How to take care of air conditioning in the car?
Car air conditioning has long ceased to be a luxury. However, its proper functioning depends to a large extent on ourselves. So how to take care of the air conditioning in the car so that it works flawlessly and is safe for the driver and passengers?
Let’s start by explaining how air conditioning works in a car.
The most important and expensive element of air conditioning is the compressor. Its task is to maintain a sufficiently high pressure in the entire air conditioning. The gas sucked from the evaporator goes to the compressor. It is compressed and forced (under high pressure and high temperature) into a condenser (a kind of cooler) equipped with a fan. There, the gas gives off heat, is partially condensed, and goes to the dryer, where it undergoes the process of drying and cleaning by eliminating water vapor. From here it is a straightforward path to the expansion valve, which is responsible for a rapid reduction in pressure and temperature. This valve is located very close to the evaporator equipped with a blower. This is where the liquid-gas mixture turns into a gas of low pressure and low temperature. There are channels in the evaporator housing through which the cold air enters the car.
How your car’s air conditioning works depends on its type. The most common ones are usually divided into manual and automatic. In the case of the former, all parameters are set manually by the driver. The temperature, the blowing force, and its direction depend on it. Automatic air conditioning, on the other hand, only requires the temperature to be set. The machine takes care of the rest.
How to take care of air conditioning in the car?
Air conditioning, like any other car system, requires inspection, regular servicing, and sometimes repairs. The first thing we must take care of is its tightness. Checking the condition of the wiring and connections of the installation is essential to ensure proper operation. Brittle lines and leaks at connections will cause not only a loss of the refrigerant but also a loss of its properties. The air-conditioning factor has high hygroscopic properties. Absorption of water will lead to a decrease in the efficiency of air conditioning and its durability. It is difficult to verify the condition of the air conditioning system on your own. It is necessary to use a specialized workshop with the necessary equipment.
System service should be performed at least once every two years, but it’s best to do it every year. When? The recommended period is spring, which is the time just before the onset of high temperatures. This makes sense all the more since, during the fall and winter when the air conditioning is “dormant”, damage can sometimes occur which, at best, results in less cooling. In a worse case, they can cause serious and costly breakdowns. Too little refrigerant will not only cool the interior but in extreme cases may cause the compressor to overheat. Staying on the topic of the compressor, let’s not forget about controlling the oil level which ensures its lubrication. Too little amount will lead to seizure of the device with time, which (as we mentioned at the beginning) is not cheap. Another activity that requires regularity is the replacement of the cabin filter. We fill the system as needed, which will be discussed in a moment. When visiting the garage, let’s ask a mechanic to assess whether it is necessary to clean the ventilation system.
How often do you need to fill in your air conditioning?
The shortest answer is every two years minimum, as long as everything works fine. It should be taken into account that each year about 10-15% of the refrigerant is released from the system. This is completely normal but requires you to keep an eye on the pulse. Keep in mind that when deciding only to complement the system, we proceed ad hoc, which after a long time may take revenge on the life of our air conditioning. The solution recommended by specialists is the annual full service, in which we do not bypass diagnostics that allow you to catch even the smallest shortcomings of individual elements. Therefore, it is better to think not about how much time to fill in air conditioning, but how often to provide it with a real service.
How much does it cost to fill in air conditioning in the car?
On average, the cost of a basic air conditioning service is around PLN 150. We are talking about connecting a service machine, checking for leaks, measuring the amount of coolant, and supplementing the possible lack of it. The cost of 100 grams of the factor is about PLN 100. If our air conditioning works, 100 grams is usually enough. The full service is extended, among others o the replacement of the cabin filter and disinfection of the system. Here, the prices range from PLN 300-400. Remember, however, that the most expensive turn out to be omissions and the resulting repairs. Even the most modest expenses here are counted in hundreds of zlotys. When a compressor is replaced, we are already talking about the thousands. In the case of older cars, it may therefore turn out that the repair exceeds their value. Hence the simple conclusion that the question of how much does it cost to buy air conditioning in a car can be answered: not much, provided that we do not neglect the basic service.