Car Air Conditioning FAQS


One Stop Auto Care are well placed to take care all of your Vehicle Air Conditioning Re-gas, Inspection, Repair or Servicing needs

Your car air conditioning system uses refrigerant to remove the excess heat from the air inside the car and transfer it out of the car, leaving only cooled or 'conditioned' air to be recirculated. It is important to regularly carry out an appraisal of the condition of the rubber seals for any signs of leaks or deterioration which could be a sign of an ongoing loss of refrigerant.

To perform in top condition the refrigerant in your Vehicle Air Conditioner system should ideally be refilled completely within four years of the manufacture date and every two to three years after that.

You ought to bring your vehicle to a reputable workshop such as One Stop Auto Care regularly to ensure the air conditioner system continues performing as it should as well as having the mechanics go over the condition of the whole vehicle.

Repco Authorised Service mechanics perform a 65 point Vehicle Inspection with every service and provide a heads up about any items that may need replacing in the near future or those that are already damaged beyond repair.

One Stop Auto Care can arrange automotive air conditioning service with a licenced technician in and around Nerang and the surrounding areas.

Air Conditioning FAQ's

What makes a Car Air Conditioner work?

A car air conditioning system could be seen as having four basic parts - the compressor, a belt driven pump to compress and circulate gas, the condenser to remove heat and condense gas to a liquid, an expansion device, usually a thermal expansion valve (TXV) or an orifice tube (dependent on the kind of air conditioner 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.

A car air conditioner is designed to take the excess heat from the air in the inside of the car and transfer it out of the car, leaving only cooled or 'conditioned' air to be redistributed. 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 included in a car air conditioning service?

A typical air conditioner service may include some of the following items;

  • Confirm air vent temperature is correct

  • condenser temperature check

  • Check suction line temperature correct

  • Adjustments of drive belt and pulley

  • Validate correct operation of valves and thermostats

  • Check condenser fins are clean

  • Assessment of component and hose condition

  • Evacuation and recharge of refrigerant (where required)

  • test system lines and components for leaks

Why do I need a car air conditioner system service?

Compressor Seizure can be prevented by checking or changing the oil level in the refrigerant. Should the air filters ever be jammed with dirt and bacteria it will affect the performance of the entire system and it can even cause it to fail to operate altogether. As well as impacting air conditioner performance, dirty air filters can cause all kinds of health problems too.

A vehicle air conditioner system should be examined annually for any signs of failure of the connections, hoses and seals to make sure refrigerant levels are being maintained over time. Regularly servicing your vehicle air con sysytem 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 minimises the fuel being used.

Why does the car air conditioner need to be serviced?

A car air conditioner is designed to take the excess heat from the air in the inside of the car out of the car, leaving only cooled or 'conditioned' air to be redistributed. 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 mercy of the elements and very extreme operating conditions and being expected to function occasionally rather than being 'Always On' can cause issues with the connections, seals and hoses. A vehicle 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.

One Stop 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 the source of the bad smell in car air conditioning?

The damp environment can promote the development of bacteria, microbes and even fungus growth inside the evaporator core. This can lead to nasty smells and possibly even be bad for the health of any vehicle occupants. Modern evaporator units may be more efficient but they are often more likely to trap moisture allowing microorganism growth.

One Stop Auto Care mechanics can use special ultrasonic technology to eliminate 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.

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