Car Air Conditioning FAQS
Liverpool Auto Care are well placed to take care of all of your Automotive Air Conditioner Re-gas, Repairs, Inspection and Servicing needs
Your vehicle should be brought to a reputable workshop such as Liverpool Auto Care on a regular basis to make sure the air conditioning system continues performing correctly as well as having the mechanics assess the condition of the whole vehicle.
Repco Authorised Service mechanics perform a 65 point Vehicle Inspection with every service and are able to alert you to any components that may need renewal in the near future or those that are already damaged beyond repair.
Liverpool Auto Care can arrange automotive air conditioning service with a licenced technician in and around Liverpool and the surrounding areas.
Air Conditioning FAQ's
Car air conditioners - what is involved?
A car air conditioning system is made up of four basic parts - the compressor, a belt driven pump to compress and circulate refrigerant gas, the condenser to redistribute heat and condense gas to a liquid, an expansion device, either an orifice tube or a thermal expansion valve (TXV) (subject to 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.
Car air conditioning is designed to extract heat from the air within the passenger area of the car and transfer it out of the car, leaving only cooled or 'conditioned' air behind 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 is done during a car air conditioner service?
A typical air conditioner service may include some of the following items;
Validate that air vent temperature is correct
- Confirm condenser temperature correct
- Inspect suction line temperature
- Confirm operation of drive belt & pulley ok
- Confirm that thermostats and valves are operating correctly
- Check condenser fins are free of dirt or debris
- Assessment of hose and component condition
- Evacuation and recharge of refrigerant (where required)
- System line and component assesment with electronic tester
Why do I need a car air conditioner system service?
By checking or changing the oil level in the refrigerant you protect the compressor and prevent it seizing up. When the air filters become obstructed with dirt and bacteria it will affect the performance of the entire system and it can even cause it to cease functioning altogether. On top of degrading air conditioner performance, dirty air filters can cause all kinds of health problems too.
An automotive air conditioning system needs to be examined once a year for any signs of issues with the connections, hoses and seals to ensure refrigerant levels are being maintained over time. Regular service of your automotive 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 consumed.
Why does the car air conditioner need to be serviced?
Car air conditioning is designed to extract heat from the air within the passenger area of the car out of the car, leaving only cooled or 'conditioned' air behind 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 harsh operating temperatures and being expected to function occasionally rather than being 'Always On' can have a detrimental effect on the connections, seals and hoses. An automotive air conditioner 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.
Liverpool Auto Care 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 responsible for the bad smell in car air conditioning systems?
The damp environment inside the evaporator core can promote 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. Although modern evaporator units tend to be more efficient, they have an increased capability to trap moisture and allow for micro-organism development.
Liverpool Auto Care mechanics have access to specialised ultrasonic technology to destroy any micro-organisms that may be causing bad 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.