What You Need To Know About A Car Air Con Regas
If you’ve never heard of it before, a car regas service or recharging your air conditioning is the process of refilling refrigerant or coolant. Whilst many experts recommend a car air con regas at least every two years, it’s best to do so every six months. This will help ensure that everything flows correctly and the system works at its optimum level. In this article, you’ll discover how your air conditioning works and what to expect from an air con recharge service.
How Does A Car’s Air Conditioning Work?
Most car air conditioning works the same and includes a high-pressure gas referred to as refrigerant or coolant. Regardless of the make or type, an air conditioning system has a compressor, condenser, expansion valves, receiver, drier or accumulator and an evaporator.
A compressor compresses the refrigerant into a fluid so it can flow through a line to the condenser. Here, the Condenser removes the heat from the refrigerant and forces it to the expansion valve. These expansion valves or orifice tubes returns the refrigerant to its original gaseous state, moving it to the receiver, drier or accumulator.
The receiver, drier or accumulator removes moisture from the refrigerant and transfers it to the evaporator. Heat is pulled from the air passing through its core and transfers into the refrigerant, creating the cold air you feel inside.
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What Does A Car Air Con Regas Service Entail?
A typical air con regas service involves several different processes to achieve optimum cooling. Some of these include the following:
- Check the compressor and all other mechanical systems for leaks
- Replace any parts if they are faulty
- Clean the vents (‘drains’) of your air conditioning system to make sure there are no obstructions
- Add recharge liquid (coolant) after flushing the system
Aircon refills often include special additives to help remove foul smells or to increase the efficiency of the system. At Elite, we offer customers an optional air sanitiser for a small additional fee. This antibacterial cleaner helps remove any bad smells and harmful bacteria.
The process of re-gassing a car air con system usually takes between 45 and 60 minutes but some services are faster. Once the unit has been recharged, leave it running for approximately 2 hours.
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How Do I Know If My Car’s Aircon Needs Regassing?
We expect our air con to work all the time but the coolant doesn’t last forever. When it’s running low and warm air comes out of the vents or the system stops working, air con regas can often easily resolve the issue.
Refrigerant is a special gas used in car air conditioning systems to move heat or cold from one place to another. Without refrigerant in your system, your car air con simply won’t work and could leak or even explode. So, what are the signs of a faulty air conditioning system or that you need an aircon regas service?
- Not blowing as cold as before or not blowing cold air at all
- A bad smell coming from your air-con once you switch it on
- Strange noises when turning on the air-con
- Greasy film on any air con components, or pools of refrigerant underneath the vehicle
Can I Perform An Air Conditioning Regas Myself?
It’s important to note that only the simplest of car air conditioning regas services can be done on your own. Even with special DIY air con regas kits to help, we highly advise that you don’t as these are almost as expensive as paying an air con expert. An added risk could be footing a hefty repair bill if anything goes wrong.
We highly recommend using a specialist as they know exactly how to check for leaks and other potential problems. Not to mention having full knowledge of how air-con systems work and the necessary safety precautions. For example, refrigerant gas can cause painful freeze burns when coming into contact with skin or eyes.
If your car air con is making a strange noise, no longer blows cold air or you’ve noticed a drop in performance, it may be time to bring it to a professional for repairs.
Air Con Regas At Elite Garages
At Elite Garages, our expert technicians look at the refrigerant level, check for signs of leaks and make sure it’s safe and in good working order. The air conditioning regas service also involves additional quality checks and identifies whether your system needs any replacement parts.
Contrary to what some believe, an air con regas service is rarely part of a regular car service, although some companies may provide such an offer. To make sure your car air con works all year round, book an annual air conditioning maintenance service at your nearest Elite branch.
Our air-con recharge services start from as little as £60 with several locations to choose from. You can find the list on our website where you can also book a service, MOT, reserve tyres or arrange a free vehicle safety check.