Air Conditioning


Leading on from last weeks blog, and considering here in Perth Western Australia, we are about to head into summer, let's have a bit of a chat about car’s air conditioning systems.

Linking into last weeks discussion about filters, one of the most common reasons the air con doesn’t work that well, or is maybe a bit smelly, can be due to the cabin air filter being blocked.

Ryco Cabin Air Filters

When we check the cabin air filters, we have found all sorts of unsavory items stuck in them - poo, dead mice etc. Changing these regularly will improve the quality of the air that is being pushed out through the air con system.

We use Ryco filters, as the rate of filtration is one of, if not the highest that is available. In fact, in response to Covid-19, they have now brought out a cabin air filter that has a N99 grade filtration. This means it filters particles out 40 times smaller than a human hair (!!!). This will filter out most air contaminants – I don’t think it is proven against Covid yet - however, at such a high filtration level not much will get through.

Reasons Why Air Con Stops Working

Getting back on to the air cons themselves. There are a couple of reasons that air con systems stop working, or are not working as well as they should. The first and easiest to fix is if the system is low on gas. When this happens, usually customers say to us the air con just isn’t as cold as it used to be. Usually then it only needs a regas.

The next reason is if there is a leak in the system somewhere. Sometimes to be able to diagnose this we need to put gas in the system first. The gas going in (especially here in Australia), has to have a UV dye in it. This allows us to check the system with a special UV light and hopefully see the leak, fix it and re-gas again. This often means you are paying for 2 re-gasses.

Aother reason is if the air con compressor and/or condenser has failed. One of the ways to know this might be the case is if the air con was working fine and then just stopped. These are much bigger jobs, the condenser is sometimes under the dash, which can be complex to service or replace.

Smaller leaks are often much easier and quicker to fix. The downside to these is we often have to charge the customer twice for a re-gas, so it is important that that is explained very clearly before we even do the first re-gas.

What To Do When Air Con Is Not As Cold As Before 

So if your air con isn’t working the way you would like, book a service online or contact your local mechanic or come in and speak to us about checking the cabin air filter (although we do this every service as part of 65 Point Vehicle Inspection Report) or having your air con system re-gassed. That is the best place to start and then your mechanic can advise you if further diagnostics are needed.

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