Air Conditioning FAQ's
Q. How long does it take to service and re-gas my aircon system?
A. At least one hour, anything less means that the job is not being done correctly.
Q. How much gas does my aircon system take?
A. It varies with make and model. The refrigerant is metered by weight and a small car may take half a kilo, a luxury car with climate control may take one and a half kilos.
Q. How often should my aircon system be serviced?
A. Every 18 months to 2 years to ensure it operates at maximum efficiency. If you let the system run low on refrigerant the compressor has to work twice as hard and will therefore wear out in half the time.
Q. How often should I run the aircon in my car?
A. All the time on hot or cold depending on the outside temperature. This will ensure that the rubber seals and gaskets in your system don't dry out and crack thereby causing leaks. Run your system for a few minutes every week at the very least. Contrary to popular belief it does not greatly reduce your mpg.
Q. When I switch on my aircon I get a smelly 'pong' inside the car, what causes it and how do I get rid of it?
A. It's micro organisms that collect on the evaporator behind the dashboard and the fan blows these nasties into your face causing allergic reactions, coughs, sneezes and sore throats. We can treat your aircon system and kill them off.
Q. There are aircon gas 'top-up' kits for sale in motorists shops, how good are they and should I consider using them?
A. Don't use them for two reasons. 1. They are potentially dangerous and you could injure yourself. 2. Your aircon system will contain moisture and contaminants that you will re-circulate throughout all the aircon pipes and components. We remove all moisture and contaminants as part of our service schedule prior to re-gassing. This process alone takes 20-30 minutes.
Q. How do I check that the aircon system is working when I go to buy a second hand car?
A. Start the engine and lift the bonnet, turn the aircon onto maximum cold and maximum fan blower speed. The air from the vents should be almost freezing cold within a minute or so. Go to the front of the car and listen for the compressor clutch clicking in and out and an accompanying slight rise and fall in engine revs. The compressor is driven by a belt at the front of the engine and is about the same size as the alternator. If all this happens then the a/c is working OK.
Q. Why does my car aircon system run low on refrigerant?
A. All the pipes and connections on your aircon system are naturally slightly porous so you lose anything up to 20% of the gas every year due to natural leakage.
Q. If the gas leaks into the passenger compartment of my car can it be dangerous?
A. No, the modern refrigerant is called R134a, is not harmful to health and is not an explosive gas. It is also environmentally friendly unlike the old refrigerant gas R12 which was phased out from 1993.