from covering most air-conditioning parts, it also covers other important components that keep your truck running and you comfortable, like radiator, alternator, starter, radio and more. And, it could save you thousands!

Air-conditioning efficiency is of the utmost importance during these hot summer months. Proper maintenance and a few basic precautionary measures should help you keep everything running smoothly. Keep cool out there!