Every summer, there comes a time where we need our air conditioning system. However, it can only take care of you if you show it some love and book a car air conditioning service first. Otherwise, you could get very hot under the collar this Summer. And the last thing you want to deal with on your UK 'staycation' is a broken air con system. 

your car has missed the open road, here is our ultimate UK 'staycation', enjoy seeing the country again with BookMyGarage in white text over aerial view of road driving along oceanside with trees either side 

Almost every modern car has air conditioning fitted as standard. Despite this, only the BookMyGarage Major car service includes an air conditioning check. But this car service can be pretty pricey, so how can you keep your car's air conditioning in top condition without spending a fortune? A car air conditioning service is the perfect solution. Here's what you need to know including how long it takes, how much it costs and where you can find the best deal on your next aircon service. We'll also explain how you can tell when your air conditioning isn't working properly.  

Why is My Car Air Conditioner Not Blowing Cold Air?

There are five main warning signs of an air conditioning fault, and a common cause for each. They are:

  1. System only blows warm air - you need to top-up your refrigerant gas or book an air con recharge.
  2. Weak air flow but still cold - there's usually a leak in the system. An air conditioning service will help find the problem and suggest a repair.
  3. Rattling sound while switched on - worn-out condenser or fan belt. This needs an inspection to determine the cost of the repair.
  4. Bad smell - bacterial build-up in the system which needs a deep clean. Our CV1 shot disinfection helps kill 99.99% of all bacteria and viruses in your air con system in just 7 minutes.
  5. Condensation - there's likely a blockage in the system which can lead to damp and a ruined interior. A car air conditioning service can identify the problem and a suitable repair


driver cleaning dust from their air conditioning vent with green brush

If your air conditioning hasn't worked in a while, you might want to clean the vents before you book a repair, else you'll get a lot of dust and pollen in your cabin when it starts working again.

If you notice any of these symptoms, don't put off doing something about it. You might just make the problem worse. When you notice an air con fault, you need a car air conditioning service to identify the cause of your problem and help you find a suitable repair early. That way, you always get the full benefit of your car's air con system.


What is Car Air Conditioning?

Air conditioning is a complicated air cooling and filtering system designed to cool warm air thanks to the use of refrigerant gas and a compressor. When you switch your aircon on, the gas (which is stored in the compressor) travels to the condenser. This drops the gas's temperature, causing it to become a liquid. This travels to the drier which purifies the liquid, ready for the expansion valve (the part of your system that controls cabin temperature when you adjust the dial). Once there, the liquid is rapidly cooled and turned into vapour, emerging into the car cabin as cool, refreshing air. The refrigerant gas then travels back to the beginning and the process starts all over again.   Clearly, the refrigerant gas is the most crucial part of any air conditioning system. However, as your system naturally loses 10-20% every year, you must refresh it regularly to keep the system working effectively. A lack of refrigerant gas can put unnecessary strain on the compressor. If this overheats and fails, you can easily face a repair bill of several thousand pounds!  

close up of a car air conditioning compressor on grey background

It might not look like much, but this compressor can cost several thousand pounds to replace if you don't regularly service your air con!


It's much cheaper to service your air conditioning system. Here's how it works.  


Is a Car Air Conditioning Service the Same as an Aircon Regas?

A car air conditioning service, or aircon regas as it's more commonly known, is a full check of your car's system to ensure it is free from damage and leak. The process itself is quite straightforward.


car air conditioning service in progress with specialist green air conditioning regas machine plugged into engine system

A car air conditioning service in progress.


During the aircon regas, the mechanic removes your car's old gas using a specialist vacuum pump (pictured above). This also helps to remove all traces of moisture from the system, reducing the risk of bacterial growth. They measure the current level against the amount of gas which should be in the system. If there's a big difference, it's usually because your system has sprung a leak. This will need dealing with before the service can continue. The mechanic will advise you on the repair and offer a transparent estimate upfront for the work. Next, they add new refrigerant gas, following the manufacturer's spec for type and volume. You can check this for yourself in your vehicle handbook. Once they've completed the refresh, the mechanic switches the system on to check that the aircon regas fixed the problem.


driver turning air conditioning dial in car cabin

If you don't service your air conditioning system, you might turn the dial and nothing happens. That's the last thing you want in a traffic jam this summer...


An air con regas is a complex process that should only be completed by a trained mechanic. They have access to specialist equipment and know exactly what they're doing. But why is it so worthwhile to service your air con system regularly?


Why Should I Book a Car Air-Conditioning Service?

If you don't service your air conditioning, it will cost you money as you drive around. When the gas levels are low, your system has to work harder to produce cold air, using more fuel. And reduced fuel efficiency = more money spent at the pump. Most importantly, there are some serious risks if you feel uncomfortable or tired while driving long distances because of an air con fault. Dehydration caused by sweating can reduce your concentration and increase your chances of an accident. And your air conditioning isn't only useful during summer. Without a working system, you'll struggle to demist the windows in the winter months. If getting your car ready during Winter has become a struggle, book a car air conditioning service today! That way, there's less time standing in the freezing cold trying to de-ice your windscreen and more time sitting in a warm car.


woman wrapped in thick coat, scarf and hat scraping windscreen with de-icer on cold, frosty winter morning

Don't stand around in the cold scraping your windscreen this winter - make sure your air con can do the hard work for you!


Don't suffer with a broken air conditioning system. If yours needs a service, regas or any form of repair, here's how to find the perfect local garage to complete the work.


How to Book an Air Con Regas With BookMyGarage

When you need an air con recharge, you can always get the best deal through BookMyGarage. Enter your reg number and postcode to instantly compare and save on air conditioning prices from thousands of franchise, fast fit and independent UK garages. Filter by reviews, price, distance and availability to find the best deal for you! As you don't need to ring around garages to compare prices, you save time as well as money. Not only that, but you keep your stress levels low by avoiding an air con problem. Keep your cool this Summer. Book an air conditioning service or air con regas with BookMyGarage today! That way, you get to spend more time doing what you love in your vehicle rather than suffering in a stuffy cabin.



How Much Does it Cost to Recharge Car Air Conditioning?

Prices start from £69 on BookMyGarage. As some garages charge up to £200 for a car air conditioning service, it pays to shop around and find the best deal. Start comparing instant prices and find a great aircon regas near you!


air con regas in progress, mechanic checking flow of refrigerant gas with specialist equipment

Specialist equipment often comes at a cost, but when you book your air con regas with BookMyGarage, you always get the best deal!


How Often Should a Car's Air Conditioning Be Serviced?

According to John Orford of Aircon Direct, you should book an air conditioning service every three years. Orford has worked on car aircon systems since 1995 and considers this the ideal time-frame for all drivers. Many manufacturers recommend a car air conditioning service every two years instead. This is also perfectly fine. As long as you book regular services, there's very little wrong with either interval.



How Long Does a Car Air Conditioning Service Take?

It usually takes around 1 hour to complete an air conditioning service. If there is a more severe problem, such as a leak, the repair can take much longer. The easiest way to avoid this is keeping a well-maintained air conditioning system. A healthy system shouldn't cause any extra problems or unnecessary delays, which keeps you and your wallet happy!


happy driver with thumb out the window of grey car on sandy beach with blue sea in background

Once you've booked a car air conditioning service, every day will be as relaxing as a day at the beach!


Your car's air con can only take care of you if you take care of it first. Show it some love with an air conditioning service from BookMyGarage, and reduce your Summer stress levels. Prices start from £69 and all you need to instantly compare prices is your reg number and post code. Pop that into our online booking tool and find the best deal in your area today!



Air conditioning needs regular servicing to work properly. If you ignore it, you'll end up spending more money than necessary, both on fuel and a potential compressor replacement. This can cost thousands of pounds! An aircon regas is much more affordable. Prices start from just £69 on BookMyGarage and there are no hidden extras or nasty fees. Enter your reg number and post code to instantly compare deals in your area today.