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Heat wave pushes car’s air conditioning to the limit


Another heat wave is hitting the region this week, and your car’s air conditioner is being pushed to the limit to keep you cool.
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 10:55 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Another heat wave is hitting the region this week, and your car’s air conditioner is being pushed to the limit to keep you cool.

Mechanics at Mark’s Automotive Service in Nashville have been working almost exclusively on air conditioning issues since the start of the heat wave last week. Mechanic Bobby Hammond said they have a four to five day wait just to get an estimate.

“About this time of year everything starts to get overloaded because the heat is climbing,” Hammond said. “They haven’t been used as much all winter long.”

Hammond said an air conditioning repair can cost between $600 and $2,000, depending on how many parts are needed. It can take up to eight hours to fix, so he is limited to only servicing a few cars each day.

Office manager Cathy Daugherty said their schedule has been jam packed since the extreme heat began. There are close to two dozen cars sitting on the lot waiting to be serviced at any time.

“With the (high) cost of getting new cars or used cars, they’re fixing a lot of things that normally they wouldn’t,” Daugherty said. “Even on their older cars, because it’s just less expensive than getting a new or used car right now.”

She said the beginning of summer is a busy time for normal tune-ups anyway, and now they are also dealing with the heatwave, supply chain issues and labor shortages.

A jar of Freon that’s used for cooling in air conditioners used to cost around $120, Hammond said. It is now difficult to get in stock and can cost up to $300 per jar.

“I’m trying to get to everyone as fast as I can, but I have got to do a good job too,” Hammond said. “There is only so much one person can do in one day.”

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