Your car’s air conditioning does much more than just cool the inside of your car. When working properly, air conditioning helps to filter out pollen, pollutants and any airborne bacteria that may be present, greatly improving the quality of air inside your vehicle.
So before you push that button, here are some tips on how to keep clued up on your air con.
Use your senses to pick up on indicators that your system may need some attention.
- If the air isn’t as cold as it used to be, your car’s refrigerant may need to be re-gassed.
- If the vents are kicking out a foul smell, there may be mould in the system.
- If you can hear some unusual banging or rattling sounds, it may be that the condenser or fan belt has worn out, or debris could be clogging the fan.
What is included in an air conditioning service?
Workshops across the country offer a variety of air conditioning service packages, however most will include the following:
- A temperature and gas pressure check
- Monitoring of the pollen and cabin filters
- A review of the oil content of the system and an oil top up if required
- Addition of dye to seek out any leaks
- A recharge of the air con refrigerant to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended levels
Some workshops will have dedicated air conditioning specialists or use auto electricians to conduct the work, but this can also be completed by trained technicians.
How much does it cost?
Of course, like any service or repair, prices vary workshop to workshop. For a full service from qualified technicians, be prepared to pay about $200.
It is worth being aware of what the service will cover in advance. If it’s been some time since your air con was serviced, you should try to avoid a cheaper re-gas, which simply tops up the system’s refrigerant. This may be a quick fix, but failing to lubricate the system or identify leaks can lead you to the same problems resurfacing just a few months down the track.
How often should I service my car’s air conditioning?
It’s estimated that a cars air conditioning system will lose around 10-15% off its refrigerant every year. Most manufacturers’ recommend that the air conditioning system is serviced every two or three years in order to replenish the liquids used by the system and to ensure all components are working correctly. For further clarification, refer to your cars service manual.
If you are about to head off on a long journey with your family, keeping your car cool and comfortable is a great way to keep everyone happy and healthy.