If you’re stuck in a traffic jam on a sweltering summer day, then your air conditioning can make the difference between torturous discomfort and mere inconvenience. As such, it’s a good idea to be proactive about your air-conditioning, and to ensure that it works before you need it.
Over time, your car’s air conditioning system can lose its efficiency. When this happens, it’s time to ‘regas’. This involves draining the refrigerant gas from the system, and replacing it. This is a service that should be performed fairly regularly.
In most cases, you’ll know when it’s time – if you know what you’re looking for.
How do you know that you need an aircon regas?
The most obvious symptom of a failing system is that the cooling performance will gradually worsen. The air that comes out of the vents won’t be as cold as it should be. In some cases, it might be just as warm as the air getting sucked in!
A failing AC unit might begin to make strange noises, too. Generally speaking, any weird clanks and hisses that you’re hearing from the driver’s seat should give you a reason to visit the mechanic.
When your aircon stops working, you might also find that moisture accumulates around the air-conditioning. This is probably a coolant leak, and it will need attention sooner rather than later. Your aircon cannot function without the refrigerant!
Can I regas the car myself?
Since refrigerant gas has the potential to burn your skin and eyes if it’s mishandled, and the consequences of a botched regas are potentially very expensive, it’s worth investing in a professional aircon regas. This is a specialised, rarely-performed task, so don’t take the risk!
Why should you keep an eye on your AC?
Of the many, many mechanical components in your car, the air conditioner might not strike you as the most important of them. So, why is it important to keep an eye on it?
The air con is not checked in a standard MOT
The annual MOT test is there to make sure that your car is safe to drive. It won’t pick up any problems with your air conditioner, since it isn’t safety or performance-critical. So, your aircon could be non-functioning all year round, if you’re relying on the MOT to spot any problems.
It keeps clean air circulating
Air conditioning will help to keep your air clean and circulated around your car. This will help to prevent mould and other pests from establishing a foothold in any unseen crevices beneath the seats. You can think of aircon as an investment in your car’s long-term survival. It’s easier to prevent those nasty smells from creeping in than it is to remove them.