Even if you don't drive much, have your car's AC checked annually

BERLIN: A modern car's air conditioning system offers all kinds of benefits, from cooling and heating to pollen protection. However, in order for it to function properly, the AC needs regular maintenance.

German technical inspection agency Tüv Süd recommends that you get your AC checked annually, regardless of how much you drive.

An appointment with the workshop is particularly worthwhile in spring because mould can spread in the system over the winter. You can save money with special spring offers but be wary of deals that seem too good to be true, as those might only include a check of the air pressure and that's not enough.

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The coolant can be a problem because if the level is too low, the AC's performance decreases, and this can usually only be checked by a workshop.

The activated carbon filter, which prevents exhaust gases or pollen from getting into the car, should also be changed annually.

It's recommended to leave the AC running for at least 10 minutes while driving, even in winter. Switch off the cooling function shortly before arriving at your destination but leave the fan on until the car comes to a stop.

This eliminates residual moisture in the system and prevents the formation of bacteria, mould and unpleasant odours.

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