Need An Air Con Regas Service?

It seems the UK summer is finally here with warmer weather sweeping across the country much to everyone’s delight. But, if you haven’t had an air con regas yet, the joy could be short-lived as hot air will engulf your car making things incredibly uncomfortable. The good news is that Elite Garages can now offer an air con regas service for R134A and R1234YF.

New 1234YF Air Con Regas Regulations

In January 2017, a new EU directive was implemented to ensure all new cars only use the 1234YF air conditioning gas. It stated that all car refrigerants must have a global warming potential (GWP) of less than 150. So, what exactly is the difference between R134A and R1234YF and why did they change it?

The main difference comes down to its global warming potential and the old R134A gas is significantly higher than the new R1234YF gas. Shockingly, the R134A has a rating of 1430 which means it has 1,430 times the environmental impact than carbon dioxide.

To help reduce this risk, a new gas had to be sourced which is officially known as HFO-1234YF. It produces 98% fewer climate-damaging pollutants than the outgoing R134A. If your vehicle needs a 1234YF air con regas, Elite Garages have the latest machinery and expertise to perform the right service for you.

Is R1234YF Safe To Use?

When they first introduced R1234YF into the automotive industry, there were some safety concerns about its flammability. However, considering the significant reduction in the environmental impact of the new gas, simple solutions were adopted to make it safe for use. To ensure the industry is aware of the flammability issues around R1234YF, some manufacturers have included refrigerant labels containing a flame whilst others have added a symbol on the service connector cap.

Signs You May Need An Air Con Recharge 

Your car air conditioning system plays a vital role in making all journeys comfortable regardless of the weather. So, when your air con is not working properly everyone and everything in the car will start feeling the heat. Here are some of the most common signs that you need to book an air con regas:

  • Damp, pungent, chemical or gas-type odours
  • Air con blows hot air
  • The air con no longer switches on or off
  • Visible coolant leaks on the ground

Strange Odours

If you experience a generally bad smell, it could be due to air filters getting clogged up with dirt, dust and stagnant water. When you notice a chemically, sweet smell when turning on your air conditioning, there could be a leak somewhere within the system. It’s commonly found in the hose, pipe, heater core, radiator or the housing unit for the coolant.

A gas leak can be identified when you notice wafts of gas when switching on your air con. It often appears when the system is first turned on and fresh air is sucked into the vents which will push out the built-up gas from inside the unit.

All of these smells are indicative of a faulty air conditioning system. This could mean dirty air filters or vents that need changing or leaks that require repairs. If you have any concerns about your car air con, contact your nearest Elite Garages for more information.

What About A Damp Smell In My Car’s Air Con?

Most of us are familiar with that distinctive mildew smell and when it comes from your air con, it’s usually caused by a build-up of bacteria and mould. This mostly happens in older cars as bacteria may have been growing behind the dashboard for a long time. But it’s common in all types of cars when drivers rarely run the air conditioning.

At Elite Garages, we offer air con regas services and anti-bacterial treatment for both R134A and R1234YF refrigerant gases used in vehicles today. For a small price, Elite customers can request an optional air sanitiser that will help remove any nasty smells and the build-up of harmful bacteria in your system and the vents.

Car Air Con Blowing Hot Air

When an air conditioning unit is blowing hot air, the underlying problems are often associated with the following:

  • Damaged cooling fans
  • Blocked or broken condenser
  • An internal obstruction
  • An electrical fault
  • Low refrigerant levels

More often than not, issues can be identified during a simple visual inspection conducted by one of our expert technicians.

Air-Con No Longer Goes On Or Off

A surprisingly common issue with a car’s air conditioning unit is that the system won’t turn on or off. In some extreme cases, the AC will continue to run even when the engine is switched off which will eventually drain your battery. If you can’t operate your air con normally, it’s likely due to any of these:

  • A faulty or loose ribbon cable
  • Broken switches or dials that are stuck in the “On” position
  • Shorted blower resistor or blower motor relay
  • Shorted A/C controller or blower control circuit

How Often Should I Get My Air Con Recharged?

Most vehicle manufacturers suggest that you should have an air con regas every 1-2 years but you should be able to find more specific requirements in your vehicle owner’s manual. That said, it’s not unusual for an air conditioning unit to go for much longer without needing to recharge but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check it every once in a while, especially when going into summer or winter.

How Long Does It Take To Recharge My Air Con?

Generally, a car air con regas usually takes between 30 minutes to an hour but there’s no set time as it depends on what the findings are. A typical process involves a thorough systems check and completely removing the old gas and refilling it with fresh refrigerant.

It also includes a vacuum test to identify any potential cracks or damage to your car air con system that could cause leaks. If our technicians find a leak or any faults, they will discuss any recommended repairs and provide you with a no-obligation quote. We will only carry out work with your consent.

Don’t wait until you’re melting away in a hot car; just book your air con regas service at Elite Garages and stay cool this summer. For your convenience, here is a full list of service centres and customer reviews. Whether you need a car service, MOT, new exhaust, brakes, clutch or cambelt, we are here to help.

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