Thinking of Using One of These?
Some ordinary people think that they can service their own air conditioning just to save some money. One of the devices they use looks just like the image you can see above. Before you even think about using one of these, there are many factors you need to know and put into place, including:
1. Does anyone ever advise you what safety equipment you need to have before you even buy this?
2. Did you know that the gas in these tins are under such high pressure that if any were to escape and spray into your eyes it could actually blind you, also if any gas sprays onto your skin it could actually give you frostbite leading to a severe burn.
3. How do you know exactly what pressure you have in your air conditioning system, even if some of these have a pressure gauge attached. How do you know what charge level you need? Over charging the system could actually damage certain components of the air conditioning system.
4. Have you done a leak test? What if you have a leak and you pump this gas into the system, the gas will escape right back out of the leak and you will not get a refund for the lost gas either!!
5. How much compressor oil is there in the system? Are you putting any back when you refill with the gas?
6. Are you certified to handle R134a gas?
7. Did you know that it is illegal to release this gas into the atmosphere resulting in a £10,000 fine for deliberately doing so?
Little or no experience is a dangerous thing.
Why waste your hard earned money on these products when you can have a professional come to your home or work place take all the risks and carry out the work for you.
Before You Do Consider These Facts Below!
Save the hassle and have it checked and serviced properly in the first place.
We carry out the correct procedures and servicing as required and NOT just a re-gas. Beware there are companies out there that will just pump a bit of gas into the system, charge you a fee and send you on your way, then the air conditioning stops working a few weeks or less later.
So, what do we do?
We take the pressure away from you when it comes to servicing your car air conditioning by coming to your home or work place to carry out the car air conditioning service, saving you time and stress of having to travel to a garage and then having to wait for an hour or so, then travel back again, so, rather than you travelling somewhere, why not have us come to you and at the same time you get a personal service too.
Did You Know….. that your car air conditioning system needs to be serviced on an annual basis, just like your car engine does. This way if any faults appear within this time, for example a noisy compressor, which could lead to contamination of the system or a possible leak leading to low pressure in the system making the compressor work harder thus using more fuel.
Did You Also know….. that your car air conditioning system loses between 15-20% of it's gas in a year and that it is recommended that you keep your air conditioning on all year round, even in the winter (yes you can use your air conditioning in the winter and also your heater at the same time)
Many people do not know or have never been told this!
Why is this?
There are many reasons why you lose this gas and one of them is through lack of use. Although the car air conditioning is sealed, there are a number of places where the gas can escape. Below you can see some images where corrosion has developed on pipe joints, seals and parts of the aluminium joints. You can also see the deterioration of the condenser cooling fins.
The system is mainly made up of pipes and other components. These pipes are joined together and around these joints are special rubber neoprene seals.
If these seals are left to dry out (because the compressor is not being used) then the gas which you have in your system will eventually leak out of these seals causing your car air conditioning to stop working, so it is extremely important to keep these seals moist as they rely on the oil which circulates with the gas to maintain a sealed joint.
So, how do we do it?
We start off with a diagnostic test.
We would initially carry out a diagnostic test which involves checking your vehicles air conditioning for performance, if the pressure readings are low then we will extract any gas which you may have left in the system which will be filtered and cleaned and also remove the old oil. We then fill the system with Nitrogen and check for any leaks using our leak diagnosis equipment. We would also check inside the cars ventilation system vents to see whether there is a leak from the evaporator. If we do not find any traces of leaks, we will then extract the Nitrogen back out and then carry out a vacuum test. If we have found a leak then we can quote you on the necessary work that is needed to repair the leak.
While the system is carrying out a vacuum test, other items of the air conditioning are visually checked, including the compressor unit (pump), the condenser, the cooling fan unit, the air conditioning pipes and joints, the air conditioning belt and other items. Once the vacuum test has finished and has passed the holding phase, before carrying out the service we fill the system with R134a air conditioning gas and carry out a quick test to see if the compressor and other components of the air conditioning work. If all of the air conditioning system works as it should it is then we extract the gas back out and carry out another vacuum test. After the vacuum test has finished it is only then that we carry out the full service.
As above plus the service includes adding fresh compressor oil and a yellow leak dye into the system. We then fill up the system with the correct amount of R134a air conditioning gas and check for correct operation and pressure readings. Finally we check the cabin temperature is within the correct cooling range.
Evidence of Corrosion
Signs of Leaks and Condenser Wear
As mentioned above, by not having the right amount of gas in the system will make the compressor work much harder than it needs to, leading to increased fuel costs.
Your car air conditioning system has a pump (compressor) which drives the gas around your air conditioning system. Inside the pump there is oil, just like your car engine has oil, this oil needs to flow around the system in order to keep the pipe joints lubricated, as mentioned above.
It is important to use your car air conditioning all year round in order to keep the compressor moving thus giving it less chance to seize up, potentially costing you hundreds of pounds to replace it.
There is one other reason for using the air conditioning all year round and this is to slow the growth of mould and fungus building up in the ventilation system, which we can treat (see below).
A Fact That Needs Clarifying…
Some people are afraid that the air conditioning uses too much fuel. Right and Wrong.
If you use your car air conditioning on the lowest fan setting then you won’t notice much of a difference in your fuel economy, however if you set the fan speed to maximum speed for a long period of time then yes you will use more fuel. This is no different to you leaving your windows open and causing a drag, this also uses more fuel.
We are fully compliant with the latest gas handling laws and hold the necessary qualifications for an IMI award for gas handling.
Click on each image for a larger view
For those of you who are interested to know what certain components of the air conditioning are and what they do I have included some of the main parts below.
Below is a diagram which shows the flow of gas/liquid.
This is the compressor (pump) which is commonly referred as the "the heart of the system". The job of the compressor is to compress and drive the gas around the system.
The condenser is normally situated at the front of the vehicle. The high pressure hot gas leaving the compressor passes through the condenser which is then cooled with the cooling fan. As the gas is cooled it changes into a high pressure liquid.
As the high pressure liquid leaves the condenser it passes through the receiver drier. The main job of the receiver drier is to remove moisture and filter out dirt and should be replaced every time the air conditioning system has been disturbed, for example when the compressor or condenser has been replaced.
I must admit I nearly spent £60 on a can of gas and the tool to recharge the system but given the age of the car and the low cost of a full service I called Premier Car Services. I'm glad I did as if I had it would have been a waste of £60, when testing the system they found a leak in one of the pipes, this meant that no gas was wasted and the fault could be repaired before lubricating and charging the system.
Great service and returned a few days later to replace the part and charge the system. If i'd taken this in to a main dealer I would have been seriously out of pocket, great service and excelent value for money.
My advice don't go for a recharge without first having the system tested it will save you money. PCS were very good and dealing with a person rather than a service department made a big difference. Would recommend PCS every time.
Keith Spencer, Reading
Read What One Of Our Clients Said About These Cans!
Sometimes it is neccessary to carry out a diagnostic scan of your vehicles air conditionings electronic system.
Some car makers, mainly VW, Audi and Mercedes store fault codes in their system and it is only until these fault codes are reset and the fault has been rectified then the air conditioning will work.
We offer a service where we will scan your system to see if you have any faults in the system and save you a fortune against main dealer scan prices.
The expansion valve removes pressure from the liquid refrigerant to allow expansion or change of state from a liquid to a vapor in the evaporator.
There is a high side pressure switch, and low side pressure switch, and they both serve to monitor the system for pressure faults that can possibly damage the compressor.