Why have your air con serviced/regassed?

  • Not cold enough?
  • Windows not demisting?
  • Nasty smells when A/C is on?
  • Strange noises when A/C is on?

Your car air con system loses up to 15% of it's refrigerant gas every year.

A poorly performing car air conditioning system can cause a build up of fungus, bacteria and other microbes growing inside the evaporator core, causing a smell, can sometimes cause an allergic reaction and can lead to legionnaires disease.

Ideally your vehicle's air con system should be serviced every 18/24 months, all manufacturers will recommend this .  Yet when your vehicle has a general maintenance service, in most cases, an air conditioning service will not be included. There will usually be an additional charge.

A typical manufacturer car air conditioning service will cost at least £100.

A poor aircon system can increase your fuel costs as the air conditioning compressor needs to work harder.

Price

*Price is dependant on type of vehicle and location.

Approximately 40 minutes.

  • A full visual inspection.
  • Pressure test.
  • Removal of any refrigerant gas.
  • A leak test using OFN. (Oxygen Free Nitrogen)
  • A deep vacuum to remove any moisture from the system.
  • Replace the refrigerant gas to your vehicle's specification.

Approx 15 minutes.

  • Cleans the entire vent system.
  • Kills mood and any other bacteria.
  • Gets rid of bad ouders and leaves your car smelling fresh.
  • A complete antibacterial flush of your air con system.

Leak Guard professional A/C Sealer

What is LeakGuard? LeakGuard permanently and safely seals A/C leaks in both rubber and metal components.

The only A/C Sealant available that is Certified to meet SAE J2670 Standard!

Unlike other A/C Sealants, LeakGuard is an oil based sealant that does not have any of the dangerous side effects.  It will not harden, crystallise, clog the A/C system or harm the recovery equipment.

  • Professional A/C Stop Leak
  • Permanently seals leaks
  • Meets SAE J2670 A/C additive standard
  • Safe for all A/C Systems
  • Contains concentrated A/C dye
  • Specifically formulated for slow leaks that can occur over a 6-12 month period (or a leak rate of 25oz/708g) per year.  It can safely remain in the A/C system and prevent leaks from occurring in the future - an excellent preventive maintenance product!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • ORIFICE TUBE SYSTEM: Orifice tube systems use an Accumulator located in the Low side of the system.
  • EXPANSION VALVE SYSTEM: TXV systems use a Drier located in the High side of the system.

All vehicle air conditioning systems leak to a lesser or greater degree. The losses occur through refrigerant escaping through the pipe joins as a result of vibration and ageing of rubber hoses and ‘O’ ring seals, as well as through the seal on the front of the compressor shaft.

A domestic fridge has no rubber pipes and no seal on the front of the compressor shaft; all piping is copper therefore there is no leaking through pipe walls.

We measure the pressures in the system, check quality of refrigerant present with a Gas Analyser and check all functions. Then we recover the refrigerant and vacuum the system down to a very low pressure (Deep Vacuum process) to remove any moisture that might be present. If needed we will then test the system for leaks with Nitrogen (OFN), we then Re-Charge (Re-Gas) with virgin or re-cycled refrigerant R134a and also add a measured amount of the correct type of lubricant for your system. We also add Ultra Violet dye to help find any leaks that may develop in the future.

The UV dye shows up under a bright UV light source. So any leaks present in the system can be easily identified either during fault finding or if future leaks were to develop.

The origin of the smell is caused by fungus, bacteria and other microbes growing inside the evaporator core. The moisture-laden environment is very conducive to the growth of these organisms. As automakers downsize components to save space and weight, this problem has been increased. Because the automakers made the evaporator smaller, they added more fins and packed them closer together to increase the efficiency of the evaporator. While this has made the evaporator more efficient, it has also made it more prone to trap moisture that contributes to the growth of these organisms.

  • Efficient cool air in summer!
  • Warm dehumidified air in winter easily demists steamed up windows!
  • Filters pollutants / airborne particles in pollen helping allergy sufferers!
  • Pleasant and odour free vehicle atmosphere at all times.

If you see a puddle of water on the ground, usually under the passenger area do not be alarmed. This is a normal feature of the system as it is only water dripping from the air conditioning evaporator. The evaporator has a drain tube fitted to allow the condensation from the evaporator to drain away from the vehicle.

The A/C system is far more efficient than the heater at demisting the windows of your car in damp weather conditions – turn it on along with your heater for clearer views! (Once your car’s engine is at normal operating temperature, running the heater and the A/C together will produce warm, dry air).

Some common causes for compressor failures are:

  • LACK OF USE: Compressors not run regularly will be starved for lubrication when they are turned on. This causes excessive ware until the oil again reaches the compressor. It’s best to use the A/C once a week for a few minutes.
  • FAILURE TO FLUSH SYSTEM: Compressors and hoses wear causing bits and pieces to mix with the oil. This sludge gets into the compressor and can cause it to seize. Failure to properly flush or using flush that leaves a residue is a primary cause of failure.
  • EXCESSIVE HIGH OR LOW PRESSURE: Condenser fans can quit due to bad connections or defective motor windings that get too hot. This creates excessive head pressure and heat that can lock up or damage a compressor. Loose connections at the coil can cause high resistance and low voltage causing clutch slippage. Low refrigerant charge will cause lack of lubrication getting to the compressor. Painting condensers will insulate them from efficiently removing heat and increase head pressure in the compressor.
  • IMPROPER REFRIGERANT OR OIL CHARGE: Compressors manufactured after 1990 have smaller capacity, therefore use less refrigerant and oil and are extremely sensitive to inadequate amounts of oil. The wrong type of oil may break down in high heat conditions. R134a systems are more sensitive to lubrication than R12 systems. An over charge of oil can clog the condenser, the orifice tube or expansion valve and starve the compressor of oil.
  • REFRIGERANT BLENDS: They can affect seals and O-rings, causing them to leak, swell or otherwise deteriorate and it can happen relatively quickly.

All matter has a certain amount of heat except at absolute zero 238.C). Ice cubes feel cool to the touch, but actually it just has less heat than your hand. Heat is transferring from your hand to the ice cube. This is the principle behind how an A/C cools the air in a car. Heated air is circulated across a gas filled evaporator and is transferred to the refrigerant gas making the air less hot. The heat-laden refrigerant then is drawn into the compressor, is super-heated by compression and forced through the condenser where the cooler outside air takes the heat from the refrigerant. Its next stop is the expansion device (TXV or Orifice tube), which meters refrigerant into the evaporator where it expands into a gas and it starts over again.

An Annual Inspection is sufficient to check system condition and overall performance. A Service of the system should be carried out at least every two years even if it appears to be working well. It is estimated that you lose between 20-30% of the initial gas charge over a two year period and this figure is based on new vehicles.

Yes, this helps to keep the system well lubricated and leak tight. Why?

Because the refrigerant actually carries the oil that lubricates the system, most importantly the compressor. It also keeps the seals and hoses moist, thus preventing them from drying out and cracking leading to leaks.

This is difficult not only because specialist equipment is needed but most importantly the refrigerant present in the system must be recovered. It is ILLEGAL to vent the refrigerant into the environment. Under European laws to protect the environment, the use of depleting substances and synthetic greenhouse gases is regulated. The licensing system ensures that only technician with adequate licences are allowed to service the vehicle’s AC systems. People operating without licence or authorisation are committing an offence and are subject to prosecution. The system is also under high pressure and needs pulling into a deep vacuum to remove any moisture. The refrigerants themselves have a very low boiling point and will cause frostbite if they come into contact with skin or eye tissue. You have been warned!!!

Generally all vehicles manufactured prior to 1994 used R12 and all vehicles manufactured after 1994 use R134a. Re gassing of the vehicles with R12 is prohibited as this refrigerant destroys the ozone layer. If your vehicle uses R12 it needs to be retrofitted to R134a

The answer to this is 'yes' it does, but not by much. But then think of the alternatives. You could have the windows open but that would increase wind resistance which can add up to 10% to your fuel consumption, especially at speed. And don’t forget the extra noise and pollution through that open window. Also, it’s worth pointing out that you should run your air conditioning at least once a week, especially in winter as the seals can seize up through non-use potentially costing you more in future in new parts and repair!!!.

Turn the air conditioning on, ensuring that it’s not set to ‘economy’ mode. When you first get into a hot car, open the windows, ensure that the air vents are set to face level and the system is set up to do the same, not pointed at your feet. Remember cold air falls. Turn the temperature to as low as it will go, and the blower as high as possible. Also make sure that the air is on 'recircle' mode and not taking air from outside. Better to cool already cooled air!! When the temperature is more comfortable, close the windows and increase the temperature to a more suitable level as well as decreasing the blower speed. You should also point the air vents upwards to ensuring the cold air flows down again.

Your A/C unit works to remove heat from the passenger area and in doing so it also removes moisture. We are most comfortable when the relative humidity is closer to 40 percent than 90 percent, therefore the A/C system expends most of its effort wringing moister out of the air. This is what air conditioning is all about – conditioning the air. It’s important to check the condensation drain at the bottom of the evaporator. If you see clear water dripping from your car, when parked… it’s a good thing…if it’s from the evaporator.

It’s not the R134a! It’s the oil in the refrigerant that absorbs moisture and holds debris in the system. Replacing the drier or accumulator, in addition to a vacuum, will assure better performance.

Good electronic leak detectors will show most system leaks, under static conditions, however some will leak only when the system is in operation. This is where the insertion of a florescent dye can help find the leak. Note, to see the dye stain you need a UV lamp and the leak has to be where the light can reach it. Most car manufacturers approve the use of trace dyes and some OEM’s have been inserting trace dyes at the point of manufacture. The amount of dye used is less than 5 ml. and remains in the system even if the total charge is lost. The dye stains the oil not the R134a and only flushing will remove it.

Moisture causes internal icing that obstructs the orifice tube or expansion valve. This can create excessive high pressures and low cooling. The A/C system is a closed loop system so why does it need a Drier to remove moisture? Here’s how moisture gets into the system. Refrigerant charged through service hoses not evacuated after being connected to the system will have air and moisture in them. Hoses left uncapped while replacing components allows moisture to enter. Refrigerant oil is hydroscopic (water absorbing like a sponge) and left uncapped will have moisture in it. Recycling machines with old filters will not remove moisture from incoming refrigerant. Condensation created when the Low side of the system gets cold and then warms up when the system is turned off is absorbed into the system through the hoses.

Need a Service?

If your air-con isn't cold enough, your windows not demisting, you have a runny nose when A/C is on or you hear strange noises when A/C is on - then you need a service!

CALL US TODAY!

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Terms and Conditions

All our Air-Con services are subject to our Terms and Conditions