Why does it always seem like you car air conditioner breaks down when you need it the most? We all wish the air conditioner would just work all of the time, but unfortunately, a little care and upkeep is required to avoid uncomfortable drives on hot days.
How do you ensure your car’s air conditioning system never lets you down? How often should you be servicing it and what are the signs that it may be in need of some care? Sandgate Auto Electrics are car repair experts, and we have all of the answers you need right here in this article. With our help, you’ll never confuse your car for a sauna again!
How often does your car air conditioner need re-gassing?
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and we often find ourselves in trouble due to neglect or complacency. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? Not quite. A better saying might be “if it ain’t broke, make sure it stays that way.”
A reliable rule of thumb is to have your vehicle’s heating and cooling system serviced or re-gassed no less frequently than every two years. Many cars, especially newer ones, are usually fine to last a little longer, but your compressor (the device that transfers gas into the condenser) will thank you if you give it regular upkeep. Most vehicles lose at least 10 percent of their aircon gas every year. A regular car aircon re-gas is the easiest way to ensure you are never caught without access to cold air.
What is car air conditioning re-gassing?
Re-gassing is the process of removing old refrigerant gas from your car air conditioner to replace with new refrigerant. The evaporator in your car is very susceptible to corrosion as its main job is reducing the heat inside of your vehicle to help cool it.
You really want to avoid a corroded evaporator; this is often irreparable damage that can be costly to replace. This is yet another reason why regular air conditioning maintenance will ensure the various wiring and components of the unit steer clear of damage. It is also vital that an air conditioning specialist performs this work for the optimal safety and quality.
Leaking car air conditioning system
Leakages are a definite sign that your air conditioning system requires a service. It is also important to be aware that a broken unit can cause leakages, so it may be happening even if you don’t see or notice it.
Leak detection is part of air conditioner servicing which will also check the status of things like drive belt pulleys, hoses, temperatures and more.
Warning signs your air conditioning is faulty
Leakages aren’t the only warning sign your system may be sending you while asking for help. If you notice strange odours when you turn the unit on it means bacteria or mould has built up in the unit and is coming out via the air vents. This does more than just create an unpleasant smell; it can also lead to viruses and allergic reactions for you and your passengers.
As this bacteria builds up every time you use your system, it is essential to ensure this is regularly cleaned out to avoid further harm.
Lack of correct temperature control is another sign. Your system may look like it is on, lights and all, but for some reason, your vehicle isn’t cooling down? It’s past time for you to bring it in.
Low air flow
If you feel as though your system isn’t pushing out as much air as it usually does, there is a number of things that could be causing a blockage. The obvious issue is an obstruction in the air duct system, but there may also be debris in the evaporator housing which is blocking air circulation.
The issue can also be caused by a low blower motor voltage or a loose wheel on the motor shaft. If you notice a dip in the power of your air, let a professional know so they can correctly diagnose and fix the issue.
Why avoid cheap car air conditioning service providers?
At Sandgate Auto Electrics, we know we offer excellent prices for high-quality work. We also know how attractive it may be to go with the cheapest option for air conditioner repairs but be warned, there are some elements of your vehicle that you don’t want to skimp on quality for.
Cheap air conditioning re-gassing will not only harm the environment, but it also isn’t great for your car. Cheaper servicing options will often use an M30 refrigerant which is highly flammable, bad for your vehicle and the environment and most importantly, your health.
Refrigerant gases can cause significant damage to the ozone layer which is why qualified professionals are experts in the proper methods for disposing of old gasses to produce the least environmental impact. In many cases, it is possible to recycle refrigerant gasses, which is the best way to protect the environment and reduce our carbon footprint.
Why you need a professional
We love the DIY work ethic however car air conditioning servicing does not fall into the possible options for this ethos. Very particular equipment is required to service your air conditioning unit, and it isn’t the type of stuff you find laying around the garden shed.
Along with the equipment, the refrigerant in the system is tricky to deal with, and it is imperative that it is all recovered. It is illegal to vent the refrigerant into the environment and extremely harmful to the environment. Australian law prohibits the depleting of substances and synthetic greenhouse gases into the open air, and only technicians with specific licenses are allowed to perform the work to ensure it is done correctly.
We should also mention that the refrigerants have a low boiling point that can cause freeze burns if mishandled and touch the skin or eyes. As you can see, there are many reasons to let the professionals at Sandgate Auto Electrics handle this for you.
Fun facts about air conditioning
We love air conditioning; it keeps us very comfortable after all, especially in the heat. You may be interested to know that everything has heat with the exception of absolute zero (-238.C).
Two of our favourite refrigeration rules are:
- Refrigeration is the act of removing heat: Cold is the absence of heat
- Heat will pass to anything that has less heat; this can merely be slowed and not stopped
The costs of a car aircon re-gas
The cost of a quality car aircon re-gas will vary based on the model and year of your car, as well as the level of service required.
This is another reason why regular servicing keeps costs low over a more extended period. It may seem like you are spending money on a more regular basis, but paying the lowest possible price per service will beat a huge bill when you need to replace your whole system or repair more severe damage.
How long does it take to re-gas air conditioning?
Once again, timeframes come down to the severity of your service (as well as how busy the service provider is). A standard car re-gas can usually be done while you wait, however. Sandgate Auto Electrics work as efficiently as possible, as we realise how valuable your time is, and ensuring you’re happy is our number one priority!
We stock a wide range of parts, which means same day repairs are on offer for most jobs. Once the new gas is installed the temperature change in your car should be instant.
Look after your vehicle, book with Sandgate Auto Electrics today
Look after your vehicle and ensure you never get caught in the heat without working air conditioning. Call Sandgate Auto Electrics today to book in for a free quote, and we’ll confirm the necessary repairs and price before we start any work.
Our talented car air conditioning repair technicians are also on hand to answer any questions you may have if you are unsure about something that doesn’t seem right in your vehicle. They also love to offer advice, for example, we strongly recommend that you run your car air conditioning throughout the year, even when you don’t necessarily need it. Obviously, we don’t mean throwing on the aircon when it’s snowing outside, but intermittent use will keep the system lubricated and leak tight. This is due to the refrigerant carrying the oil that lubricates the system and compressor. By keeping the seals and hoses wet, they won’t dry out or crack, which is often the cause of most leakages.We aim to educate our customers about repairs and the best ways to efficiently use their aircon for maximum longevity and cost-efficiency.
Sandgate Auto Electrics and Air Conditioning are well versed in all things auto mechanic/electrical so call us for all of your vehicle repairs and services. It doesn’t matter if you own a car, truck, 4WD or Boat, we have the knowledge and experience to make sure you stay safe and avoid any costly issues.