Auto air conditioning is a comfort that most of us now feel is a necessity as we grow used to more creature comforts as we travel. Due to the various sizes and the amount of glass surface areas automotive air conditioning systems can have a large difference in how cold and how quickly they can cool a vehicle, but generally the air coming out of the vents should be between 6 & 9 degrees centigrade with the fan on low or second speed and the air recirculating within the car. Cooling fresh air from outside the vehicle or using the fan at a higher speed will increase the temperature of the air at the vents so will also increase the time to bring the internal temperature of the cabin down to a comfortable level. One of the problems with using the air on recirculate is that the air does get stale, and it can also pick up more bacteria and usually deposit this on the evaporator core inside the cabin.
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Most later model vehicles have a filter within the unit to help remove this bacteria and these need to be replaced in most cases at every 10,000kms. There is also products available that can be sprayed into the system while it is running that will kill this bacteria and prevent the stale or sometimes putrid smell associated with it. The gas that most air conditioners use is detrimental to the environment, so every precaution needs to be taken to ensure that the system is in good condition and no leaks are evident. Due to this fact, regular regassing of systems is not something that is generally done, and topping up the gas is illegal, but components need to be checked regularly to ensure a reliable and safe service life is obtained. The system needs to be regularly checked for leaks by using a black light that will show up stains from a leak if UV dye has been added to the system or by with the use of an electronic sensing device that will pick up minute traces of any gas leakage. The drive belt for the compressor also needs to be checked and adjusted regularly to avoid noise, often a loud squeal as the system is switched on or as the compressor cycles during normal operation.
By law, these systems can only be repaired in Adelaide by qualified and licensed car servicing experts. Viva Auto Repairs not only holds the required company license, but we also have fully licensed mechanics that are able to diagnose and repair your car’s air conditioner. Because car air conditioning must be designed with rubber hoses due to the relative movement between components, their systems tend to bleed gas at a very slow rate, but this means that the spare parts do require occasional servicing. If, however, the gas has leaked out at a faster rate than usual, any leak must be repaired before the system can be gassed. This requires specialised equipment to enable the car servicing expert to locate the leak and rectify it. Latest cars have systems that are computer controlled and these need even more equipment to diagnose.
The very latest car are now using a gas that is much safer for the environment and this will require another set of equipment to allow the servicing and repair. There is also a friendly gas available for older vehicles that can be used in systems that may be doubtful as to whether they are leak free. This ER12 gas is more efficient and only needs about a third of the original gas to bring the system to its best temperature. If a system is over gassed with this it will freeze up and the system will stop cooling for a considerable time until it thaws again. Both these environmentally friendly gasses have a trade off in the fact that they are quite inflammable and therefore create other issues with the use and handling of them.
At Viva Auto Repairs Adelaide, we are up to date with both equipment and knowledge to allow you to keep your cool while driving.