Air ConditioningMost modern cars are now fitted with air conditioning and it is something that we are beginning to take for granted. But during the hot weather, many drivers realise that their air conditioning is not up to the job! The reason for this is that the air conditioning system on your car needs regular servicing and re-gassing. Air conditioning re-gassing is the process of removing the old refrigerant gas from you air conditioning system and replacing it with new refrigerant gas so that your air-con can run cold again.
Air Con FAQs
The first sign that your air conditioning needs re-gassing and servicing is that the air being blown from the vents is not as cool as it used to be or it doesn’t feel any different when the air-con is switched off.
The refrigerant gas in the air conditioning system is constantly leaking out through microscopic holes in the pipes and seals. It is estimated that on average a car loses between 10 and 15 per cent of this gas every year through natural wastage. It is a process that happens whether you are using the air-con or not.
Quite simply, it is going to prevent the air-conditioning from cooling the air. It might also cause the system to stop working. With little or no gas refrigerant in the system, the air-con compressor can overheat; to prevent this, sensors in the air-con system detect low gas pressure and will shut down the air-con system to prevent serious damage to the compressor.
Most car manufacturers recommend you service your car’s air conditioning system every two years, although a lot of people wait until it’s not blowing cold air any more.
When your car’s air-con is given a re-gas and service, our friendly and expert technician will check the system’s lubricant levels and replace the old refrigerant gas with new gas up to the manufacturers recommended level. They will also perform a vacuum test and use ultra violet dye to check for any leaks.
If your car does have a leak in the air-conditioning system, we will provide you with a no-obligation quote for the repair work. As we are not legally allowed to leave the gas refrigerant in the air-con system, the gas will be removed and you will be charged for the test fee only and not the full air-con re-gas and service charge.
Although you can buy re-gas kits, we wouldn’t advise attempting the job yourself. Aside from the physical dangers, such as severe frostbite, the refrigerant gas is harmful to the atmosphere which is why a DIY enthusiast should never attempt to discharge an air conditioning system at home.
If the air coming out of the vents smells stale or musty, then it’s probably caused by a build-up of bacteria in the system. The air-con systems in modern cars have lots of areas where bacteria can accumulate in. We have a specialist Air Conditioning Steriliser and Deodoriser treatment that we can use to eliminate the bacteria and with it the smell.
To prevent this from happening again in the future, you will need to change the cabin filter regularly and make sure you are using your air-conditioning regularly, even in the winter! Many people don’t realise that they can use warm air from the air conditioning system to demist the windows. The air coming out of the vents is dry, so the air-con system acts as a dehumidifier.
If the weather is hot and you have been using the air conditioning, then it is quite normal to have a small puddle of water under your car so don’t panic!
During hot weather, your air-con compressor has to work twice as hard; it can get very cold and actually freeze over as it sucks the moisture out of the car. So as soon as you switch off the air-con when you get out of the car, the ice that has formed on the surface starts to melt and drips on to the floor.
This puddle of water can be quite a concern but as long as it is odourless water then is should be nothing to worry about. If it has a smell or is the colour of coolant then it could be something more serious.