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#3237949 - 01/05/14 06:52 AM Keeping up the AC in winter FYI
mjoekingz28 Offline


Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 3887
Loc: United States of America
I've heard that you should exercise the AC so the seals do not get brittle and leak, but how is this possible if the AC won't kick on in cold temps.

Also, what do you think? If temps are above 40F or so, running it for 5 minutes once a month would suffice.


I got lucky 2 years ago, our winter stayed relatively warm and I had to run the ac throughout the season and I didn't even need to add the usual can of freon in the following summer. But this last year I tried adding 2 cans and the compressor did kick on, but the air never got cold.

Thanks for all the help over the years BITOG.
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#3237950 - 01/05/14 06:54 AM Re: Keeping up the AC in winter FYI [Re: mjoekingz28]
Quakish Offline


Registered: 07/04/13
Posts: 45
Loc: Ontario, CA
every time i turn on the defroster my ac kicks in. car is 10 yrs old and never a problem with ac (i think i may have just jinxed myself though)

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#3237953 - 01/05/14 07:08 AM Re: Keeping up the AC in winter FYI [Re: mjoekingz28]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 19333
Loc: Upstate NY
Once a month for the oil to splash against the O-rings. Most cars turn on the AC when you go to defrost. Even if the light does not come on.
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#3237954 - 01/05/14 07:08 AM Re: Keeping up the AC in winter FYI [Re: mjoekingz28]
dave180 Offline


Registered: 11/01/13
Posts: 145
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
The A/C is designed to cycle when in the defrost position for this very purpose. It circulates Freon and the air you are blowing on the windshield is dehumidified.

If two can of Freon were added and air never got cold you may have a leak, the high pressure switch may be bad, receiver/dryer is bad, etc. I would suggest a competent/proper A/C shop diagnosis with pressure gauges, Freon dye, etc.
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#3237955 - 01/05/14 07:09 AM Re: Keeping up the AC in winter FYI [Re: mjoekingz28]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 19333
Loc: Upstate NY
But its no guarantee. There are 2 sides to the O-ring and you only condition the inside surface. So it helps with O-ring failure, but does not prevent it.
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#3237966 - 01/05/14 07:32 AM Re: Keeping up the AC in winter FYI [Re: mjoekingz28]
Chris Meutsch Offline


Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 2615
Loc: Cincinnati
After seeing this topic discussed before and a guy said he turns it on when he buys a new car and never turns it off again, I've done just that. Mine is always on now and I simply adjust the temp as needed.
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#3237998 - 01/05/14 08:18 AM Re: Keeping up the AC in winter FYI [Re: mjoekingz28]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 40411
Loc: New Jersey
Mine is always on for the most part. I do turn off all accessories before starting the car,but as soon as the car is on, so is the AC.

Mercedes recommends running it once a month minimum, and I don't see what the big issue is. Why only 5 minutes? The system hasn't stabilized in 5 minutes. Run it for a long while.

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#3238004 - 01/05/14 08:22 AM Re: Keeping up the AC in winter FYI [Re: mjoekingz28]
sciphi Offline


Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 10008
Loc: Upstate NY
It runs anytime you run the defroster. Our cars take a bit to clear the windows with this humid winter environment, so the A/C gets a good workout regularly.
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#3238031 - 01/05/14 08:59 AM Re: Keeping up the AC in winter FYI [Re: mjoekingz28]
KrisZ Offline


Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 6833
Loc: Toronto, Canada
In winter I use defrost a lot so the AC turns on quite often. I noticed that even when it quite cold outside, like -10C, that AC will not turn ON when the car is cold, but at the end of my ~30 minute commute, when I'am at a red light or in slow moving traffic, the AC will kick in. I guess the underhood temps. must get just above freezing at that point.


Edited by KrisZ (01/05/14 09:00 AM)
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#3238069 - 01/05/14 09:39 AM Re: Keeping up the AC in winter FYI [Re: mjoekingz28]
edwardh1 Offline


Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 2694
Loc: Coastal South Carolina
if you have a garage, park car in garage after driving it fully- engine hot.
wait 30 min, engine heat should heat the a/c compressor, back out of garage, then cut on the a/c for 5 min
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#3238420 - 01/05/14 02:58 PM Re: Keeping up the AC in winter FYI [Re: edwardh1]
Tosh Offline


Registered: 05/12/05
Posts: 2689
Loc: Silicon Valley
Originally Posted By: edwardh1
if you have a garage, park car in garage after driving it fully- engine hot.
wait 30 min, engine heat should heat the a/c compressor, back out of garage, then cut on the a/c for 5 min

Why does one need to actually back out of the garage during this voodoo ritual?

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#3238492 - 01/05/14 03:50 PM Re: Keeping up the AC in winter FYI [Re: Tosh]
TFB1 Offline


Registered: 09/03/10
Posts: 3496
Loc: VA
Originally Posted By: Tosh
Originally Posted By: edwardh1
if you have a garage, park car in garage after driving it fully- engine hot.
wait 30 min, engine heat should heat the a/c compressor, back out of garage, then cut on the a/c for 5 min

Why does one need to actually back out of the garage during this voodoo ritual?


As already mentioned most vehicles activate the compressor when in defrost(for aiding defrost not just to cycle the compressor)... Outside of BITOG these ritualistic procedures are rarely observed...

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