Checking Refrigerant and Air Conditioning

Are you one of those people that get in your car every morning and expect it to work for you? Or perhaps you like to take a little more care and have it serviced regularly.

Statistically speaking your car is more likely to breakdown if you don’t have any service or repairs completed.

Yet your car is one of the most important things you own. You need to have a reliable place for all your car repairs.

The Importance of Refrigerant

There are two types of refrigerant in your car. The first is in the cooling system. This is water mixed with anti-freeze. It circulates round your engine, helping to keep it cool.

If there is not enough refrigerant then your car will not stay cool; especially if you sit in traffic a lot. As a result your car can overheat; the risk is that this will cause the head gasket to fail; potential warping the head.

To fix it the top half of the engine will need to be stripped and the head may need skimming; not a cheap job.

Check the water level in your cooling system at least once a week and top up if it is below minimum. However, if you have to top it up every time you have a leak that needs sorting.

The Air Conditioning

On a hot day this is vital to your comfort and this is usually when you discover it’s not really putting out cold air anymore.

In fact you’ll know you have an issue when your air conditioning unit starts to blow out hot air or you hear a hissing noise when you turn it on. If you lift your hood you may also notice that the evaporator cool has ice on it; that’s not a good sign!

There are several reasons why this could be happening:

  • Refrigerant has become contaminated
  • Refrigerant level is low
  • Electrical issue with your compressor
  • Leak in the system

It is possible to purchase a DIY kit and check the refrigerant level in your air conditioning unit.

However, this is a sealed unit that is under high pressure. It also uses a chemical that can be quite dangerous if mistreated.

You may be interested to learn that there is a low pressure port designed to allow the system to be checked. Unfortunately even the smallest amount if dirt getting into the system through this port can cause the failure of your compressor.

This is why it is recommended that the checking and repairing of your air conditioning be completed at a garage.

Checking the refrigerant can be easily done when you take your car in for a full service. IT is also possible to recharge the system at the garage which may fix the issue.

If this doesn’t work you could be looking at a more costly repair as your mechanic will need to discharge the system and examine all the components.

Regular servicing can help to prevent this although cars do tend to need more work as they age; they generally live a harsh life.

Tom Brown
Tom Brown is an automotive market enthusiast living in the United States. He holds a diverse background in automotive marketing and enjoys utilizing that to produce insights into the inner workings of the industry.