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Your car’s air conditioning system is very complex, and made up of several essential parts. One of the most important is the AC thermistor. No AC system can operate without it, whether it’s the AC system in your car, or your home climate control system. The thermistor works to monitor the temperature by measuring resistance – as the heat in your car increases, the thermistor’s resistance drops, and that’s what makes your car’s AC system keep you cool.
Of course, you don’t use your AC every day, unless you live in a really warm climate. The life of the thermistor, though, doesn’t depend so much on how often it is called into action as it does other types of wear and tear. It is an electrical component, so it is vulnerable to dust and debris, corrosion, and jostling. The life of the thermistor will depend less on its age than on the conditions in which you drive – rough, dusty roads, for example, can reduce the thermistor’s life. Generally speaking, though, you can expect the AC thermistor to last about three years.
Signs that your AC thermistor may need replacing include:
- System blows cool, but not cold, air
- Cold air blows only for a little while
- AC stops blowing air
Problems with the thermistor can mimic other issues in the AC system, so if you are having difficulty with your car’s AC system, you should have it checked out by a qualified mechanic. A professional mechanic can do a thorough analysis of your air conditioning system, identify the problem or problems, and if necessary, replace your AC thermistor.
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