Car AC Repair: What to Check & When to Get It Fixed

As the UK prepares for one of the toughest winters on record, we are here to offer expert advice on car AC repair and general maintenance, which could save you in the long run! For many drivers, winter means turning off the car’s air conditioning for a few months, but that would be a big mistake.

In this car AC repair and maintenance guide, we share some valuable motoring advice on getting the most from your car’s air conditioning this winter. This applies to normal combustion engine cars, electric vehicles and hybrid models.

The Importance Of Regular Air Con Recharge

Your car’s air conditioning system is an often overlooked aspect of car maintenance, but it is just as important as regular oil changes and tyre rotations. Sadly, many UK motorists neglect their car’s air conditioning, which can lead to a number of problems. Keeping your car AC repair in check is important for a few reasons. Not only will it save you money in the long run, but it will also prevent your AC from breaking down.

Furthermore, it will also help to extend the lifespan of your car’s AC system. When the level of refrigerant, also known as freon, becomes low, it can not only weaken the power of your AC but also harm the components of the system.

In addition, some car models require specific types of refrigerant, and using the wrong type can lead to damage that may be expensive to repair. Make sure to take your car to Elite Garages for regular air con recharge to keep your vehicle running smoothly all year round.

Why You Should Use Your Car Air Conditioning In Winter

Many people mistakenly believe that car AC is a luxury reserved for hot summer days, but using your air conditioning in the winter can actually benefit you and your car. Firstly, having warm air blown onto your windshield helps to defrost it faster, saving time when you’re rushing off to work and increase visibility while driving in cold or snowy conditions.

Running the AC in colder weather can also help prevent moisture buildup inside the car, reducing the risk of mould growth and unpleasant odours. Regular use also keeps the AC components functioning properly, potentially preventing costly car AC repairs down the line.

By continuously running your car air conditioning throughout the year, you can identify any changes in performance early on so you know when it needs regassing or if something may be amiss. This helps to avoid struggling with a faulty car air conditioner when spring and summer eventually come around again. So, the next time you’re taking a chilly drive, don’t forget to turn on your car’s air conditioning!

Recommended: Winter Car Maintenance: 9 Things You Need To Check

Car AC Repair and Diagnosis: Signs Your Air Con May Be Faulty

With the 2022 heatwave in the UK, we all know that car air conditioning can be a lifesaver when it’s unbearably hot. However, we often take it for granted until it stops working, of course. To keep ahead of any potential issues, some of the major signs that your car air conditioner may be faulty include the following:

  • Warm air coming from the vents
  • Insufficient cooling ability
  • Strange and unpleasant smells
  • Loud noises such as buzzing, grinding or clicking
  • Water leaking from the vents
  • Inconsistent airflow through vents
  • Complete loss of airflow

Book a car AC repair immediately if you notice any of the above signs. Ignoring these could ultimately lead to a broken compressor or other costly repairs or servicing. If you suspect there may be an issue with your car’s air con, it’s best to have it checked by professionals at Elite Garages. Book a free air con check now!

car air con regas

How Does A Car Air Con System Work?

A car’s air conditioner works by circulating cool air through the vehicle’s cabin. This is achieved through a series of components, including the compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator. The compressor uses refrigerant gas to pressurise the coolant and send it through the condenser, where it releases heat and becomes a liquid.

From there, the liquid passes through the expansion valve and into the evaporator, where it becomes a gas once again, absorbing heat from the cabin air in the process. This cooled air is then blown into the car by the car’s blower fan.

In order for this system to work effectively, car owners may need to regularly refill their car’s refrigerant and lubricate parts such as the compressor. Car AC repair can also help to ensure that all components are functioning correctly, ensuring that you always have cool air while driving on hot days and warm air for winter.

R134A and R1234YF Air Con Recharge

The EU directive implemented in January 2017 requires all new cars to use the 1234YF gas for air conditioning. The goal is to have car refrigerants with a global warming potential (GWP) of less than 150. So, what’s the difference between R134A and R1234YF?

The most significant distinction is its global warming potential (GWP). The old R134A gas leaves a much larger carbon footprint than the new R1234YF gas. Remarkably, the R134A has a 1430 rating, meaning its environmental impact is 1,430 times that of carbon dioxide. R1234YF refrigerant has a significantly lower GWP rating of 4, a whopping 98% lower than the outgoing R134A.

The make and manufacture date will determine which refrigerant we use to regas your aircon. As a general rule of thumb, most cars manufactured between 1995 and 2021 use R134A, whereas after 2021, it is a legal requirement that vehicles use 1234YF.

So no matter which gas your car AC repair requires, our team of experts at Elite Garages utilise cutting-edge machinery to provide you with the best possible service.

How Often Should I Get An Air Con Regas?

To prevent any potential issues and to ensure your car’s air conditioning system runs smoothly, most vehicle manufacturers recommend an AC regas every 2 years. You may find more specific requirements from your car’s manufacturer about how often you should perform an air con regas in your driver’s manual. Luckily, most vehicles can go for much longer than 2 years without needing a car air conditioning service but it is critical that you get your air-con system checked regularly.

How Long Does It Take To Recharge My Car AC?

A car AC repair or recharge usually takes between 30 minutes and an hour. However, the specific time depends on the findings of our thorough check. Our process involves examining the entire system and replacing old gas with fresh refrigerant.

Your Air con recharge includes a vacuum test that will detect any cracks or potential damage to your car’s air conditioning system that could result in leaks. If our technicians discover a leak or any issues with your refrigerant levels, they will go over recommended repairs with you and provide you with an obligation-free quote. We will only begin work once we have your permission.

How Much Is An Air Con Recharge?

Elites Garages offers two options for car AC regas depending on the make and model of your vehicle. If you’re not sure which option is best for your car, our team would be happy to advise you.

  • £65 for the old gas (R134A)
  • £130 for the new gas (R1234YF)

We also offer our customers an optional air sanitiser from only £10. This antibacterial car air con cleaner will help to remove nasty smells and the build-up of harmful bacteria in your system and the vents.

car air con antibacterial

Free Checks: Car AC Repair or Regas?

Regular maintenance and repair of your car’s air conditioning system can save you a significant amount of money in the long run. Ignoring small issues, like strange noises, weak airflow or unpleasant smells, can lead to expensive damages down the road.

Keeping your car AC running efficiently helps to improve fuel economy, as the system uses engine power to operate. To ensure that your car’s AC is running smoothly, book an air con service at Elite Garages today! Schedule regular inspections and always get any potential issues repaired immediately to avoid costly problems in the future.

Book Your Car AC Repair Or Regas At Elite Garages

Elite garages are experts when it comes to car AC repair and regassing. Not only do we have years of experience, but our MOT and vehicle service centres have the latest technology and tools to get your car AC up and running as soon as possible.

Don’t wait until summer to book your car AC repair; contact Elite Garages today!