Why is servicing needed?
vehicle air conditioning system needs to be serviced
regularly to ensure that it continues to work
efficiently. Waiting until a fault occurs can sometimes
be very costly.
average, 10-15% of refrigerant is lost a year. This
normally occurs through seals on pipe, component
connections and the main compressor. Therefore, a
vehicle 3 years or older could be 50% down on
refrigerant charge thus causing problems. The
refrigerant also carries the oil around the system which
will lubricate all seals to stop them from drying up and
leaking. But most importantly lubricate the compressor
which is the heart of your system.
So ideally your vehicle air conditioning should be looked
at every couple of years.
Why does my fridge at home not need regular servicing?
domestic fridge has braised copper pipes and not
subjected to the same amount of vibration that occurs in
a vehicle. Plus the compressor is generally a sealed
unit preventing refrigerant loss.
Is it true that the A/C system should be run often
throughout the year?
Yes, this helps lubricate the whole system, preventing
leaks and compressor failure.
Why is looking after the compressor so critical?
This the main component in the A/C system, replacements
typically cost £400 - £1200 depending on the vehicle, as
well as labour.
Why can’t I service the system myself?
Because refrigerant handling is only allowed by
qualified, trained personnel due to its
environmental impact. Also the system is under pressure
and the proper equipment is needed to service, leak test
and vacuum it effectively. The refrigerant has a very
low boiling point and can cause burns when in contact
with skin. So buying a “top up can” and trying to do it
yourself will only damage your system, you or the
use Nitrogen for leak testing?
Oxygen Free Nitrogen (OFN) is used for leak testing
because it is safe for the environment and can
pressurise the system
sufficiently to be able to leak test. You can not charge
a system with refrigerant without leak testing first as
this is illegal!
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