Tips For Recharging And Using Your Air-Con
Air-con used to be reserved for the more luxury brands but today, it is available as standard in many budget cars. In many cases, people fit an aftermarket car air con. Whatever system you have, it is essential to know how to look after it and when it needs a re-gas. An important car maintenance tip is to use your air-con all year round and not just in summer or winter.
Why Should I Use My Air-Con In Winter?
This has been a topic of discussion for some time but the truth is, you could damage your air conditioning unit if you don’t use it frequently enough. Air cons are designed to blow cool and warm air which makes it ideal for all seasons. Just as it cools you in summer, the warm air can quickly demist the inside of your windows on those frosty mornings.
Experts recommend that you run your car air con for at least ten minutes every few weeks. Even in the dead of winter, you should turn it on every now and then to allow the coolant to move around the system. Remember, coolant removes heat from your car and contains a special lubricant that keeps all rubber seals and pipes in good working condition.
What Happens If I Don’t Use My Air Conditioning Often?
If you leave your AC switched off for too long, the compressor could seize. Without coolant running through the system, none of the essential components will be lubricated which could result in faulty seals. There are some extreme cases where the AC system can no longer hold any gas and that would require new seals.
Fuel Consumption And Air Conditioning
There is no doubt that using your car’s air-con will use extra fuel but how does the cost measure up? For starters, fuel consumption between using an air conditioning system and driving with open windows is very little, about a 6% drop in mpg (miles per gallon). So let’s move onto the more serious side of poor air conditioning maintenance.
If you don’t use your AC throughout the winter months, you may be faced with additional costs later on. The maintenance and repair bills alone will outweigh the fuel consumption costs by some margin. Considering that a replacement compressor can cost in the region of £1000, it’s in your best interest to run the air conditioning all year round. Not to mention the benefits of condensation-free windows and the dry air keeping many bacteria at bay.
Signs That Your Air-Con Needs Re-gassing
Have you ever noticed strange smells coming from your car’s air conditioning system? This is often a result of not using your AC for some time and could be indicative of bacteria build-up or mould. When you can smell a musty-type odour, first try an anti-bacterial cleaning product but if the problem persists, it’s best to ask an expert to check it out.
As long as your air conditioning system is clean, frequently used and re-gassed, you shouldn’t have any serious issues. While that may be the case, here are FOUR signs that your vehicle’s air-con needs a service:
- you notice bad smells coming from the vents
- no longer blows cool air
- starts making strange rattling or banging noises
- visible coolant leaks on the floorboard or under the car
Air-Con Services At Elite Garages
At Elite Garages, the service can take up to an hour and involves completely removing the old gas and replacing it with fresh coolant. As an optional extra, you can also choose an air sanitizer for £10. This antibacterial cleanser removes any nasty smells and build-up of harmful bacteria in your system. Our re-gassing service includes:
- Fresh system oil
- Recharge the refrigerant to the recommended levels
- Check the operation of the system
- A full visual inspection which checks the temperature and looks for any leaks
We pride ourselves on providing exceptional customer service and value which is why we are offering a special air-con service and re-gas for only £60. This offer is valid from 1 September until 31 December 2019.
Why Choose Elite Garages?
With 13 branches nationwide offering expert and professional workmanship, trust Elite Garages to get the job done right the first time. We offer dealership quality at competitive prices with no hidden costs and full transparency as you’d expect from a family run business.
If you have any concerns about your vehicle, visit your local Elite branch. We service all major makes and models using only matching quality parts according to the vehicle manufacturers. Besides air conditioning, we also offer MOTs and car services, brakes, exhausts, clutch replacements, wheel alignment and batteries among others.