If you’re a long-haul truck driver, you spend countless hours on the road. In terms of travel essentials for your next trip, you need an HVAC system that’s fully working. In turn, it can keep you comfortable and safe during any weather conditions. In this article, we’ll provide essential truck HVAC maintenance tips to keep it running smoothly during journeys.
Why Is Maintenance So Important?
HVAC maintenance ensures that the air conditioning and heating systems are functioning correctly, which is critical for your health and comfort. The cabin temperature plays a significant role in keeping drivers alert and focused during their trips. Inadequate maintenance can affect temperature regulation in the cabin. An underperforming air conditioner can result in high temperatures, which can lead to heat exhaustion or dehydration.
On the other hand, a malfunctioning heater can make for freezing conditions inside the cabin during winter months. This situation may cause hypothermia or even frostbite if left unchecked.
This is why you should conduct routine checks on belts, hoses, filters, refrigerant levels, and other critical components. In turn, your system will:
- operate correctly
- maintain comfortable temperatures
- protect your health
- enhance overall road safety
Check Your Air Filters
The air filters in your truck’s HVAC system are important for maintaining high indoor air quality. They remove airborne particles, dust, and pollen from the air that passes through them. The accumulation of these pollutants can decrease the efficiency of your HVAC system, and cause respiratory problems in some individuals. It’s recommended to change your air filters at least every six months, or more frequently if you drive in dusty or polluted environments.
A dirty air filter requires your HVAC system to work hard, leading to increased fuel consumption and decreased performance. Neglecting to change your air filters regularly can lead to clogged components in the HVAC system, and costly repairs later on.
Neglecting your air filter can also shorten the life of your HVAC system. The people who visit the Shoreline Truck Parts website confirm it’s the best market for things like air filters, AC lines, APU parts, and heater cores. They also want to research base, standard, and premium model HVAC boxes.
Assess the Refrigerant Levels
Low refrigerant levels can cause your air conditioning to blow warm or non-cooled air. This can be uncomfortable and dangerous for long-haul drivers. Checking the refrigerant levels should be done by a professional mechanic. They’ll have the proper equipment to measure the amount of refrigerant in the system accurately.
If your air conditioning isn’t blowing cold air, it could also be an indication of a more severe problem. In some cases, there may be a leak in the AC system that needs repair, before adding more refrigerant. Once again, you’ll need an experienced professional to perform this task.
Inspect the Fan and Blower Motors
These work tirelessly to circulate the air throughout the cabin, keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter. However, over time, they can wear out or become clogged with debris and dirt. In turn, this can lead to poor airflow or even complete failure.
To inspect these motors, start by turning off the engine and opening the hood. Locate the HVAC unit and remove any debris or obstructions around it. Check for any signs of damage or excessive wear on the motor’s blades or housing.
If you notice any cracks or dents, it may be time for a replacement. Next, test the motor’s function by turning on your truck’s HVAC system. Listen for any unusual sounds like rattling or grinding noises. If you hear these, it could be time for a new one.
Test the Thermostat Functions
The thermostat controls the temperature and regulates when the heating or cooling systems turn on and off. To begin testing, turn on the truck’s engine and allow it to warm up for a few minutes. Then, set the thermostat to its lowest setting and wait for cold air to blow out of the vents.
Next, gradually increase the temperature setting, until warm air begins flowing through. It may be time to replace or repair the thermostat if:
- there are any delays in temperature changes
- inconsistent temperatures are detected in different areas of the cab
A malfunctioning thermostat can cause unnecessary strain on your vehicle’s HVAC system. Once again, this can lead to increased fuel consumption and higher costs long term.
Check and Clean Your Condenser Coils
With us, the condenser coils can become clogged with dirt, debris, and other pollutants. This can reduce their ability to function effectively, resulting in poor airflow and reduced cooling capacity. To inspect the condenser coils, it’s necessary to remove the protective cover from the unit. Once exposed, visually inspect them for any signs of damage or corrosion. If there are no visible issues, use compressed air or a soft brush to remove any accumulated debris.
Cleaning the condenser coils requires a bit more time and effort. A specialized coil cleaner is typically required, to effectively remove stubborn buildup from the coils. Follow manufacturer instructions carefully when using these products. Also, avoid using high-pressure water or abrasive materials that could damage your system’s components.
Regularly Inspect The Compressor
This is responsible for compressing refrigerant gas, and pumping it through the system to cool or heat the cabin. Firstly, check for any leaks in the compressor, because the seals and hoses can wear out over time. This can cause refrigerant gas to escape, leading to poor performance or complete failure of the HVAC system.
Secondly, clean any debris from around the compressor, as this can also affect its efficiency. Finally, regularly check and change the oil in your truck’s HVAC system, as dirty oil can clog up filters and damage the compressor.
You should keep the cab clean and ventilated at all times. Also, conduct general vehicle checks and maintenance, and book regular services. Thanks to the help and advice we’ve provided, you’ll be able to keep your HVAC system in top performance. In turn, it’ll last longer, function better and increase your quality of life when traveling.