PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Is your vehicle's air conditioning system ready for the sweltering Arizona summer? Your comfort and your car's performance may rely on it.

NARPRO, short for Neighborhood Auto Repair Professionals, says it is critical for cars to have well-maintained air conditioning systems because that cooling helps keep some car parts from overheating, especially in the Arizona heat.

3 On Your Side went to Howard Fleischman at Community Tire Pros and Auto Repair in Phoenix for some expert advice. He says one of the first things people notice if they have a problem with the AC is a lack of air flow.

"This can be really simple, but can be complicated," he said. "The first thing you do is check to make sure your filter is clean inside the vehicle because they get clogged up. They should be changed every six months. If it’s two years old, it could be stopping air from flowing through the vents."

Fleischman says drivers can also do a DIY check on the temperature of air coming out of the vents.

"Grab a temperature gauge," he said. "It can be as simple as the temperature gauge your wife uses when she’s cooking. Stick it one of the air vents, turn it on, give it a couple minutes. It should start reading 42 to 45 degrees. If it’s doing that, more than likely the system is doing fine."

Other potential problems may be more difficult to diagnose on your own. Through May 31, all NARPRO shops are conducting free AC check-ups. Call any NARPRO location to schedule an appointment. The check-up will take about 30 minutes.


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