Car Air Conditioning FAQS
When your vehicle has an air conditioning problem or needs service see the expert mechanics at Southside Auto Centre (AU44812)
If you are having cooling problems, fluid leaks or problems with electronic control, most likely you will need proper service at a qualified mechanic. Call Southside Auto Centre now or use our online booking form to reserve the best car service time.
A regular vehicle service always checks the obvious faults associated with Air Con systems, including:
• blocked air flow through condenser and radiator
• visible signs of refrigerant oil stains on the compressor, hoses, pipes or fittings
• missing service port caps
• inadequate drive belt tension
• loose or faulty compressor mounting brackets
A car air conditioning system uses refrigerant to withdraw heat from the air within the interior area of the car to the exterior, leaving only cooled or 'conditioned' air to be redistributed. It is important that the rubber seals are checked on a reglar basis for any signs of leaks or cracks which may be an indication of refrigerant loss.
To compensate for this problem the refrigerant in your Car Air Conditioner system should ideally be replenished completely within four years of the manufacture date and every two to three years after that.
You should take your car to a reputable workshop such as Southside Auto Centre (AU44812) on a regular basis to ensure the air conditioner system continues performing correctly as well as having the mechanics go over the condition of the entire car.
Repco Authorised Service mechanics perform a 65 point Vehicle Inspection with every service and are able to give you a warning about any items that may need renewing in the near future or those that are already damaged beyond repair.
BOOK NOW CONTACT US
Southside Auto Centre (AU44812) care about the environment and have Arctick Authorisation to reliably and responsibly conduct automotive air conditioning service in and around Esperance and the surrounding areas.
Air Conditioning FAQ's
A car air conditioning system can be classified into four basic parts - a compressor (Pump driven by the engine,) which compresses and circulates refrigerant gas, a radiator like unit called a condenser to remove heat and condense gas to a liquid, an expansion device, usually a thermal expansion valve (TXV) or an orifice tube (subject to the kind of a/c system used). Systems using orifice tubes also have an accumulator before the compressor to remove moisture from the refrigerant while TXV systems have a receiver-dryer before the evaporator to perform the same crucial task. Both the accumulator and receiver-drier are also used to store refrigerant.
Your car air conditioner is designed to extract excess heat from the air within the interior area of the vehicle and transfer it to the exterior, leaving only cooled or 'conditioned' air to be redistributed. Hot air is passed across a gas filled evaporator, where the heat is easily absorbed by the refrigerant (in gas form), effectively removing the heat from the air in the car.
The now heated gas is pulled through the compressor where it is further heated (via compression). The next stage involves the refrigerant being forced through the condenser to quickly extract the heat from the refrigerant. The refrigerant, now condensed to a liquid, then moves through the expansion device (either a TXV or Orifice tube), which regulates the flow of refrigerant going to the evaporator, changing the high-pressure liquid to a low-pressure mist (gas). A fan blowing over the cold fins of the evaporator produces the cold air being blown into the car and the entire process then begins all over again.
What does a car air conditioning service involve?
A typical air conditioner service may include some of the following items;
Assess air vent temperature
- Make sure condenser temperature is correct
- Assess suction line temperature
- Validate correct drive belt & pulley operation
- Ensure that valves and thermostats are operating correctly
- Clean the condenser fins
- Confirm adequate condition of of hoses and components
- Evacuation and recharge of refrigerant (where required)
- Check system lines and components for leaks with an electronic leak detector
Why do I need a car air conditioner system service?
Compressor seizure can be avoided by checking or changing the oil level in the refrigerant. Air filters obstructed with dirt and bacteria it will affect the performance of the entire system and it can even cause it to fail to work completely. Aside from impacting air conditioner efficiency, dirty air filters can cause all kinds of health problems too.
A car air conditioner ought to be examined yearly for any signs of problems with the hoses, connections and seals and ensure refrigerant is not being lost over time. Regularly servicing your vehicle air conditioner keeps refrigerant at optimum levels meaning the system does not need to work as hard and this in turn protects the system from damage and reduces fuel usage.
Why does the car air conditioner need to be serviced?
Your car air conditioner is designed to extract excess heat from the air within the interior area of the vehicle to the exterior, leaving only cooled or 'conditioned' air to be redistributed. This is achieved using a special compound called refrigerant, capable of readily absorbing heat as a gas and quickly losing heat as a liquid.
Being exposed to the mercy of the elements and very harsh operating temperatures and being in use intermittently rather than being 'Always On' can cause problems on the seals, hoses and connections. A vehicle air conditioning system should be examined on a regular basis to ensure there are no problems or refrigerant loss due to failure or leakage from these points.
Simply by cooling the air in your car under normal running conditions, the filters of the air con get dirty and intermittent use can cause seals to dry and crack, allowing them to leak. Even without leaks, the gas in a car air conditioning system will eventually begin to degrade or evaporate over time and should be recharged where required to keep the air con system in peak running condition.
Can I service my own Air Conditioner?
Only qualified mechanics with the appropriate training should attempt to service a car air conditioner. Specific licences are required to be able to service or repair some types of car air conditioning systems, especially where regas (recharging of the refrigerant) is concerned. Strict guidelines and procedures must be adhered to when handling certain refrigerants, which must always be fully recovered and not allowed to escape into the atmosphere during servicing.
Refrigerant can also pose serious health risks if handled incorrectly. Specialist equipment is also required as the air conditioning system is under extreme pressure and must be pulled into a deep vacuum to remove any moisture, to avoid seriously damaging the system. You can find out more about licensing on the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) Website.
What is the cause of the bad smell in car air conditioners?
The damp environment inside the evaporator core can support the development of microbes, bacteria and even fungus growth. This can lead to nasty smells and possibly even be bad for the health of any vehicle occupants. Modern evaporator units tend to be more efficient, but more fins equals increased capability to trap moisture and allow for micro-organism development.
Southside Auto Centre mechanics will use specialist ultrasonic technology to take care of any micro-organisms that may be the source of bad odours or health concerns.
Just ask about our MIST service, which will kill any bacteria that may be lurking in your Car’s Air system. These bacteria can cause odours and even make you sick, especially if you have allergies or asthma. A MIST service doesn’t just make your car smell better - it makes it healthier for you and your family.