Once regarded as a luxury, air conditioning systems are now standard in most vehicles. Not only do they keep us cool in the summer, they also help to filter out pollen, pollutants and airborne bacteria to improve the quality of the air inside our vehicles.
Air conditioning systems can, however, only deliver all of those benefits if they’re functioning efficiently. If they’re not serviced and maintained correctly, they simply won’t be effective.
How does a car’s air conditioning system work?
To understand why regular servicing of air conditioning systems is so important, it’s worth looking in a little more detail at how they actually work.
Inside your vehicle’s air conditioning system is a compressor that contains a refrigerant. This refrigerant starts out as a gas and it needs to be refilled on a regular basis – if it runs out, the just system won’t work properly.
When you switch your air conditioning on, the gas travels to a condenser. Fresh air from outside passes over the condenser and temperature of the gas drops causing the refrigerant to turn into a liquid.
A drier then removes any impurities before it reaches a thermal expansion valve. It is at this point that you are able to control the inside temperature by altering this liquid flow which turns into a vapour as it flows through evaporation coils and is blown into your vehicle. The refrigerant, back in the gas form it started out as, returns to the compressor where it begins the whole process all over again – clever stuff!
What happens during an air conditioning service?
As outlined, over time air conditioning systems will inevitably lose refrigerant gas, particularly if the system isn’t used very regularly. And if the refrigerant is low, your air conditioning system will blow warmer air which means it will have to work twice as hard to try to propel cool air. This not only puts a strain on your vehicle’s engine, it also has an impact on fuel consumption. So, to ensure your air conditioning systems is working to its optimum, most manufacturers recommend an air conditioning service every two years.
First of all, the technician will check for any leaks in the system. Undetected leaks can cause equipment failure and, potentially, environmental contamination. If any leaks are found, they can usually be repaired there and then.
Next up is the refill of the refrigerant gas, often referred to as regassing. The technician will remove any old refrigerant gas from the system and replace it with new refrigerant so your air conditioning will be nice a cool again! At this point, any lubricant used to lubricate the moving parts within the refrigerant compressor will be checked and topped up if required.
Finally, the system is treated to a full, anti-bacterial clean to get rid of any dirt and germs that may have built up over time.
Our expert air conditioning servicing product partner
For the last ten years, we’ve partnered with Primalec, one of the UK’s leading producers of leak control and air conditioning servicing solutions for both OEM production lines and aftermarket service.
Founded in 1979, Primalec’s expertise in the technical discipline of air conditioning is widely recognised. Here at Prosol UK, we’re proud to offer a full range of their high-quality products, from Glo-Leak® and Nitro Trace™, to Leaktronic and Snow Leopard technical lubricants.
For more information on air conditioning servicing and the Primalec range, simply give one of the Prosol UK team a call on 0114 255 7700.
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