Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With summer already set in (HAS IT REALLY?! ARGH) and the vehicle a/c not used for many months during the cooler season - is there any maintenance I could do for it in preparation for the summer months to come?

Appreciate your input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Air Con maintenance

With summer already set in (HAS IT REALLY?! ARGH) and the vehicle a/c not used for many months during the cooler season - is there any maintenance I could do for it in preparation for the summer months to come?

Appreciate your input.
Hi there, here are some simple steps you can take to ensure reliable car air con,
1. under the bonnet (hood) and in front of the radiator is a "Condenser", looks a lot like the radiator and is supplied with air using the same fan for cooling the radiator, cleaning this condenser is key to ensuring performance and reliable air con in hot weather, this can be done by using an air line at a garage forecourt by blowing from the back/rear of the radiator out through the front of the car to get rid of any debris or sand, note: never use any mechanical implements to clean i.e. screw driver etc.. only compressed air.
2. Assuming that your system has not lost any gas (refrigerant) during the cooler months (can be ensured by using your air con on a regular basis as the compressor has a shaft seal that relies on oil to form a seal, but dries out when not used for some time and thus can let the gas out of the system) this should be the only real maintenance required.
3. If your system has lost its gas (refrigerant) you should really take it to a good garage to be repaired, or risk causing more substantial costly damage to the system. It most likely will only require a small amount of gas to get it going again, along with some refrigerant oil for lubricating the compressor.
4. You can purchase DIY refrigerant top kits, these can be successful provided that the issue is a shortage of gas in the system. Do this at your own risk, I always recommend going to a good repair shop or a specialist "Auto Air Con technician"
5. Lastly... you might find that there is an odour emitting from the car air conditioner internally when you use it after some time of inactivity, this is caused by bacteria, dry skin cells, dust, bugs etc... you can remedy this by buying an aerosol air con disinfectant at any motor suppliers, follow the instructions on the cannister and all should be o.k. its good practice to do this annually from a hygiene point of view in any case.

I hope this helps, if you need any further info, just let me know, try to be specific and I will give you the solution. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Hi Ryan, sorry to butt in on another person's thread, however I am now really worried about your comment regarding serious damage if running the a/c unit without gas. My car which is a 15 year Jeep Cherokee has developed an odd problem of loosing gas fairly quickly but only after long intervals. This has been going on for almost two years and it has emptyied out three times - usually on a Thursday afternoon in the summer:)

I keep taking it to the Jeep dealer but they don't seem to be able to locate the source of the leak. Should I stop running it once I realise that it is not cooling as much as it should be? Given the age of the car I suspect I would be better off getting a new car instead of trying to fix the a/c.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Dear Worried :)

Hi Ryan, sorry to butt in on another person's thread, however I am now really worried about your comment regarding serious damage if running the a/c unit without gas. My car which is a 15 year Jeep Cherokee has developed an odd problem of loosing gas fairly quickly but only after long intervals. This has been going on for almost two years and it has emptyied out three times - usually on a Thursday afternoon in the summer:)

I keep taking it to the Jeep dealer but they don't seem to be able to locate the source of the leak. Should I stop running it once I realise that it is not cooling as much as it should be? Given the age of the car I suspect I would be better off getting a new car instead of trying to fix the a/c.
Lol, not a problem.

As a rule, on older vehicles (10 years or more), repairing the AC follows an amount of fault finding, with a diagnosis of the problem. this will have a nominal cost, depending on the severity of the problem, your judgement should be based on the potential cost of the repair, and the value of the vehicle. In your case, it sounds like wear on the compressor, either on the shaft seal or the shaft bearings, or both. Replacing the compressor will solve the issue, but only if the compressor is the issue.

If I were to give advice, I would try to find a specialist in Auto A/C repair, they will be more motivated to resolve the issue than a main dealer, and most likely to be more qualified and experienced at this sort of thing. Before spending any more cash, you need someone to locate the repair, which although tricky, is straight forward enough for a qualified, well equipped specialist.

The compressor is driven by a fan belt at the front of the engine, usually separately from the alternator and water pump, but not always. a good indicator is to look for black soot like deposit, and plenty of it, it will be very oily around the flywheel on the compressor, same goes for the rest of the refrigerant system pipe work and components if there is a leak near by (due to the dirt sticking to the oil).

I must stress that you should under no circumstance open up the system yourself, a specialist needs to do it. You can cause serious harm to yourself and your vehicle. All checks should be visual and cursory.

If you are only losing gas occasionally, topping it up is the way to do it for now, but make sure the refrigeration/air con engineer puts some oil in also to compensate for the lost oil.

Always ask for a quote when they give you a diagnosis, this will allow you to consider whether repairing the issue is worth while, in my experience, most people top the system up, and move the car on, remember to tell the new buyer that they will have to top the air con up from time to time ;-)

Hope this helps

T


Forgot to say: Yes, if it is no longer working, turn the A/C off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Many, many thanks Ryan (and of course Red Nosed for so graciously allowing me to squat). Finding that specialist is the problem here as I'm sure you'll find out when you get here, but I'm sure they exist.

All the best
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top