Car Air Conditioning Tips and Advice

Annual Maintenance

Annual maintenance of your car air con system is of paramount importance if you want to avoid costly repairs later. All systems lose refrigerant naturally. The refrigerant/oil mixture lubricates and cools the compressor.

Whilst the system will work with a reduced refrigerant charge not only will the compressor be running harder and therefore using more fuel, but it will be running with reduced lubrication and cooling and will therefore overheat and wear prematurely. This is the most common cause of compressor breakdown.

Properly Evacuate the Air Conditioning System

Failure to properly evacuate the system prior to charging is the most common cause of condenser leakage. The condenser is attacked by the fluoric acid produced by mixing refrigerant with moisture which, when done properly, is removed during evacuation.

Overcharging a System is Probably Worse Than Undercharging

Overcharging can cause the refrigerant that should be in vapour form in the suction line to enter the compressor as a liquid. As liquids cannot be compressed the compressor valves will be damaged and the compressor rendered useless.

Do not allow anyone to “top-up” your car a/c system

The only way to safely charge it is to remove the contents and recharge accurately by weight. The specification for most vehicles allows a very fine tolerance, typically around 25 grams.

Replace Filters Regularly

Pollen filters should be replaced regularly otherwise, as they age, they restrict air flow. A blocked filter will cause your blower motor to work harder and can cause it to burn out.

The blower motor resistor which is normally buried deep in your dash is cooled by the air movement in the blower ducts.  This resistor can burn out with insufficient air movement and can be costly to replace. Check your handbook to see what the manufacturer recommends, or call Supercool to book a service.

Once a year is about the norm, but mileage and your location need to be considered when deciding.

Run Your Car Air Con System Weekly

Run the car air conditioning system at least once a week all year round. If the system is not used, then the refrigerant oil that helps to form the compressor drive shaft seal will dry out and the refrigerant gas that is held in under pressure can escape. See your vehicle handbook regarding this or call Supercool for advice.

Check Your Valve Caps are Tight

The service valve caps that are fitted to your air con are not just to prevent dust entering the valves. They are the primary seals on the service ports and should always be kept screwed tight except during service.

The valves in the service ports often leak slightly and they are commonly the source of the loss of refrigerant in an otherwise gas tight system. Always make sure that the plastic sealing caps are screwed down finger tight.

If you are unsure if any of the above needs to be done, call Supercool Southport and we will do a thorough analysis of your car’s air conditioning systems and provide you with a quote. Please call 07 5532 8133 now to make a booking or visit the website by clicking here!

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