Car Air Conditioning FAQS
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Southeast Auto Mechanical are well placed to take care of all of your Automotive Air Conditioner Re-gas, Repairs, Service or Inspection needs
You ought to bring your vehicle to a reputable workshop such as Southeast Auto Mechanical on a regular basis to ensure the air conditioner system continues performing efficiently as well as having the mechanics check the condition of the whole vehicle.
Repco Authorised Service mechanics perform a 65 point Vehicle Inspection with every service and are often able to give you a heads up about any items that may need replacing in the near future or those that are already damaged beyond repair.
Southeast Auto Mechanical can arrange automotive air conditioning service with a licenced technician in and around Beenleigh and the surrounding areas.
Air Conditioning FAQ's
Car air conditioning - what is involved?
A car air conditioner system could be seen as having four basic parts - a compressor (Pump driven by the engine,) which compresses and circulates refrigerant gas, a condenser, which behaves similarly to a radiator to dissipate heat and condense gas to a liquid, an expansion device, which could be a thermal expansion valve (TXV) or an orifice tube (dependent on the type 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.
An automotive air conditioning is designed to remove heat from the air within the interior of the car and transfer it to the exterior, leaving only cooled or 'conditioned' air to be recirculated. 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 comprises a car air conditioning service?
A typical air conditioner service may include some of the following items;
Assess air vent temperature
- Assess condenser temperature
- Check suction line temperature ok
- Drive belt and pulley adjusted
- Check operation of valves and thermostats
- Confirm condenser fins are clean
- Check condition of components and hoses
- Evacuation and recharge of refrigerant (where required)
- Electronically test system lines and components for leaks
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. When the air filters become plugged with dirt and bacteria it will affect the performance of the entire system and it can even cause it to give out altogether. On top of reducing air conditioner performance, dirty air filters can cause all kinds of health problems too.
An air conditioning system must be examined once a year for any signs of failure of the connections, hoses and seals and ensure there is no loss of refrigerant over time. Regularly servicing your air conditioning system 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 minimises the fuel being used.
Why does the car air conditioner need to be serviced?
An automotive air conditioning is designed to remove heat from the air within the interior of the car to the exterior, leaving only cooled or 'conditioned' air to be recirculated. 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 elements and very stressful operating temperatures and being used occasionally rather than being 'Always On' can cause decay of the seals, hoses and connections. An automotive air conditioner 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.
Southeast Auto Mechanical can arrange Air Conditioning Service with a Licenced Technician. 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 conditioning systems?
The moist environment can support the development of microbes, bacteria and even fungus growth inside the evaporator core. This can lead to nasty smells and possibly even be bad for the health of any vehicle occupants. Although modern evaporator units tend to be more efficient they have more fins, meaning an increased capability to trap moisture and allow for micro-organism development.
Southeast Auto Mechanical mechanics can use special ultrasonic technology to ensure elimination of any micro-organisms that may cause unpleasant odours or health issues.
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.