Automotive Air-Con servicing –
We look at how often you should do it, why you should do it, what does it involve and why does it sometimes smell!
So when and why should you Service & Re-Gas your Air-Con System?
Air-Cons like a lot of things in life, we generally don’t put to much focus on until they no longer work. Like a battery that fails when you’re far away, it’s raining and your phone has died, Air-Con always tends to stop when it’s hot!
To reduce the chance of premature failure or the need to service your Air-Con system there is one thing you can do that costs nothing. What is it? Turn it on! that’s it, turn it on in all seasons not just when it’s hot and especially in winter. The system is not only filled with gas but an oil too. Oils that not only helps keep the compressor and other moving parts lubricated but help keep the seals and the lines that stop the gas from getting out lubricated and preventing them from drying out and causing leaks, which means you get hot air! Outside of turning it on all year round your Air-Con would be better off with a service every 12 months, however, depending on how old your car is just a performance check may be all that’s required. A performance check could include a visual leak check, pressure check, and temperature check.
Over time however the system will lose gas, so you won’t always notice the change the same as when a Battery dies and you know it’s stopped right away. Slowly each year the system gets less and less efficient, to the point it’s barely working anymore. Prior to this is when it’s best to get it serviced and re-gassed as the system may be running low on gas or oil which will not do any favors for the longevity of the system.
What is included in an Air Conditioning Service & Re-Gas?
Generally, your service provider will regas and service your system by doing the following. Remove any remaining gas from the system and safely dispose of or recycle. Fill the system with new approved gas, oil and a die that with a UV light will help find the smallest of leaks. The system will then be leak checked with a machine and visually using the UV light, whilst checking the pressures and seeing what temp the system gets down to. The last result will depend on the ambient conditions of the day.
Other checks and tests may include inspecting and replacing the cabin filter that filters the air entering the cabin. If blocked this can restrict air flow through the vents and reduce performance. In some cases replacing the receiver dryer which helps filter the system and remove moisture from it may also need to be replaced, however, may incur an extra charge as would the cabin filter.
My Air-Con system has a musty smell?
If your Air-Con system is cold but it has a smell this does not necessarily mean it has a leak. It may have bacteria build up on the evaporator which is located behind your dash. This is caused by the changing temps that allow moisture to build up on the evaporator that leads to a build-up of bacteria. So when you turn your Air-Con on and you get that musty smell, you may need an antibacterial service. This generally involves running a non-intrusive chemical through a machine placed in your vehicle that kills the bacteria leaving your car with a new car smell rather than a musty one.
So if your starting to notice your Air-Con is just not as cold as it used to be, get it serviced before it’s 40c’, If it stinks get an antibacterial service. if it’s working fine, awesome, don’t forget to turn it on and give it a run, even in winter and your system will be ready to keep you and your precious cargo cool when you need it most!