sun, beach, sea and stuffy air in the car. Shortly before the longed-for summer vacation, it is particularly disappointing if the car air conditioning is defective or does not cool properly. Read on auto-werkstatt.what you can do to ensure that the temperature in your car is always right.
Gone are the days when an air conditioner in the car was only part of a luxury equipment. For a long time now, even small cars and mid-range passenger cars have had a. It not only ensures fresh air in summer, but also a warm interior in winter, filters odors and regulates humidity.
Once a year, the filters of the car air conditioning system should be replaced / ©kaboompics/ pixabay.Com
However, if the air conditioner in the car does not cool properly, several reasons can be responsible for it. In the following sections, you will learn what the most common causes of failure are and what you can do about them. You can also read why regular cleaning and maintenance are important.
The most common defects of the car air conditioner
The following components of the air conditioning system are often the cause of malfunctions:
- The coolant circuit is the heart of any air conditioning system. The gas tetrafluoroethane, also known as R134, flows through the hoses and is compressed by the compressor, changing to a liquid state. If there is a crack in the line, the coolant will seep through.
- Another core part of the air conditioner is the condenser, which functions as a heat exchanger by extracting heat from the air inside the vehicle, thus providing the cooling effect. If stones or grit land between the fins, it can be damaged. In this case the coolant also escapes.
- But even without external influences, the seals of the system give way over time. About ten percent of the refrigerant is lost every year. If it is not refilled regularly, the level will eventually become too low and the air conditioner will no longer cool properly. If, after an inspection, the level of the refrigerant is found to be correct, the defective air conditioner may be the fault of the compressor.
- Sometimes it is a comparatively simple fault, for example if the magnetic switch is broken, which first switches the system on. In this case it is enough to replace it. If other moving parts rust or give way, the entire compressor must be replaced, as there is no point in repairing it.
- A broken pressure switch is also a common source of failure. This is the component that regulates the pressure in the device. If it fails, it must be replaced.
In the following sections you will find out how much it will cost to have the air conditioning system repaired.
Why regular cleaning of the car air conditioning system is important
Car air conditioning is not only a cause for concern if it is defective. Often, especially after the air conditioner has not been operated for a long time, a moldy smell emanates from the nozzles. The temperature in the vehicle is correct, but the stay is just as unpleasant. When the air conditioning system stinks, it is usually caused by bacteria and fungi that settle in the condensation water of the evaporator. To get rid of it, it is recommended to run the air conditioner a few times for a long time and then turn it off after a while, while the engine is still running. Ideally, it should be off about ten minutes before you reach your destination. In this way, no condensation remains and the foul-smelling bacteria can no longer multiply.
Sometimes, however, this measure does not lead to success. In this case, it is advisable to buy a special cleaner that is sprayed into the interior while the system is running, with no one sitting in the vehicle and with the doors and windows closed. With this spray, the air conditioning system can also be disinfected at the same time, all germs die off. The cans are available on the Internet or in specialized stores for less than ten euros. If this measure does not help either, the only solution is to have the cleaning done by a professional.
Carry out a leak test yourself?
If there is a suspicion that coolant is leaking, there is the option of carrying out a leak test. There are kits available on the internet that can be used to test for leaks using a pressure gauge and nitrogen. For this purpose, the supplied hose is connected on the high-pressure side to the service adapter of the vehicle. This causes the nitrogen to flow through the line at high pressure. If you notice a drop in pressure on the pressure gauge, it means that nitrogen is leaking because one or more points are not tight. To find them exactly, you can help yourself with the leak detector. It is a kind of soapy water that forms bubbles when it comes into contact with nitrogen. The cost of the set is about 70 euros.
If several cracks appear, you should contact your auto repair shop. Although it is theoretically possible to patch it and refill the missing refrigerant yourself. However, the process is carried out under high pressure and the refrigerant is both highly toxic and harmful to the environment. It is also important to keep to the maximum amount of refrigerant, as overfilling can destroy the air conditioning system over time. As a rule, specialist knowledge and professional equipment are necessary to carry out the refilling correctly. If the air conditioning system breaks down due to an incorrectly performed refill, an expensive repair is due. It is therefore advisable to have the work done by auto mechanics. Refilling the air conditioner usually costs less than a hundred euros. If repairs are also required, the final bill can be higher.
Repairing the car air conditioning system: what will it cost me??
In the case of a broken component or leaking lines, repair is unavoidable. Not only is the performance of your car air conditioner reduced when refrigerant leaks, but the lubrication of the moving parts is no longer guaranteed and they fail quickly as a result. How much you have to pay for a visit to the repair shop depends largely on the extent of the damage. The compressor, for example, is a comparatively expensive component. Depending on the make and model of the car, the cost of a replacement varies between 700 and 1.300 euros, to which is added the service of the garage. For a new evaporator, the cost is around 500 euros including installation, for the change of the pressure switch, around 150 euros. It is cheaper if only one line is leaking and the refrigerant needs to be refilled. Here, too, the final price varies depending on how complex the repair of the hoses is. In general, you can expect to pay about 100 euros for a replacement. Replacing the cabin filter costs between 50 and 90 euros.
Why you should have the air conditioning system of your car serviced
Many air conditioning problems are not detected in time by laymen. If you want to avoid expensive repairs, you should have your car’s air conditioning system regularly inspected by specialists. During the inspection, the most important components such as the compressor, condenser, evaporator and expansion valve are checked to ensure that they are functioning properly. The mechanic looks for holes and cracks in the pipes through which the coolant flows. Thus, it can be detected early if coolant is leaking. As this is a toxic liquid, servicing the air conditioning system also protects the environment. This service may already be included when you purchase your car Cost varies depending on performance. In some workshops you can have your air conditioning system checked for as little as 50 euros.
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If the air conditioning system in your car is defective, there are a number of possible causes. Often leaks in the line cause problems because the refrigerant escapes. If the level is too low, the system will no longer cool properly. Sometimes important components such as the compressor or the evaporator are broken and need to be replaced. even without breakdowns, regular maintenance is important to keep your air conditioner running smoothly. The cabin air filter should be replaced at least once a year, and the refrigerant must also be topped up. At the same time, the experts check whether the lines are leak-proof. If you are looking for a workshop near you to have your car air conditioning system repaired or serviced, you can request orders here free of charge and without obligation.