Diagnosing a Broken Car AC

Summer is here, and if there’s something Los Angeles, Downey, and Long Beach residents will appreciate, it’s a working car air conditioner. No one wants an impromptu sauna, especially if they’re on their way to work or have a million other stressful things to deal with that day.

To help you keep your cool by staying cool, here are some factors you can look at while trying to diagnose your car’s broken AC system:

No Air Flow or Inconsistent Air Flow

Your first step to diagnosing the problem is to rule out scenarios based on what the AC can and can’t do. As any good experimenter knows, playing with one variable at a time can tell you a lot, even if all you find out is that part of the system works fine.

The prime concern in determining just how bad off your AC system could be is to see if it still blows air. With your car running, turn the AC on full blast with only the center vents opened. Then open side vents to move the air around. Try changing to the feet setting and defrost settings, too.

If you can’t get air out of any of your vents:

  • Your electrical system may be bad. Try changing out the fuses. You may also have a faulty relay switch, which isn’t difficult to replace.
  • Your blower motor is broken and needs to be replaced.

If air is coming out of certain vents but not others:

  • Your dividers that separate the vents may have fallen out of place and are blocking airflow. These are called mode doors. Getting to them often requires taking your dash apart.

If air is flowing but weakly:

  • You could have a clog in the lines or your air filter is dirty. Check for a moldy or garbage-like smell. You can clean your interior air filter yourself (check your owner’s manual to find it), but you’ll likely need a mechanic to clear out any clogs deep inside the system.
  • Air that starts off strong and cold but then gets weaker and warm could mean an icing problem. Give your system time to defrost, but realize that icing usually means low coolant.

Only Warm Air Blows

If the air seems to be coming out of the right vents but it stays hot no matter what, you have a problem with the refrigerant cycle in your AC.

  • Check to see if your blower motor clicks on. You can actually hear it in some cars a second or so after the AC is turned on. If it doesn’t come on, you probably have an electrical problem.
  • Your compressor or your condenser may have issues. Wait for your engine to cool then open the hood and remove any debris from between the front grille of your car and the condenser, which is a series of coils right next to the radiator. Make sure your vehicle has enough coolant. If it does but the AC still won’t work, see a mechanic.
  • Your refrigerant may have leaked out. See a mechanic who can identify the leak and recharge your coolant lines.

You Get Cold Air, But You Hear Strange Noises or the System Acts Up

  • You may have an icing problem as indicated above.
  • You could have debris in your vent or stuck in your compressor motor.
  • You could have a blockage that only moves around when the air blows through.
  • Your electrical system could have shorts that come and go as the vehicle runs for a while. This is likely the problem if other systems, such as the radio, tend to go haywire on occasion.
  • Your compressor belt could be on its way out and needs replacement.

Even if you’re certain you’ve found the cause of the problem, unless it’s something like a blown fuse or a dirty filter, you likely won’t be able to address it on your own. Los Angeles, Downey, and Long Beach Ford owners should head to their nearest Ford dealership and have their car looked at. That way they can enjoy the sunny summer weather without praying for an ocean breeze to waft by every few seconds.

Visit Norm Reeves Ford Superstore’s service department page to book an appointment and quickly get your AC running again before your sanity reaches its boiling point.

Where to see Fireworks in Cerritos, CA

No Independence Day is complete without good food, live entertainment and, most importantly, fireworks. Cerritos and the surrounding areas provide numerous Fourth of July events that the whole family can enjoy. For fireworks and festivities, visit the following:

Let Freedom Ring Celebration

The Cerritos town government hosts its Let Freedom Ring Celebration every Fourth of July at the Cerritos Civic Center, located on Bloomfield Avenue at 183rd Street. The event opens at 4 pm and features games, children’s activities, live entertainments, food, and rides. You can buy ride tickets for $1 each or pay $20 for an all-day ride pass; if you buy the pass before June 30, you’ll get a $5 discount. The fireworks will begin at 9 pm and will be launched from nearby Cerritos High School.

All-American 4th of July

Located just 18 miles outside Cerritos, the retired ocean liner RMS Queen Mary hosts the All-American 4th of July event to celebrate the United States throughout its history.

Each section of the ship is dedicated to a different decade of America’s past, allowing you to stroll through and see how the country has changed.

The event opens at 2 pm and features a buffet dinner, disco, laser tag, and a wide range of other entertainments from multiple time periods before ending with a fireworks display on the deck.

The ship is located at 1126 Queens Highway in Long Beach. Admission is $49 per adult and $29 per child, with a $5 discount if you buy your tickets online.

Sounds of Freedom

Beginning in 1904, Huntington Beach has held an annual Sounds of Freedom celebration to commemorate both American independence and the city’s first electric passenger train line.

This year’s event begins with a communal breakfast from 7 to 11 am. There’s 5K run from 7 am to noon, a parade from 10 am to noon, and live entertainment throughout the day. Over-the-ocean fireworks begin at 9 pm.

Huntington Beach is fewer than 20 miles from Cerritos. The event itself is free, but you must purchase a $5 ticket to take part in the breakfast, a $10 ticket for pier seating during the fireworks, and a $20 ticket for bleacher seating during the parade.

Hollywood Bowl Fireworks Spectacular

Located at 2301 Highland Avenue in Los Angeles, the Hollywood Bowl is fewer than 30 miles from Cerritos. Its annual Hollywood Bowl Fireworks Spectacular will be held on July 2, 3, and 4 beginning at 7:30 pm each night.

The event features performances by Steve Martin, Edie Brickell, John Morris Russell and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Steep Canyon Rangers, and the US Air Force Band of the Golden West. It then ends with a fireworks display. Tickets are $13 per person, and children under 12 receive a 50 percent discount.

Once you’ve found a Fourth of July destination, the next step is getting there. Arrive in style with the latest vehicles and quality automotive services from Norm Reeves Ford Superstore.

Best Places to Beat the Heat near Whittier, CA

Located over a dozen miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, Whittier, CA, is one of the most beautiful cities in the country. Its Southern California location means a constant stream of sunny weather throughout the year. However, this also means that a summer day in Whittier can be extremely hot. Fortunately, the Whittier area offers plenty of things for you to do to beat the heat. Here are the best places to stay cool near Whittier:

Starlight Whittier Village Cinemas

Regardless of where you are, the local movie theater is always one of the best places in the area to stay cool, especially since the summertime comes with one of the best stretches of movie releases each year. The Starlight Whittier Village Cinemas, which is right in the heart of Whittier, is no different.

Whittier Museum

The Whittier Museum always offers a unique historical experience. It provides outstanding exhibits, is free on weekends, and its AC will keep you cool.

King Richard’s Antique Center in Whittier

Wandering around this antique center will make you feel as though you’re taking a walk through history. While you’re browsing their wares, which include a vast array of antique, vintage, and collectible items, you’re certain to find something with a wondrous story attached to it. They also offer painting classes during the summer.

Oceanic Arts in Whittier

Oceanic Arts is filled with unique and authentic Polynesian arts. Although their works of art are great to look at, you don’t have to leave your experience at the door. You can also purchase many of the works of art that they have on display.

Buena Park Medieval Times

Dinner at Medieval Times is always a blast. Fortunately, their desire to give you an authentic medieval experience doesn’t include letting you suffer under the weight of the oppressive summer heat. The Buena Park Medieval Times features an indoor arena to keep you completely comfortable.

La Pescadora Restaurant and Sports Bar

This seafood grill, Mexican restaurant, and sports bar always has the AC blasting to keep you cool while you enjoy one of their wonderful meals and/or watch a great game.

Round 1 in Lakewood

The Round 1 bowling alley is another great place to beat the heat with a few rounds of bowling. This bowling alley features an assortment of events for the whole family.

Massage Envy Spa Whittier

What better way to relax (away from the summer heat) than a day at the spa? You can get the full spa treatment at the Massage Envy Spa, which is located right here in Whittier. Don’t let the summer heat get you down! Check out any of the spots on our list to stay cool and have fun. If you need a new car to get you to and from these locations, stop by Norm Reeves Ford Superstore and test drive one of our 2015 models.

How to Keep your Car from Overheating

When your Ford starts to run hot, it’s difficult not to panic. You watch the temperature gauge rise above the normal range and hit dangerous levels, prompting you to pull your vehicle to the side of the road. As you lift the hood, steam immediately rises from the mechanics. Overheating can leave you stranded, cause damage to your engine, or even cause your vehicle to catch on fire.

Every year, hundreds of drivers in Los Angeles, Downey, and Long Beach quickly find themselves in an emergency because they’re unaware of the warning signs of a car running hot. Keeping yourself safe and ensuring that your car isn’t damaged is simple if you know how to keep your car from overheating.

Check Coolant Levels

The coolant in your radiator is the first line of defense against your Ford reaching dangerous temperature levels. Coolant works by circulating through the engine and radiator, keeping the mechanics from overheating.

If the coolant is old, the level is low, or there’s a leak in the system, your Ford may begin to overheat. You can prevent this problem by popping the hood and checking the coolant levels in your vehicle every three to four months.

Check Hoses

The hoses that transfer the coolant through your engine compartment may become hard, brittle, or develop leaks over time, which can cause your Ford to overheat. When you perform regular maintenance on your vehicle, be sure to observe all of the hoses and assess their condition. If you notice they’re damaged, immediately bring your vehicle to your local mechanic so they can be replaced.

Check the Cooling Fan

Many Fords have a cooling fan that helps to keep the radiator from overheating. If the switch of this fan is damaged or the fan breaks, your vehicle may begin to overheat. The belt that makes the cooling fan work can break or slip off, which will result in the failure of the fan to cool the radiator. If you believe that your cooling fan has stopped working, have it checked out by a professional.

Watch the Temperature

Pay attention to the gauge on your dashboard that monitors the temperature of your vehicle. As soon as you notice that the needle rises above the normal temperature, pull over. Always let your car cool down before checking for a problem. Trying to open the lid to the radiator or handle hot engine parts could result in serious injuries.

Regular Maintenance

The best way to mitigate against an overheating issue in your Ford is to have the vehicle regularly serviced by a professional mechanic. Your local Ford service center will evaluate your vehicle, including the coolant system, and ensure that it’s in top running condition.

Ford owners in Los Angeles, Downey, and Long Beach trust Norm Reeves Ford Superstore to complete all of their vehicle maintenance needs. If your car is having an overheating issue or you would like your coolant system to be assessed by a professional mechanic, visit our service page and schedule your appointment today.

Top Tailgating Tips for Summer Games around Fullerton, CA


Whether you plan to spend lazy summer days at the Fullerton Sports Complex or you want to catch a summer league game at the university, you can always enhance the experience with a tailgate party. This summer, stay cool and safe while enjoying awesome tailgates with these simple tips.


Nothing ruins a tailgate faster than bad food. Protect your guests by following basic food safety guidelines:

  1. Put the meat on the bottom. Cross-contamination from raw meat to other food products is the leading cause of foodborne illness. Keeping the meat on the bottom of your cooler keeps liquids from running out of the meat package and onto other food.
  2. Use a thermometer. All cold food must be kept at 40° or below for optimal safety. In addition, make sure you follow the recommended temperature guidelines for your cooked food.
  3. Always wipe and sanitize. Water is sometimes at a premium when you tailgate, so bring along a bottle of sanitizer to eliminate the spread of bacteria and germs.
  4. Slice and pre-pack toppings. It takes quite a bit of time to slice tomatoes and onions for your burgers, so avoid the hassle by cutting and packing them the night before.
  5. Make sliders instead of burgers. You don’t want to feel bloated after you eat huge burgers at your tailgate. Try serving small sliders so guests can control portion size and prevent overeating under the hot sun.


No tailgate is complete without plenty of drinks. This season try the following:

  1. Use separate coolers for drinks. If guests are constantly opening your food cooler for drinks, the ice will melt and the food will be at risk of spoiling. Use a dedicated and labelled cooler for drinks to avoid this issue.
  2. Freeze water bottles. Place several single-serve water bottles in your freezer before your tailgate. These bottles serve two purposes. First, they replace costly bags of ice as your primary method of keeping the coolers cold. Second, you can drink them when they start to thaw.
  3. Have the right ratio. It’s easy to focus on having enough beer and soda for your tailgate, but it’s more important that you have plenty of water on hand. As a rule of thumb, anticipate guests drinking one bottle of water every 45 minutes and plan accordingly.
  4. Keep away the bugs. A paper cupcake liner is the perfect cover for all of your drinks. Put one over the top, stick a straw through it, and you’ll never have to swat flies away from your cup again.

Clean Up

It’s important to leave your tailgate site as clean (or better) than it was when you arrived. Fortunately, clean up doesn’t have to be stressful.

  1. Use a plastic tote. Take a plastic tote and line it with a trash bag. It will serve as a trash can that’s hard to knock over and won’t get torn by accident.
  2. Cool your grill. If you use a charcoal grill, make sure you put the coals in a metal bucket when you’re done cooking. Never break down a grill until it’s cool when you touch it or it becomes a fire hazard.

This summer, enjoy sports the way they were meant to be watched: with tailgates, a few drinks, and good company. If you need a new vehicle to make the most of your tailgates, check out Norm Reeves Ford Superstore’s new inventory and schedule a test drive to try out your favorite vehicles.