How does car air conditioning work?
An air conditioning system controls the temperature in a car and works in a similar way to a kitchen refrigerator. When the fluid inside such appliances (also called refrigerant) changes from a liquid state to a gas, it cools down. Outside air is blown past the coils in which the gas flows, and is therefore also cooled before it is blown into the car’s cabin. The air con gas then returns to liquid form in the system's compressor, heating it up, but the resulting warm air is directed outside the car.
Why is air conditioning important?
Air conditioning in a car serves two purposes. It cools down the interior of a car, dramatically so if needed, which improves passenger comfort and prevents the type of heat-related irritability that may lead to an accident. Also, because air conditioners generate air that is less humid than outside air, it can be used to demist a fogged-up windscreen more quickly than when air is blown out of a standard ventilation system. This might also prevent an accident from occurring.
What is an air conditioning system recharge/re-gas?
A simple check of the temperature of the air emanating from an air conditioning vent will tell you if the refrigerant needs a recharge - some garages use the term 're-gas'. A warm air temperature would suggest that the refrigerant is low or old. Manufacturers typically recommend a recharge no matter what every couple of years to keep the system running efficiently; this involves topping up or refilling the system with fresh refrigerant. This may be all that is needed, but an efficient air conditioning system also needs to be serviced occasionally. If the refrigerant is replaced but the air conditioning system does not seem to be operating properly, either due to warm air or low system pressure, an air conditioning service will be required.
What is an air conditioning system service?
If the pressure in the air conditioning system is particularly low, there might be a leak. This can be checked during an air conditioning service that manufacturers suggest performing every 3-4 years. As well as a test for leaks and the inspection of refrigerant levels, the condenser, the compressor, the hoses and the drive belts are checked. The service also involves a cleaning to take any contaminants, bacteria or moisture out of the system before any new refrigerant is added, followed by a full recharge. It is important to note that an air conditioning service is not included in routine car services but has to be booked separately. Remember to do so because an inefficient air conditioner places greater demands on a car’s engine and requires more fuel to generate cool air, not to mention that any resident bacteria might cause illness.
What causes air conditioning problems?
- Insufficient or old refrigerant.
- Low system pressure, typically caused by a leak or the failure of a component.
- Lack of use can place unexpected stress on components when the system is eventually turned on.
- The build-up of bacteria can make the air from your air conditioning system unhealthy.
What are the possible signs that a car needs an air conditioning service and recharge/re-gas?
- If warm air is blowing out of the vents.
- When the air conditioner only intermittently functions correctly.
- Foul smells emanating from the air conditioning vents are signs that mould and bacteria have infested the air conditioning system.
How long does an air conditioning recharge/re-gas and service take?
- A recharge takes about an hour; a service can take up to an hour.
How much does an air conditioning recharge/re-gas and service cost?
- A recharge costs usually costs at least £40, but you may be quoted more if a garage suggests using newer R1234yf refrigerant rather than the old R134a variety. Also, some garages include the cost of a service when pricing a recharge/re-gas.
Enter your registration and location now to find a trusted, local garage to carry out an air conditioning check at a fixed best price.
The second largest US-based automaker, Ford is a brand known around the world, with a number of strong performing vehicles
in its ranks. No surprise there, as the company has been making cars since 1903. As the most popular of the North American brands
in the UK, the Ford Focus and the Fiesta are probably well known to almost every driver on the road.
Popular for those looking for subcompact or compact cars, Ford makes a variety of configurations across a spectrum of performance standards.
The last of Ford’s British car manufacturing plants was shut down in 2002, but you’ll still find Ford dealerships across the country -
with garages that know how to deal with them as a consequence.
Driving in Portsmouth
This waterfront city in Hampshire is the most densely populated city in the UK. This means that traffic can build at Portsmouth’s rush hour, but that it’s also packed with things to do and see for all ages.
Tourists are drawn to the area for its proximity to the sea, but Portsmouth’s naval history is also a prominent feature with numerous related attractions, such as The Historic Dockyard, the D-Day Museum, the Royal Naval Museum, and the Royal Marines Museum. A number of iconic ships adorn the dockyard such as the HMS Victory, the HMS Warrior and Henry VIII’s Tudor warship the Mary Rose. For those who can handle heights, there are marvellous views from the observation deck of the Spinnaker Tower, a sweep of glass and steel shaped like a sail, which lays claim to being Britain's tallest tower outside London.
Portsmouth has a prestigious literary history and is the birthplace of many celebrated authors from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Michelle Magorian, H.G. Wells to Neil Gaiman and most notably, Charles Dickens. The modest house in Old Commercial Road was his former abode and has been restyled to resemble the original Dickens family home.