As with any other aspect of a car, it is vitally important for you to get your Air Conditioning system checked on a regular basis. Due to the a/c unit not being checked in regular MOT testing, people unfortunately make the mistake of forgoing any further checks until it is too late and something has gone wrong. Here are a few reasons why you should get your Air Conditioning checked on a regular basis.
1. Smell in the A/C system – This is a very common problem found in older Air Conditioning systems whether it be an Audi or a Rover. As your car gets older, there is a higher chance that bacteria and fungus can grow in the system just behind the dashboard. This makes it near impossible for you to clean yourself and can lead to an awful smell being produced when the a/c is on. These microorganisms not only smell awful but, if continually inhaled, could lead to further problems such as flu like systems and tight airways. This is more commonly known as ‘sick car syndrome’.
2. A/C isn’t cold enough – There is no point in having the Air Conditioning on if it is not making a substantial difference to the temperature of the car. As the weather gets warmer, cars get significantly hotter especially when left in the sun. Some people may opt for the alternative of driving with the windows open as this ‘saves’ petrol. This may save the very small amount of petrol used by the a/c unit however all the extra drag caused by having the windows open will ultimately amount to the same petrol being used. If your a/c system is not producing enough cold air then you will need to have it recharged. This will return the system to its original functioning by replacing the coolant. Your vehicle can lose up to 15% of its coolant every year so it is important to keep topping it up.
3. Seals seizing up – This is a common problem due to the fact that many people do not use their Air Conditioning systems at all during the winter. When a car manufacturer takes your car in for service they check whether the Air Conditioning is working, they do not test the components of the system. The seals can dry out through not being used and therefore end up cracking. This can lead to leaks and can be expensive to repair. By simply running your Air Conditioning systems on a regular basis during the winter will keep the pipes and seals lubricated and prevent this from happening. You will need a mechanic to regularly check the pipes and seals before the summer begins again to ensure no damage has occurred.
4. Noises from the A/C – If you ever hear unusual noises from the a/c system you should also contact a mechanic immediately. This usually happens when there is something wrong with the compressor and this can be the most expensive bit to repair. If it is left then it could cause more serious damage and may result in a complete replacement and cleaning of the entire system which will cost a lot more money.
When it comes to diagnosing an Air Conditioning unit, it is vitally important you get hold of a qualified technician to look at it. With newer systems it is ideal to have a manufacturer’s technician look at it such as a Volkswagen mechanic to look at your VW or someone who is used to dealing with the newer systems.