Auto Air Conditioning
About Auto Air Conditioning
Manufacturers recommend that your air conditioning be used for at least 10 minutes per week. In most cases we recommend the air conditioning be used all year round to achieve the best results. With climate control you can dial up a comfortable cabin temperature. If you have a manual system, use the heater control lever to adjust temperature to a comfortable level. Having the air conditioning switched on, helps to defog the windscreen in winter and keeps you awake and alert by dehumidifying the cabin air.
When the vehicle is hot after being parked or closed up, open the windows to let the hot air out. Operate the air conditioning unit on “fresh air”, maximum blower speed and cooling (or Auto). After a few minutes, when the vehicle is cooler, close all windows tightly and operate the air conditioning on recirculate and adjust controls to suit requirements. The cabin will be held at an even temperature without the pollution from outside entering the vehicle.
Do not be alarmed if a pool of water is noticed beneath your vehicle when the air conditioner has been operating. This is the moisture removed from the air within your vehicle.
Vehicle Air Conditioning Repairs
At SMAC Auto Air you can expect a thorough check which includes checking belts, hoses for damage and leaks, and replacement of the receiver drier, which filters the refrigerant system. Failure to have the filter replaced every 2-3 years may result in the filter not being able to work as efficiently and the system may start to deteriorate.
Modern cars are designed for very high performance and efficiency. This often means that these systems are more sensitive to contaminants and corrosion, making it even more important to service on a regular basis.
Over a period of years the evaporator (heat exchanger inside the vehicle) collects dust, hair, animal fur and seeds, which inhibits the air flow by blocking the fins and this can also create bad odours. This can be remedied reasonably simply in most vehicles by removing and cleaning the heat exchanger. It is more economical to do this when the air conditioning is serviced (new filter drier fitted) which should be done every 2-3 years. Many late model vehicles are fitted with a pollen filter which protects that heat exchanger and should be changed every 1-2 years or according to manufacturers' recommendations.
Main problems that occur with car / vehicle air conditioning:
- Electrical / electronic – ranging from broken wires to faulty electronic controllers. Most modern air conditioning systems rely on several computers to regulate the air conditioning system.
- Loss of refrigerant - corrosion of alloy parts is the main problem, followed by ‘O’ ring and pump seals leaking. These faults may all be avoided by regular servicing of your air conditioning system. Occasionally mechanical wear or stone chips (condenser) cause a loss of refrigerant. If a system is short of refrigerant or has no refrigerant, the leak must be located and either repaired or the part replaced before the system can be recharged with new refrigerant. This is a legal requirement
- An unpleasant smell coming through the vehicle's air conditioning system when it is turned on. This is usually caused by the build up of contaminants on the evaporator coil. Most late model vehicles have cabin filters which become blocked and develop odours. If no cabin filter is fitted many evaporator coils can be cost efficiently cleaned.
- Computerised climate control systems are more sensitive to contaminants and corrosion, making it even more important to have them serviced on a regular basis.
We recommend that all newly imported vehicles be checked as soon as practicable as there is usually no access to the service history. It is possible you may have to pay for years of neglect.
We offer a check and advise service to ascertain whether there is a problem within the system. This includes checking belts, hoses for damage and checking for leaks. If there is a problem a quote will be provided to repair the vehicle. Should you go ahead with the repairs the cost of the initial check will be waived. If you decide not to proceed, there will be a small service charge.
Most air conditioning repairs are best done in our well equipped workshop where specialised diagnostic and repair equipment can be used. Many air conditioning parts are specific to particular models of cars. We carry a large range of stock and much more can be sourced overnight.
Air conditioning repairs and servicing is highly specialised and should not be performed by anyone not fully trained. In most cases "regassing" does not repair the system and may cause further damage requiring more expensive repairs.
Loss of refrigerant or contaminated refrigerant commonly used by people not familiar with the clinical standards required for air conditioning, causes poor cooling and internal deterioration of the system leading to expensive repairs.