Air conditioning is now found in almost every new car sold in Britain today and is not just for those in hot climates. On a frosty morning, it is an absolute necessity to defrost the windscreen and keep you cool on that one hot British summer day.
Car air conditioning, though, has many components, some of which need regular checks. The need for regular inspections is especially true if the vehicle has stood for any time. Keeping on top of your car’s air conditioner condition could save you money and improve your health.
We investigate why air conditioner checks are essential and how to look after your car’s air conditioner.
Why does my air-conditioner need checking?
Most manufacturers recommend having your car’s air conditioning system serviced every two years. The reality is that the air conditing system gets forgotten until it no longer blows out cold air. Problems only tend to get noticed once the temperatures start to rise in Spring and we turn it to cold for the first time that year.
It is best to check your car’s air conditioner every month to alleviate this. Take it through from hot to cold and through all the fan speeds. Check everything works as it should, and no nasty noises are coming from under the bonnet.
Research has led motoring groups to estimate that around 10% of the refrigerant in your system is lost each year. Losing refrigerant will cause a performance loss within the system, and eventually, that performance loss will become noticeable.
There is a knock-on effect to this problem. With less gas, the compressor has to work harder to keep the system functioning and this, in turn, increases fuel consumption, especially on smaller engine cars. It is generally considered that your car air conditioning uses 5hp of your engine’s total horsepower to function.
A key component of your car’s air conditioner is the evaporator. There are no genuine issues in a fully serviced vehicle, but in a poorly maintained vehicle, the evaporator can build up mould and bacteria within it. If you get an unpleasant smell from your air conditioner, it needs servicing immediately.
How to get your air-con serviced
Car air conditioners are specialist features of a car and do not have many user-serviceable parts.
Put your trust in a professional garage that specialises in air conditioning. Not only can a professional get your air conditioning system working to its’ full potential, but the mechanics can also deal with any other issue as well.
Specialists can re-gas the system, and if needed, they can disinfect the whole system and replace the cabin filters to make the interior a safe environment again.
Remember your car air conditioner is an expensive part if it needs replacing, so it is worth having it checked over regularly.
A solid piece of advice is to ask your mechanic to inspect your air conditioning system the next time your car has a regular service, and it could save you money.