Over 80% of new vehicles are fitted with a car air conditioner as standard nowadays, but do most car owners really understand how it works and the importance of regular maintenance of air conditioning systems? Vehicle air conditioning systems need regular attention like any other part of your vehicle to ensure that they are working at the optimum level and to avoid car air conditioning repair as much as possible.
How Does Car Air Con Work?
The car air conditioner works like any other system that lowers temperature. In very simple terms it does not cool the air but removes the heat from a confined space. Any vehicle air conditioning system uses four basic parts – a mechanical compressor (driven by the vehicle’s engine); an expansion valve, which is a restriction the compressor pumps against and two heat exchangers, the evaporator and the condenser. As well as this there is the refrigerant gas that flows through the sealed system. Up until 1996 the gas used was Freon (R-12) but it was discovered that it was harmful to the earth’s ozone layer as it contained CFC’s, so this particular gas was phased out for vehicle air conditioning use and replaced with the more environmentally friendly (non-CFC) R-134a refrigerant. The refrigerant is pressurised using a compressor. As it is being pressurised, it gets hot by absorbing the heat around it. This hot gas is then circulated through a series of tubes that help to disperse the heat.
What are the Benefits of a Car Air Conditioner?
1. Pleasantly cool air inside your vehicle in the summer months.
2. Warm de-humidified air in the winter months which can easily de-mist steamed up car windows.
3. The filtering from the air of pollutants and airborne particles (including pollen) which can make life a lot pleasanter for those who suffer from allergies which cause Hay Fever symptoms.
4. An agreeable and odour-free atmosphere in your vehicle.
What Do I Need to do to Avoid an Expensive Car Air Conditioning Repair?
By getting a trained car air conditioner specialist to service your air conditioning system when you think you might have a problem, you can ensure that any problems are identified at the earliest possible stage and treated immediately, which may lower costs and inconvenience to yourself in the future.
A regular air conditioning recharge is essential to ensure that the car air conditioner is working efficiently – did you know that your air conditioning system can lose up to 15% of its gas coolant every year? Most people don’t realise this and then wonder why their air conditioning doesn’t seem to be very effective when they come to use it on a sweltering summer day!
Most car manufacturers recommend that your Air-Con system is recharged with gas and lubricant at least every two years. This is not normally part of routine vehicle servicing, so if your car is more than two years old it is probably due an air con recharge. Air-Con systems which are not fully recharged will run less effectively and will have to work harder which means more work for the vehicle’s engine which in turn uses more fuel.
As with most mechanical parts the car air con system needs regular checks and servicing in order to avoid the need for a car air conditioning repair. At HallmarkVOLVO we offer a complete range of services to ensure your car air conditioner is running cleanly and safely. These services are available for all vehicle makes and models and range from an anti-bacterial clean to get rid of musty smells to a full leak test and any necessary repairs.