Don't Be a Fool — Stay Cool

More Savvy Tips

This is the time of the year to get your car's air conditioner checked out, even if it's not acting up. Most of the time all you need is a little preventive maintenance, Freon and oil, and it doesn't cost much. But if you unwittingly run the air conditioner without proper fluids, you can wreck the compressor, which costs about $900 to replace. Tim Johnson, owner of Dublin Car Tek, a Diamond Certified company, says air conditioning repair shops certified by ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) use the right equipment to evaluate your system and use the right fluids. Service technicians, who don't know what they're doing, sometimes use propane instead of Freon causing serious and expensive damage.